To The Broch – And Beyond……..

By Bernie Bell

Pics by B&M Bell

Aikerness Beach (aka Evie Sands) is a popular place at all times of the year, and in all weathers.  If the tide is out and the river is low, it’s possible to walk along the beach, cross the river, and follow the road to the Broch of Gurness.

Some folk just drive round to visit the Broch itself.  A path less trodden can be found by going through the Broch, and through a gate, to walk along the coast. Out of season the site is open to the public – during the visitor season (whenever that will happen again!) – you’d need to check with the person in the kiosk, for if it’s OK to just cut through the Broch to get to the walk. It would make it easier if you joined Historic Environment Scotland, then you can go where you like, when you like – within reason!

Sunday the 31st January, started clear and sunny, then turned to snow showers, and we thought that the nearby through-the-Broch-walk, would be just right.

New signage in the Broch gives some idea of how it was built…

…and also what it probably looked like when it was in use….

This sign includes a clear diagram of the structure of the cistern/‘well’  which can be found inside the broch….

Pausing to look at the snow on Rousay , across the sea….

…we walked through the broch, through the metal gate…

……and along the path.

Mike removed a big plastic container from the rocks – one less bit of plastic in the sea –

…. watched, with interest, by two seals. They always show an interest – sometimes following us along as we walk on coastal paths.

There were a lot of seals about, generally – some of them lazily letting the fast flowing tide carry them along – just enjoying the ride.

Our walk ended with an old pallet across a gap in the wall, and a view beyond to a pleasing curve in the coastline….

We’d noticed a lot of stoat traps along the path…..

….and thought that it must be a concerted effort to stop the little varmints from getting to Rousay.

Walking back the way we came, looking over to snowy Rousay again….

…and hearing the Roar of the Roost

Going back through the gate, and back through the broch, I noticed Costa Hill  through a ‘window’ in one of the structures around the broch.  Was it originally an internal, or external window? Or something else?

We both could smell peat-smoke, but couldn’t work out where it could be coming from – maybe a scent memory from long ago…..

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