Orkney Islands Journals

Ancient Orkney

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A May 2010 trip to Orkney Islands by eilidhcatriona

Ring of Brodgar Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland More Photos
Quote: A collection of reviews and experiences from my visits to the Neolithic sites of Orkney

Standing Stones and Outlines of Houses

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Story/Tip

Barnhouse Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
The Standing Stones of Stenness and Barnhouse village are located close to the small village of Stenness in Orkney, within sight of the more famous Neolithic site of Maeshowe chambered cairn. Entry is free to both sites.The stones are visible from the road. We had planned to stop and have a look at them, and then continue on to the Ring of Brodgar, just along the road a bit. The Standing Stones of Stenness are one of the oldest stone circles in Britain, dating from around 3100BC. Today there are only four stones remaining, although it is estimated that there were originally twelve. There is also a hearth in the centre of the circle, and some lower stones which may or may not have formed ...Read More

Ring of Brodgar

Attraction | "A Ring of History"

Ring of Brodgar Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
The Ring of Brodgar is one of Orkney’s more famous and visible Neolithic sites, being as it is a ring of 27 huge standing stones. It is located near the village of Stenness, on the Ness o’Brodgar which separates the Harray and Stenness lochs. The ring is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.It is thought that originally the ring contained 60 stones, but this has never been confirmed as the site has never been fully excavated. This also means the age of the ring is not certain either, but it is assumed to date from between 2500 BC and 2000BC.Entry to the monument is free. There is a large car park nearby, but it is still a bit of a walk to the ring. There ar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 26, 2010

Ring of Brodgar
Mainland Orkney
Orkney Islands, Scotland

Broch of Gurness

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Attraction | "A Jumble of Rocks and Walls"

Broch of Gurness Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
The Broch of Gurness is located on the east coast of the Orkney mainland. It is one of the many Historic Scotland properties in the islands. Entry is £4.70 for adults, £2.80 for children and £3.80 for concessions. We had purchased two Orkney Explorer passes earlier in the week, which give access to the six sites with entry fees. As my mum chose not to come into the broch as it was an exceptionally windy day, the passes covered entry for me and my dad.Incidentally, last entry is at 5pm. We arrived just after, and tried to open the visitor centre door but it was locked. As we had our passes we weren’t worried about going in without paying, although we were keen to get them stamped (each site...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2010

Broch of Gurness
Overlooking Eynhallow Sound
Orkney Islands, Scotland

Brough of Birsay

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Attraction | "A Causeway to Picts and Vikings"

Brough of Birsay Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
The Brough of Birsay is an Historic Scotland site located right on the north-west tip of the Orkney Mainland. Access is dependent on the tide, as you have to walk across a narrow causeway and can only do so for two hours either side of low tide. Tide times can be obtained from the visitor centre at Skara Brae. Entry costs are adult £3.20, child £1.90, and concession £2.70. My dad and I visited on our Orkney Explorer passes. Historic Scotland say the site is open mid-June to September, but you can access all year round. You just have to pay entry during these months.The Brough of Birsay is a small tidal island. On the north side there is a lighthouse, but the Historic Scotland site is on th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2010

Brough of Birsay

Orkney Islands, Scotland

Maeshowe

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Attraction | "History Through the Ages"

Maeshowe Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
Maeshowe is one of the more famous Neolithic sites on Orkney. It is a chambered tomb constructed around 2700BC, so later than the village of Skara Brae. Visible from the road, Maeshowe from the outside is a large grassy mound. It is located on the Kirkwall to Stromness road, near the small village of Stenness. The site is looked after by Historic Scotland, who have a small visitor centre and shop in the Tormiston Mill building beside the road, opposite Maeshowe.Entry is by prebooked guided tour only. These run on the hour from 10am to 4pm. You can call to book, or drop into the centre. Car parking is fairly limited, there is really only enough space for one tour group at a time...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2010

Maeshowe

Orkney Islands, Scotland
+44 (0)1856 761 606

Skara Brae/Skaill House

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Attraction | "Orkney's Magic Village"

Skara Brae/Skaill House Photo, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Quote:
Skara Brae is a name that should be evocative to anyone who went to school in Scotland. I don't know how well it is known outside archaeological circles in the rest of the world. I remember being fascinated learning about the people and their life there, and wondering what happened to them. Skara Brae is a place I have wanted to visit for years, and finally I have.Skara Brae is an incredibly well preserved Neolithic village on the Western shore of the Orkney Mainland. It is estimated that it was built 5000 years ago. After its inhabitants left it became buried in the sand on the windswept coast, and remained hidden until a storm in 1850 lifted the turf off and exposed the remains of the dw...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 8, 2010

Skara Brae/Skaill House
Sandwick
Orkney, Scotland KW16 3LR