Woollie Week in Orkney - Part 1
Off the north coast of Scotland, the Orkney Islands sit at the junction of the North Sea and the North Atlantic and are, as a result a wild and wonderous place. For centuries they have been inhabited and man has left his mark on the landscape......
10 of us headed north on Saturday to catch a ferry from Gills Bay on the north coast for the one hour crossing across the Pentland Firth to St Margaret's Hope...3 car loads of friends (National Trust buddies) aged from 26 to 62, heading for a farmhouse called Craebeck on the Mainland.
Our first full day we headed back in time 5000 years, visiting Skara Brae.....
In 1850 a storm lashed the Orkney mainland which stripped the grass from a large sand dune called Skara Brae in the Bay of Skaill. In the morning the remains of ancient Neolithic dwellings were to be found. 5000 years old.......inhabited before the Egyptian pyramids were built and before Stonehenge was built.....the structures of the village are remarkably preserved. You can see their beds and storage areas and the hearths....it was amazing to walk back so far in history.
After lunch we continued to time travel......to visit the Ring of Brodgar. This stone circle forms another part of Orkney's Neolithic Heritage, celebrated in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney's UNESCO World Heritage site (along with Skara Brae, the Stones of Steness and Maes Howe). The circle is thought to have been erected between 2500 and 2000 BC and is thought to have consisted of 60 stones, although only 27 remain today. At 104 metres wide it is an imposing sight.
It was a great way to spend our first day, steeped in history, in this most magical of places.