Category Scotland

Visiting Hoy, #Orkney #Scotland

It feels appropriate to start wrapping up my series of posts from Orkney – so many it will have taken a full year to complete! All the posts so far have been from the mainland, there was so much to see that we only had time to visit one of the other islands: Hoy, which […]

Orphir round kirk #Orkney #Scotland

Orphir is a region of Mainland Orkney where once again we were immersed in history, this time 11th/12th century, and back to the murder of St. Magnus First, we visited the Orkneyinga Saga Centre to view documents and a fantastic audio-visual display about the saga, which tells the extensive history of the jarls (earls) of […]

Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn #Orkney #Scotland

Back again to yet another Neolithic chambered cairn – this one, Cuween Hill, is the final one we visited, and I’m glad, because I can tell you, if this had been the first, I would never have gone inside! The approach is up a steep hill (guess the name gives that away!), and it isn’t […]

Earl’s Palace, Birsay, #Orkney #Scotland

A quick trip forward in time on Orkney again, moving from the Viking settlement across the causeway to the 16th-century Earl’s Palace on the Mainland. The ruins still display the layout and size of the palace, built around a large open courtyard. Nominally a castle (though it wouldn’t have been very defensible, in my opinion), […]

Dunkeld Hermitage, #Scotland

A little departure this week from the still-to-be-completed posts from Orkney. As lockdown eased and we were allowed to go back to work, I drove down to England to teach for a week. On the return journey I took a short stop at a beautiful site I haven’t visited for some years: The Hermitage at […]

Viking settlement on the Brough of Birsay #Scotland #Orkney

Still catching up on my trip to Orkney, I’m taking us back in history again, this time to the Vikings. I recently read a fantastic historical novel (3 books in 1, really): King Hereafter, by Dorothy Dunnett. Published in 1982, the language is far more dense than modern books, and more Tolkein-esque in style with […]

Join me for a wander through our lockdown garden adventure

Unless things reverse, which is always possible, it looks like July will see some return to normal life, so I’m preparing to go back to work. Of course, having moved to the Scottish Highlands mere days before lockdown, this will entail a totally new ‘normal’ for me. I will now be travelling hundreds of miles […]

Touring Holiday: Skaill House #Orkney #Scotland

Back to Orkney This is the twelfth post from my Orkney trip, and I’m not finished yet by quite a long way. Considering we were only there for a week, you are maybe starting to understand just how much history there is to investigate in this amazing place – and so far this has all […]

#Touring #Scotland – Orkney’s Neolithic village, SKARA BRAE

Orkney’s most famous Neolithic site (and if you’ve been following my posts, you must by now realise there are a LOT of them), is the extremely well preserved stone age village SKARA BRAE From Wikipedia: “Consisting of eight clustered houses, it was occupied from roughly 3180 BC to about 2500 BC and is Europe’s most […]

#Touring #Scotland – Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces, Kirkwall, Orkney

In another change of era, here’s a tour of some medieval ruins: the Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces in the Orkney capital of Kirkwall, situated opposite St Magnus Cathedral. This is what it might have looked like when in use Inside, you get an idea of the impressive size of this Palace, much of it in […]