Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 20, 2017

Cycling in the Orkney Isles – part 4

We were up and packed early as we knew it was 7 miles back down to the ferry port and the ferry would be in at 9.00am. As it was , it was mostly downhill so we arrived there just after 8.00am and it was a beautiful morning. The sea was calm and clear, so lovely to see.

It was interesting watching the Kirkwall ferry unloading and then we saw our much smaller one approaching. Some of the people we met on the Papay ferry , arrived to get the ferry back to Kirkwall.


Our plan was to get back to KIrkwall, restock food and then cycle up to Tingwall to catch yet another ferry across to Rousay and we were able to do so. It was an interesting ride along through Finstown and then on a minor road to Tingwall. There were plenty of climbs but interesting things to see too. I believe this is a dovecot.


We spoke to a couple waiting for the Tingwall ferry  and notice cars lined up facing away from the landing and couldn’t work out why. The Reason? it was a landing craft and the cars were reversed on.  There are only about 200 people live on Rousay and this couple had moved there from the south of England because they love the lifestyle and how they know everyone in the community. They told us how everyone pulls together. So we got them to take a photo of us together.



When at the other side , we rode up to the campsite only to find that we couldn’t use it. It is also a hostel and was booked for archaeologists working on the island. That left us with a bit of a dilemma but the campsite lady told us where to go to camp, near the pier. This was in a field of long grass but was ideal and we could use the showers in the Heritage centre  after paying a £5 deposit at the Pier Inn. We got that back when we returned the key and the toilets were open too all night. It was only about 100 yrs walk so great.


There is even room to get the bikes into the tent. Mine is completely folded but DH’s really only has the saddle and handlebars dropped.

I was up early to see the sun coming up but went back to bed.

Then we decided to leave all the luggage in the Heritage centre and set off to ride around the island. We chose clockwise and glad we did as later we met a tour guide who told us we had made the right decision as that way you get a bit of respite on the climb.

We actually hadn’t gone too far when we came across our first chambered burial cairn and stopped to explore. This is called Taversoe Tuick. We just left the bicycles near the gate  feeling completely confident in their safety.


Rousay, is also being called the Egypt of the north , as there are over 160 of these burial cairns. It was great to be able to explore and go down into it on a ladder left there for just that purpose.

After that , we continued on and I had been hoping to go and see some of the archaeologists at work but alas, it was down a steep bank and I didn’t want to damage my knee. I know one knee  can be troublesome on steep downhills but I was able to get a few photos  with the zoom lens. They are trying to preserve artefacts that are being eroded by the sea at Bay of Swandro and further south.

Midhowe Brock is much later , Iron Age, and was a fortified dwelling.

Carrying on we continued a gentle climb and then came down to the Loch of Wabister and then began another steep climb (for me) up to a place called Blossom.

This is where we met a tour guide with a group he was taking out to see a modern sculpture. We had a word with them and then we had a lovely downhill run until we came to the one and only shop on the island.


We stopped in a lovely garden here and had lunch and an ice cream lolly, before setting off for the ferry pier. The chap here had sold up and moved from Lincolnshire. He was telling us that the weather is mild  because of the Gulf Stream and as you can see even small palm trees grow.


We arrived just in time to load up ad get on the ferry. The ferryman was great as he told us not to rush as we had plenty of time. He was also the chap who keeps the showers and toilets clean and running too. What a great guy.

Then it was off on another ferry ride and back to Tingwall. The wind was freshening and we headed north on Mainland Orkney up to the village of Evie for the night.





  1. Great photos Brenda. It’s so nice to see a photo of you both with your tourers packed to the brim. It’s pretty good that you’re able to park the folders inside the tent.

    • and packed to the brim they were. When I go solo I take much less.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: