Uamh an Oir

The Cave of Gold

Useful Information

Location: Sron na Carra, near Opinan, Wester Ross. (NGR NB 7425 7335 1" OS 19)
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: electric.
Dimension: A=0m, L=100m.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Tony Oldham (): The New Caves of Scotland,
Steve Chadwick (1992): Poolewe to Gruinard, Selected Walks and Caves with Historical Narrative, p 13
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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From the car park at Opinan, follow the cliff top path, north towards the headland called Sron na Carra. Some 300 yards before the headland an iron stake and a cairn mark the position of Uamh an Oir. The origin of the name has been lost, but parents in the area used to tell the children a tale similar to the Piper of Hamelin, that long ago a Piper led a party of children into the cave and they were never seen again, and if children went alone to the cave the same fate would happen to them.

It was probably a story born out of the need to keep the young and unwary away from the cave, for it is tidal and can only be reached at mid to low tide. Visitors will need to carry a light if they wish to explore the short right and longer left hand branch. It is said, if you listen quietly you can still hear the Piper far away.

There are three Caves of Gold in the area. One on the north east shore of Loch Maree [Ardlair Cave?], the third on the south side of Liathach above Torridon is said to be linked to the Cave of Gold at Opinan, for those who know the way.

reprinted from The New Caves of Scotland by Tony Oldham (sous presse). With kind permission.