Departing quayside Kirkwall, we enjoy a panoramic drive through the pastoral landscape of Orkney’s West Mainland to the magnificent sandstone Cliffs of Yesnaby. From our position towering above the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, we find some of the Islands’ most breath-taking scenery. On a clear day, we can also see the Old Man of Hoy sea stack and the Scottish mainland in the distance.
From here, we begin a 5 kilometre clifftop hike, following a rugged coastal path which takes us past the Iron Age Broch of Borwick dating from the first millennium BC, and on to Skara Brae, the most exciting and best-preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe. The remains of this 5,000 year-old Neolithic village are beautifully preserved and interpreted in a modern visitor centre. Lying beside the pretty, sandy crescent of the Bay of Skaill, this Stone Age settlement was completely buried under sand for thousands of years, until suddenly revealed during a fierce storm in 1850. Amongst the fascinating relics found here are tools, beads, pottery, and whalebone artefacts, spanning a period of approximately 600 years. The village gives us a good idea of the town´s layout centuries ago, and close inspection of the houses provides a unique insight into the lives of people of ancient times.
We pause for refreshments before returning to our ship in Kirkwall.
- Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Language: English
- Included: Tea / coffee and homebake
- Walking information: Distance approx 5 kilometres
- Not suitable for wheelchair users