Turn Left For Stembister

By Bernie Bell

Pics by B&M Bell

Last November we had a wonder-full walk to Rose Ness in Holm…  https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/12/04/rose-ness-on-a-sunny-sunday/  and thought that, another time, we’d turn left at the sign and walk along the cliffs towards Stembister.

The other time arrived, and on a beautifully sunny day in July, with just enough breeze from the sea to keep us comfortable, we walked along the top of the cliffs of the Bay of Semolie…

There isn’t a distinct path, but it’s easy enough to see the way and you can pick up on a sheep trail in places.

We were looking ahead and across to Copinsay – Spellcheck always offers Popinjay!….

….and back to Rose Ness…..

This stretch of coast has some interesting geos……

…full of seabirds, and even flowers…

A sea-stack and a natural rock arch…..

Sculptured rock shapes – sculpted by wind and waves….

A little way past Long Geo we sat on the grass to eat our sandwiches, with the sun shining and the sea sparkling, surrounded by fluttering Meadow Brown and Common Blue butterflies, and a closer view of the nearby cliffs….

…and thought – who needs to go away for a holiday?

It’s possible to walk right along to Stembister, but enough was enough for me for the day, and we wended our way back to the car.

Next time, we plan to park at Stembister and walk Rose Ness-wards. 

That’s often what happens – we go for a walk, and another walk presents itself – for another day…..

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6 replies »

  1. Was it no close at the end of Somalis bay? Last time I wanted to do it was a bit doggy as to close to the cliff?

    • Hello Sophie

      I have no head for heights and in places the actual path was a bit too near the edge for my liking, so I kept right by the fence – holding onto it – to feel more secure. Though, other folk were happily walking along it. At one point, I said to Mike “What it is to be young and fearless!”

      Just past where we stopped to sit, the path is very close to a gully, and a bit of a tight fit even for holding onto the fence – part of why I didn’t go any further.

      We’ll approach from the other end next time, and see what it’s like. There have been other walks where I can’t manage the path, but other folk do. I never go further than the Fishermen’s huts at Marwick, as it gets a bit steep and close for me there too, as I mention here…….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/20/orkney-walks-marwick-bay-left-or-right/

      It probably depends on how comfortable a person is with heights and cliff edges – I would say that care is needed anyway, but, with care, it is a lovely walk.

      • Thanks again….I was going to from the bay of Somalie but then that fence was also a bit too close….so gave up…..once I know where to start and park at stembister then will have a go…love a cliff walk but need to feel safe when going on m
        y own…happy to join you if you wish.thanks again

  2. This path was a designated “Core” path until the last review. That Core Path Status has now been removed. Expansion of cliff-top fields make it increasing difficult to use. Perhaps someone on the Orkney Access Group could clarify the situation and explain why the core path sign is still more or less in place?

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