Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report A fine May weekend in Orkney

Jump to last reply

Thursday

It's mid May and we (Mrs Bilbo and I) plan to have a few days in Orkney to show the place to my NZ niece (called hereafter NZN). The islands (some 70 of them) sit on the tip of the north east of Scotland. These islands have been inhabited for over 5000 years and are made up mainly of people from mainland UK, Iceland and Scandinavia. While historically relatively poor the island has developed some fine arts and jewellery industry, beef, a substantial oil pumping industry and a growing sustainable energy industry (i.e. tidal, wave and wind based). You are likely to visit the islands if you take a cruise into the north east Atlantic, want to see some of the bird or marine mammal colonies or some very fine ancient monuments. Neolithic Orkney was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999. The local language is English with a soft Scottish accent.

We (just Mrs B and I) flew from Leeds Bradford to Glasgow and then an hour later to Kirkwall in Orkney. The NZN will fly up tomorrow. The small turboprop made an “interesting” landing in the strong wind, but the little airport makes a great showing of all the goods for sale on the island and all the staff are very friendly. We picked up our rental car from the airport and WR Tullock a 4th generation rental company and drive to the Shore a “restaurant with rooms”.

The Shore is on the docks and has a restaurant with bar downstairs and then rooms above. Ours is two floors up and very quiet. The day is so bright and blue (and Britain has been so cold and dull for 5 months) we just have to get out and enjoy the fabulous weather.

So we buzz off to some of the finest ancient sites on the island, many of which are contemporary with Egypt's great Pyramids. The Ring of Brodgar, The Standing stones of Stennes and the fantastic Barnhouse Neolithic village (all of which are free) shows the sorts of houses people were living in 2500BC. So plenty of chances to photograph the heather, the rocks and the eider duck. We drove slowly back along the A694 which gave us the chance to see some beautiful vistas in some very fine weather, the Saga centre and the remains of the circular church. It turns out that Viking Earls did an awful amount of killing and trickery in the 1000AD to 1200AD period and then had it written up in the Sagas (history belongs to the victors).

We ate supper in the Kirkwall Hotel Bar “Skippers” paying £22 for home made steak pie, haddock with vegetables, a pint of bitter and a fizzy water. Despite the fine weather the evening turned cold. Tomorrow the weather is forecast as going to turn bad, lets hope not too bad.

13 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Greece - trip report - Aegean Islands Chios, Lesvos and Samos Oct 2012
  2. 2 Trip Report Sicily - not a trip report
  3. 3 What to wear
  4. 4 Mosquitos in Camargue---is it really that bad??
  5. 5 How to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Gare du Nord?
  6. 6 Urgent Spanish visa dilemma
  7. 7 Salzburg, Innsbruck, and possibly Graz with my 90yr old Mom
  8. 8 Best route from Pamukkale to Fethiye by car
  9. 9 Chip but no PIN
  10. 10 Dining at the Eiffel Tower
  11. 11 Portugal with a 3 year old and 1 year old
  12. 12 No points in Paris .....
  13. 13 3 AM Arrival in Santorini OK?
  14. 14 Italy and France in 20 Days
  15. 15 Finland to Sweden to Denmark to France to UK
  16. 16 What still confounds you about travel?
  17. 17 Three days in Spain
  18. 18 Train from Barcelona to Madrid
  19. 19 Madrid Tapas Tour
  20. 20 West Ireland with 81 year old mother - Pls Review Itinerary
  21. 21 Florence & Rome Itinerary, hotel, tour co. critique please!
  22. 22 Eurostar booking
  23. 23 The Times reveals secret best beaches: mediterranean
  24. 24 Trip Report Venice, April 2014. Some thoughts ...
  25. 25 Tuscany intinerary-what to do on a Sunday
View next 25 » Back to the top