Wideford and Cuween Hills

Bay of Firth from Wideford Hill
Bay of Firth from Wideford Hill

We spent one morning finding holes for John to climb in and out of! The cairn half way up Wideford Hill is a communal tomb dating back to 3000 BC. There’s a box with a torch to help you down the ladder, but I didn’t like the idea of that trapdoor accidentally closing over me so stayed outside. Our intrepid explorer had no such worries:

It’s not a very pleasant climb from the tomb to the top of the hill – lots of stumbling over huge clumps of heather – but the views are rewarding. It’s interesting that the hill was part of an ancient communication system – the site of one of a chain of beacons which would be lit to warn of attacks – and serves a similar function today (well, communication not the attacks). The engineer took a great interest in the different antennae at the radio transmitting station. I continued to enjoy the views.

At the other side of Bay of Firth is Cuween Hill with another Neolithic chambered cairn. Again, I declined to enter – too low!

As we approached the hill, it had looked as though there were standing stones on the top. This seemed odd as we knew there weren’t anyway – it turned out to be a large number of modern cairns built behind the tomb. Who made them and why are they there? I have no idea – I can’t find an explanation online (though admittedly, I haven’t spent too long looking) or in any of the guidebooks.

In my next Orkney post I terrify myself with memories of 19 years ago.


24 thoughts on “Wideford and Cuween Hills

  1. Heyjude September 28, 2015 / 12:36

    Goodness that husband of yours does like his holes! I’m with you, I prefer to stay where I can see the sky! Having just done an uncomfortable hike on the Stiperstones I can empathise with the heather issue, although mine was rocks and heather. I was thinking how inaccessible a lot of our hikes are for people who aren’t fully mobile, even young children.


  2. Danielle L Zecher September 28, 2015 / 15:11

    That place looks gorgeous. I can’t blame you for not wanting to go inside something like that; enjoy the view out in the fresh air!


    • Anabel Marsh September 28, 2015 / 15:20

      Fresh air and a view of the sky for me any time!


    • Anabel Marsh September 28, 2015 / 21:20

      I can’t believe I went down those holes last time. I have changed!


  3. anotherday2paradise September 28, 2015 / 20:13

    What a beautiful place. LOL @ John climbing in and and out of holes. The out part would be the most important for me. 🙂


  4. Birgit September 28, 2015 / 20:55

    I would be tempted to go into those holes and see what is around if my joints allow me. Your hubby is quite the explorer. Now you cued my interest in what happened 19 yrs ago:)


    • Anabel Marsh September 28, 2015 / 21:50

      It doesn’t involve going down a hole. Quite the opposite!


  5. Eli September 28, 2015 / 22:12

    Hahaha – you write so funny Anabel — finding holes for your hubby to climb in an out of:-) 🙂 That’s an amazing scenery


  6. Alex Hurst September 29, 2015 / 14:12

    What a gorgeous area!! I would want to stay there for a couple of days just to feel the clean air and see that green. Lovely.


  7. vannillarock September 29, 2015 / 18:31

    Ah those empty beaches- looks like Guernsey this afternoon- the wind would blow your head off!!


  8. Silvia Writes September 29, 2015 / 18:53

    Breathtakingly beautiful. I would go at least a few steps down and close my eyes, try to imagine it all those years back. Not sure I’d make it all the way down. 🙂 Looks amazing.


    • Anabel Marsh September 29, 2015 / 19:02

      I would have done that once, but I’m not brave enough any more! Too dark, too low.


  9. restlessjo September 29, 2015 / 22:06

    I like to be out where I can see the sun, should there be any, Anabel, but each to his own. 🙂 He’s handy with a camera.


    • Anabel Marsh September 29, 2015 / 23:06

      He has his uses! Including scouting out unpleasant holes in the ground so I don’t have to.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jazzfeathers October 1, 2015 / 21:40

    Oh, come on, Anabe. HOw could you pass on the opportunity to visit a tomb? And a 5000 years old one!
    That’s disgraceful!!!



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