Introduction to Caves and Caving in Scotland

Cave regions

Scotland's longest caves are in the limestones of Assynt. This is a part of Sutherland in the far northwest about 20 km north of Ullapool and 90 km from Inverness. There are three caves that are all 2 km or longer and many that are shorter.

Another good caving region is not in Glencoe itself but southwest of it in Appin. There are a large number of caves here up to 300 m long. Some of them are getting harder to find as the forestry plantations grow up.

The island of Skye has a lot of caves up to 300m long in the southern part, west of Broadford.

There are many more caves in the smaller limestone outcrops across the highlands, but in winter they could be hidden and/or filled by snow. In most cases the walk to get to them wouldn't be worth the effort. Unless you were there anyway to do some mountaineering.

There are guides to Assynt, Appin and some of the other areas published by the Grampian Speleological Group.


Scotland has been remarkably free from access problems so far. The only difficulties are likely to arise during the stalking season when deer are being hunted. The real money spinner is hunting stags and the season for that ends in October so there won't be any problems over December/January. If the weather is bad then questions of access could be purely hypothetical. Most Scottish caves involve a few kilometres of walking and if there is a blizzard blowing at the time...

The cavers

The Grampian Speleological Group is Scotland's largest caving club. While it is based in Edinburgh it has members in most parts of Scotland and quite a few in England. It has a club 'hut' - the Elphin Caving Centre - in Assynt. We are a very friendly bunch and always happy to meet fellow cavers from other countries.
Caves of Scotland
Grampian Speleological Group