Orkney view

This is my last day in Orkney. I’m not enamoured of the place, but neither do I dislike it. I am totally ambivalent about it. Some people rave it to the eyeballs so here’s my take.

The island is farmland. That’s probably their main industry after tourism, although they still have a fish industry and I have no idea how big that is. However, farmland is farmland. There isn’t much to see except fields full of cattle sheep or grass. Large parts of it stink of slurry too which didn’t make me smile. 🙁

There is  craft trail, where you drive around the main island and pop into potters, weavers, painters and jewelry makers etc and see craft type industries. I don’t think these are traditional island crafts, just tourist ones, but I’m sure some people will find that a very interesting thing to do. It’s not my bag though thanks. There is also an island museum but it was shut when I went.

If you’re into history, it’s interesting to see the Churchill barriers. These were simply concrete causeways built between islands to block enemy sea transport through Scapa Flow. As you can see below they are simply concrete blocks with a road built on top.

Churchill barrier
Churchill barrier

Some of the concrete was used to make the Italian chapel which is probably the most interesting thing on Orkney and I am glad to have found it.

I found virtually no beaches, which disappointed me. Perhaps I didn’t know where to look, but I only found either tiny sand beaches, or rocky ones. I love my beaches and Orkney being an island I assumed it would be full of great, long sandy ones.

There are other things to see and do, but because of my negativity I didn’t really have the motivation to find them. I think there’s some ancient stones to view and an eagle centre, although as I was out of season I’m not sure how much will be open. I would not be averse to visiting again, in season, to find out what else is there, and to link it with a trip to the Shetlands. But I did check the ferry to the Shetlands and at £232 it was wayyyyy out of my pay packet.

So, booked on the ferry at 4:50 pm, heading for Glenmore forest park, one of my favourite places in Scotland.


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