King's Cave

The cave at Drummadoon

Image: view into King's Cave, Tony Oldham's rear. Image by his wife Anne Oldham.

Useful Information

Location: Arran Island, Strathclyde, Scotland. Between Blackwaterfoot and Tormore at Drumadoon. Only acces by coastal footpath.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: none
Classification: sea cave, Permian desert sandstone, 250 Million years old.
Light: none.
Guided tours:  
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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Image: Tony Oldham in King's Cave, image by Anne Oldham.
1306 King Robert the Bruce I. was probably hiding in this cave after a lost battle.


The cave at Drumadoon is now called the King's Cave after Robert the Bruce but in earlier times was identified with the legendary Fionn and called Fionn's Cave.

The cave has several Viking carvings on the central pillar. The most interesting one seems to represent a man holding what might be a bow over the top of his head. However, it is not known, what the instrument really represents. Another carving might be a twohanded sword or cross, suggesting that the cave might once have been used for religious purposes. Other carvings include the image of a horse.

During the stay of Robert the Bruce in Arran, presumably at Whiting Bay, he met the Arran woman with second sight, who predicted that he would eventually free Scotland from the enemy. In order to show her own faith in the prophecy she had made, she sent her two sons in his service.

This large sea cave was formed 6,000 years ago, when the sea level was higher than now. The cliffs of Drumadoon, around the cave, and most other cliffs around Arran, were formed 10,000 years ago during the last cold phase of the Ice Age.