Orkney West Mainland

Night 31/2018 staying in my Caravan. This is the 4th night at Pickaquoy Caravan Site in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Got up around 0600 to really quite nice weather. Light winds and blue skies, but as can be read, it started blowing a hoolie later in the morning. Took the dogs round the 'Peerie Sea' and after some breakfast, headed west to Finstown. I'd read about the Binscarth Wood. Woods are a rare thing in Orkney, but this was a great lush small wood. Ideal for a blast with the dogs.

Continued west along the coast to the Sands of Evie. Nice beach for a dog walk.

The erosion protection has been formed by 'recycling' anti-submarine nets, probably from Scapa Flow. In seriously good nick for metal almost 80yrs old. Looking closer, it is galvanised.

Sneaked a picture when I returned to the car. 2 motorhomes parked up. I don't like this practice in public areas, and these folk are here for a long time, external water tanks etc. None of your arrive and leave in the dark here. The more selfish one on the right had even parked perpendicular, taking up 3 car park spaces, and the one one the left parked about 2 inches from the building. They effectively exclude anyone else, and I saw 2 cars arrive and leave. Not me. I parked right up to the door of the £60k one!

After a quick stop for a look at Birsay (it was far too stormy to walk), headed south around the coast to visit the Memorial to Kitchener. He was in HMS Hampshire and drowned with all but 12 of the crew when they hit a mine about a mile offshore of here at Marwick Head.

At the car park, on display is a gun salvaged from the sunken boat.

It's impressive as you get nearer.

It is located on the edge of some dramatic and very high cliffs.

It was blowing an absolute storm at this point, and I really had to take care. The mutts ears were flapping violently!

It is also a RSPB reserve. The cliffs were alive with birds.

An addition to the monument in 2016 was this wall engraved with the names of all the men lost.

And a pointer to where the sinking occurred.

Returned to the car and headed to Stromness. Followed the signs to 'Town Centre' which led down the extremely narrow main street. Hard to believe this is a 2 way road! And I met cars coming the other way!!

Absolutely lovely place. First time I've been on a flag stone road too.

There was a lorry up round this corner.

Very picturesque.

Got really pretty wild in the afternoon, gusting strongly, so we battened down the hatches and waited until the late afternoon to go for another walk. This time the Sand of Wideford, Inganess Bay.

Nice beach, and yet another wreck!

Reading online, it's the wreck of the Juniata. Originally sunk as a Blockship on a Churchill Barrier, it was later salvaged for scrap but was in such a bad state, it couldn't be towed. It was therefore simply beached and left here (!)

An old mine in the carpark, and yes, another motorhome. This one probably has a fireplace!


  1. Keep enjoying the island(s), Iain, and do tell others what they are missing. Stromness is a "cute wee place" as Yanks would say. I admit to having forgotten how visible and numerous are the wrecks. Given what you write about the beached tug, it reads as though scrap boats are to the Northern Isles what scrap cars are to the Western Isles - abandon and, only if possible, hide. That reads like a lasting impression. Those "wild vanners" are an issue across Scotland and are earning a (probably) unmerited reputation for all such people to be careless and carefree.


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