Pics by B&M Bell
I’ve written of a loverly day out at Birsay, then of Birsay Bay, t’other way. And now, I’ll write of a walk which takes you along the sandy beach, at Birsay. If you have a look at my crap-map, you’ll see a bend in the tarmac road, with a track labelled ‘Field Track’, going off to the right, heading towards the river………
If you’re in a car, please park it considerately, off the road and not blocking field gates. Then, you set off down the field track, with this view ahead of you….
Follow the track, down to the beach, where, to your left, you will see the cliffs on the way to Marwick Head…
…as described in this walk…..
Strolling along the beach, towards the river, we came across a broon roond, which I would have very much liked to take home, but, bad backs say no, so, I just had my picture taken with it instead! It’s a beauty.
For the rest of the walk along the beach, the main interest was the wildlife, starting with a lesson in stress release yoga from the seals……..
Then, birds and more birds…………….Swans, Oystercatchers, and a Shag, catching the breeze in his wings…
As you walk along, just up from the beach, you can spot a cluster of buildings, which are the remains of the Birsay Artillery Volunteers training range ( circa 1880’s). There was also a WW2 lookout in the centre, and the buildings are now used for working with and sheltering livestock. Multiple use – waste nothing!
If you go up to take a closer look, you can, if you wish then walk along the top of the bank, until you reach a small wooden gate. Going through this, you can carry on until the river stops you in your tracks…
A good place to pause and look about you, across to Birsay Village, where you can pick out the little bell tower of the church, and peeking between newer houses, a bit of the Earl’s Palace
Turning, to return along the Bay – just a pleasing grouping of old nets, bits of wood and sea-side wildflowers, set off beautifully by a bank of Rosa Rugosa
As we’d mostly walked along on the beach on the way there, we walked back on the top of the bank, and were reminded that this is part of the Magnus Way https://www.stmagnusway.com/
Not a long walk, but a good one, on a fine day, with interest historical, natural historical, and, for that matter, geological – there are some interesting twists and turns in the rocks here, and, my old favourite – ripple rock – when the ripples on the surface of the sand of a river, or sea – set in stone.
And over in Birsay Village – more history than you can shake a stick at – whatever that means! https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/09/05/exploring-orkney-archives-for-birsays-medieval-past/
We attempted to go to the Birsay Bay Tearoom for lunch, but it was shut! Only open Thursday to Monday at the moment. So we left Birsay, for The Orkney Brewery in nearby Quoyloo https://www.orkneybrewery.co.uk/brewhouse , which, thank goodness, was open, as we were both very hungry after our walk!