Tuesday, 7 July 2015


harray potter orkney

beach skara brae orkney

fulmar bird orkney birsay

puffins birsay orkney

puffins birsay

puffin razorbills orkney

As expected, there's many pictures here.  Trying to cut Orkney down to a few moments was pretty impossible.  I've saved a few for another post but never fear!  There will only be two - this is not one of those blogs that take twelve posts to show off  one place.  I can restrain myself...to a point.

Apart from some obvious horrible moments, Orkney was rather great.  We made the most of the outdoors and visited a bunch of Historic Scotland sites (gotta flex that membership card!), searched for puffins, had a giggle at Spanish tourists hugging standing stones and tested a lot of cake.  We even got a fantastic tour guide in the form of Jo, who took us to all the charity shops and showed me around her studio.  There were so many cool things in there, not least a life-sized standee of Henry Cavill as Superman.  I was ready to move in.

We found the elusive puffins up at Birsay Bay.  I think we only spotted them because Tam leaned way over a cliff to have a look and there they were.  Cue us lying on the ground, inching our way over the edge, trying to aim my huge lens at them and hoping they'd turn around.  They weren't really up for it, but the black and white birds seemed miffed that we weren't paying attention to them and made a big show and dance for the camera.  Tam's mum, aunt and uncle were further along the path and didn't believe we'd seen them, so that's how well they were hiding!

cliff standing orkney

on a cliff standing stones

fishing cage net orkney

kirkwall harbour hotel orkney

old soda fountain sign Orkney

binoculars orkney

old shop wood planks sign orkney

We stayed about twenty minutes from Kirkwall (the main town) in the gorgeous Widefirth cottage.  Tam's mum always picks our accommodation and I think this might be the best place she's found so far.  The only downfall was that it was too cold to make use of the huge garden, but we had amazing views of the sunset late at night over the fields.  The great thing about Orkney was that nowhere seemed too far away.  We were all over the main island and down on the southern ones that it was possible to drive to, and the day before we left, the others took a day trip to Hoy.  (I wasn't up for boats two days in a row.  It turned out it was full of school children anyway so I had a lucky escape!  I just drove into Kirkwall and bought a giant floor cushion in a charity shop.)

Would I go back to Orkney?  Absolutely.  I might do it later or earlier in the year since the place was overrun with tour buses - the weather would never be great anyway and it's easier to get used to - but there's still a few unexplored places we need to get to...


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