On our last morning on Orkney, we thought we should investigate a little closer to home – or rather, near to where we were staying with a friend who had kindly offered us the use of her converted steading (barn) for our stay. The property is at Deerness, around 13km south east of the main town of Kirkwall.
This is the lovely view from her front drive
You can clearly see what a tiny sliver of land connects this area to the mainland, and the causeway is where we stopped to investigate at the start of our final journey. Once again, we found a section of the Orkneyinga Saga trail.
And another glorious sandy beach.
Caught in the act!
And looking in the opposite direction, with our backs to the beach
Then it was onward to a final lunch in Kirkwall before heading north to the ferry terminal. Note of warning – Orkney is not a place to visit if you want fine dining. Café food and basic pub-style meals are good quality, but definitely not cordon bleu, unlike some of the Hebridean islands we’ve visited.
Helgis had some unusual dishes I can highly recommend
Note the Highland Park symbol up there on the wall? Highland Park is Orkney’s own malt whisky – one of the ‘smoky’ flavoured whiskies which I love so much. The distillery is on the outskirts of Kirkwall
And its presence is felt everywhere!
If you have a moment, take a look at these extraordinary facts: ‘9 things you should know about Highland Park Scotch Whisky’
We were still early for lunch, so we wandered down to the docks to take a look at the new Pentland ferry – HUGE compared to the old Pentalina we’d arrived on, but in the same style.
And back on the main street, we found this extraordinary charity box:
Along with this wonderful example of Scottish architecture: Kirkwall town hall.
Love those little turrets!
After lunch, it was time to drive up to Stromness, the second largest town on Orkney, to catch the ferry back to the Scottish mainland. This route supports a much larger ferry which takes a route around the back of Hoy, with wonderful close-up views of the Old Man of Hoy – the reason I picked this particular time of day to travel (some of the sailings are at night), and we were blessed with good weather – not always a given, considering our location!
Plenty of space on deck from which to view the coastline
And a rather luxurious interior!
But I was more interested in the views outside
Look carefully at the above picture – on the far right you get your first glimpse of the Old Man.
Fro Wikipedia: ‘The Old Man of Hoy is a 449-foot (137-metre) sea stack on Hoy, part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. Formed from Old Red Sandstone, it is one of the tallest stacks in the United Kingdom. The Old Man is popular with climbers, and was first climbed in 1966. Created by the erosion of a cliff through hydraulic action some time after 1750, the stack is no more than a few hundred years old, but may soon collapse into the sea.’
And finally, moving away, and farewell to Orkney.
Until next time…
Thank you for coming on this journey with me – I love sharing my travels, and this wonderful country I now call home, and I’m sure once travel becomes easier again I will have plenty more photos and history of the Scottish Highlands to bring you.