Orkney in September

Discussion in 'Scotland/Alba' started by belboid, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    So mrs b & I are taking my dad to Orkney for nine days in September. Flying in, as it would cost almost as much to drive/ferry anyway, and then hiring a car.

    We have a plan, which is to basically to see as much neolithic stuff as possible. Handily we are staying just by the Standing Stones Hotel, so will have an actual view of Stenness, and so Maeshowe, Ring of Brodgar, and a few others are in easy walking distance. Obviously, we will also be hitting Skara Brae, and the Tombs of the Eagles, the Beagles and the Otters, as well as the Brochs of Birsay and Gurness. Quite how my 84 year old dad will do at crawling into some of the tombs, I don't know, but he'll cope. No doubt they'll be a day in Kirkwall and Stromness as well, and will call in on the Italian Chapel on the way to Eagles. And they'll be a trip to Hoy (dad always wanted to climb the Old Man, bit late now) so we can go see the Dwarfie Stone and maybe Longhope.

    Considering the likely weather, that will probably be enough, but we do want to make a northern isle. It is tempting to try for Papa Westray, and not only so we can go on the worlds shortest scheduled flight, but Rousay looks easier.

    Any other recommendations? Bits of advice, or recommended books, places to drink?
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  2. 2hats


    Don't forget the Khyber Pass! :D
  3. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

  4. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Check accessability before you go, I believe the Italian chapel is locked now and one of the places I think you go in on a trolley thing
  5. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Matchmakers. Although the club is probably long gone!
  6. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw acknowledging ur soup leg

    The Flattie Bar in Stromness (the public bar of the hotel right next to the ferry) was quite lively the times I've been in.
    HoratioCuthbert and belboid like this.
  7. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    I am all too aware of orkneyjar, ta. There's so bloody much on it, it's almost bewildering.

    I will go up to Viking times (I have the orkneyinga to read before we go), especially if they are on the way somewhere else. I know some of the Iron Age stuff (brochs are just groovy) tho very little about the Pictish
  8. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    You deffo go into one thing on a trolley! Sounds great. Some of the smaller ones you crawl into. Will double check the chapel, I think it should be okay, but better make sure
  9. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    Maeshowe was a bit of a struggle (for me anyway - I am 6'8" though)

    Rousay has a ton of archeological sites so may be worth a visit: Discover Rousay

    I've been reading a bit of George Mackay Brown lately. He's a good read.
    belboid and HoratioCuthbert like this.
  10. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert What’s in these batteries? An I, an O.

    Matchies still exists as The Neuk now. Are you up from the 1st? There's a rock festival on in Kirkwall, i'd recommend Orkney bred Glasgow based Fit To Work who have a song "for liberals" entitled Just Admit You Want Us All Dead :-D - they are playing in The Neuk on the Saturday. I think Rackwick in Hoy is also a must, all the pubs in Stromness are great for food- also there's the Italian restaurant in Kirkwall which I struggle to remember the name of now just ask about the Italian restaurant in Kirkwall. Rousay is bonnie and I'd also highly recommend staying at the Grand Owld byre in Westray (camping and rooms available) the couple that own it are lovely, they let us sleep in the laundry room when we stayed there as there were high winds. I'd say I enjoyed my stay there more than any other place I've stayed in over last 8 years.

    The bistro next to tomb of the eagles is great for food and not too badly priced. Also for takeaway highly recommend The Willows in Kirkwall.

    I'm going to stop as I live here and it would turn out to be an essay!
    belboid likes this.
  11. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert What’s in these batteries? An I, an O.

    Oh and if you guys are fit for hillwalking Wideford Hill has spectacular views and is an easy climb, Ward hill has the same but is steep as fuck.
    belboid likes this.
  12. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert What’s in these batteries? An I, an O.

    No there's no trolley action at the Italian chapel but Tomb of Eagles has one.
    belboid likes this.
  13. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert What’s in these batteries? An I, an O.

    Finally- Pro tip access Skara Brae for free via Skaill, it's just off the beach, not fenced in or anything. It should be reasonably easy to do same for Maeshowe as I think the centre for paying is now quite away from it, but I think it involves climbing fences, not tried that one myself but a friend has. Other good beaches- Scapa nr Kirkwall, Waulkmill Bay, Birsay(with access to Brough at low tide) and you can walk to Aikerness from Broch of Gurness, about 20-30 mins walk. You'll also see plenty on the drive to the Italian Chapel and onto Tomb of Eagles including Churchill Barriers and Blockships etc.
    belboid and pogofish like this.
  14. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    We're not there till the....18th I think it is. Was going to go up for the blues festival as well, but me dad was off an another jaunt somewhere!

    Wideford - deffo, I think that was one of the (many, many) non main sites I'd seen and wanted to remember, but forgot.

    Is the restaurant the Lucano? Appears to be the only one.

    And, ta for the tip, but we'll pay for Skara Brae - I imagine in these days it needs every penny, and we're bloody tourists. It's different for locals.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    HoratioCuthbert likes this.
  15. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    You can get an Orkney explorer pass from historic Scotland - works out cheaper than paying for all the sites individually.
    HoratioCuthbert and pogofish like this.
  16. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert What’s in these batteries? An I, an O.

    Fair enough! Lucano indeed I had been just on my way to do a nursery run and couldn't google. Shame you've missed the blues as well that's probably the best festival of the lot really, but you may catch some good bands at The Auld Motorhoose, The Neuk, The Sound Archive and sometimes upstairs in the Torvhaug all in Kirkwall, - check Orkney Live Wire either on their website on on their facebook page for info- there's usually something on through there at weekend, places like Stromness sometimes too but less often. And on BBC Radio Orkney page on FB they tend to do a diary of what's on that week too. Hope you enjoy it's a beautiful place :)

    ETA: forgot to mention, probably my favourite walk, very dramatic views https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/orkney/mullhead.shtml
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  17. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    I thought you were being weird before, but I understand now :)

    Just having a pint in Flatties, Stromness is bloody quiet on a Friday night.
    J Ed likes this.
  18. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    How much did it cost you in the end? Just curious, have always wanted to go to Orkney.
  19. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees


    Or did you not mean the pint?
    J Ed likes this.
  20. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    More seriously... we're at the arse end of the season (timetables move to Winter on Monday) so it's all a bit cheaper. I think it was £250 for the flights and then £600 for nine days in our airbnb place - which technically sleeps five, though that would be a bit crowded. Car hire is pretty essential.

    Deffo worth every penny so far.
    HoratioCuthbert and J Ed like this.
  21. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Me and my brother were staying about eighty miles west along the coast on the mainland and did a dash over for the day because we always wanted to go, would love to go back and spend longer.
  22. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    Rousay was fantastic - managed to get into the Knowe of Lairo!!

  23. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Is that the cover off a new edition of A Drunk Man Looks At The Thistle?
  24. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw acknowledging ur soup leg

    Oh holy fuck no, there's wraiths in there.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  25. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    Well, I must say, fab times had by all. Got lucky with the weather, only one really dodgy day, which was quite a nice excuse to chill out actually. Wind picked up for the last few days, but nowt unbearable. Managed to do nearly all of diamarzipan's recommendations, bar Westray, and all lived up to our hopes

    Thoroughly recommended

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  26. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

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