Neolithic burial cairn, Maeshowe is an amazing structure – though not from the outside!
But inside its size and masonry work is hugely impressive – even more so when you consider that it was built to line up with the direction of the sun’s rays during winter solstice (live at www.maeshowe.co.uk in December and January).
Viking crusaders visited the site in the 12th century and left their mark in artwork (a lion, walrus and serpent) and runic graffiti – “Thor bedded Helga” is among the more memorable proclamations!
Entrance tickets, which include a first-class guided tour, are sold at the nearby Tormiston Mill, and are for a specific time, to control visitor numbers. Book in advance or you may have to wait.