The second full day I spent in Orkney was just as exciting as the first. Nick and I set out for another full day of travel around Mainland Orkney. Filled with the perfect combination of historical settlements and enjoying the outdoors!
Stop number one for the day was the Ring of Brodgar, yet another Neolithic site, like Skara Brae and The Tomb of the Eagles where I had been the day before. Like Stonehenge, which is located outside of London, The Ring of Brodgar is a combination of large stones that are placed upright is a particular circular formation. Archaeologists are not sure what the purpose of these stones was used for, but there are theories that they may have once been used as a place of ritual, theatre, or another sort of spectacle. Unfortunately, it was closed off to go right up to the stones in August, to help protect them, so we just had to admire them from a bit of distance! But they were still really incredible to see.
Just down the road from the Ring of Brodgar was stop number two, the Standing Stones of Stenness. Another site of Neolithic Stones, except this site, is a bit smaller, and only had between 10 and 12 standing stones. We were able to go up close and touch them this time!
Stop number three was a Birsay for lunch. We went to this adorable little tea room on the ocean before we headed over to the Brough of Birsay.
The Brough of Birsay a tidal island which is only accessible at low tide, so we arrived at the perfect time as low tide was at 15.00! The walk up to the Brough of Birsay we had to walk over the natural beach causeway to get to the island.
At the base of the island, there is a settlement. The settlement on the island was a Pictish fortress which dates back to the 6th century. After looking at the settlement we hiked up the hill to the cliffs! The water around the cliffs was so beautiful and clear.
The next stop on our adventure was the Broch of Gurness. The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age Broch Village also on Mainland Orkney. A broch is a prehistoric circular tower that is only found in northern Scotland. This settlement began somewhere between 500 and 200 BC. We were able to walk into the broch and climb around the stones that remained from the settlement.
It was so incredible to go around to the various historical sites that cover Orkney. It is just so amazing that so many of these sites have been discovered, and there are plenty more all over Orkney that have not been excavated yet!!! If you ever have the chance to go to Orkney, I definitely recommend hitting all the historical sites. This was only day two of my trip, so there is, even more, to come about my trip to Orkney!