At the end of Lockdown 2020 we decided now would be the time to make our long planned trip towards Shetland & Orkney. So we started in mid August by heading up via the Black Isle and then the North-West coast of Scotland via Ullapool towards Gyle for the ferry.
Our first stop was in Rosemarkie – a lovely campsite at the sea. The weather was brilliant and the slight breeze got it just below the point where it gets too warm
At the backwaters of the campsite we found a small hiking path taking us a bit more inland into a different world
Next stop – after a quite disappointing night at one campsite which was frequented by lots of people who somehow didn’t really understand the reason of camping and social distancing – we headed on to Ullapool. Peace at last!
Except the seagulls – vicious beasts…
Yet the beach and everything else was lovely
As our route took us from the West Coast back via the inlands to the East Coast and then up we had a wee break in the middle – with scorching temperatures of 26° and very high humidity. A feast for the midges as a thunderstorm was approaching.
These old bridges are for sure a lovely sight and still in use
This image is just from the other side of the bridge
After a nice and quick trip (it only takes 1 hour for the fastest crossing from „mainland“ Scotland to Orkney) we headed to our campsite (pre-booked due to Covid) in Stromness. The site there is nice, but a bit loud as the ferry „parks“ over night in the harbour with engines running – which during a peaceful night (ok, you have these low winds very, very seldom I have to admit) is rather disturbing…
Anyhow we made a small trip around and the biggest highlight are the horseshoes of the lantern
Sitting on the pier at the campsite at night
The next day we visited the two most prominent stone circles on Orkney – around 5000 years old and very interesting. Not so much the stones as such, but the thought of the ancient civilization behind and their ideas, values and visions.
First came „The Standing Stones of Stenness“
And afterwards we were heading to „The Ness of Brodgar“ which was still officially closed, but the wardens invited us in. So perhaps for the single time in the last 20 years we were alone at the monument – an ancient neolithic settlement.
As it was already getting quite late, we made a short excursion to the coast – checking out if wild camping might be an option – and discovered another beauty of the island. Geological formations:
As we still had some sun and the light was getting better by the minute we decided to dash (as it was on the way back anyhow) towards the „Ring of Brodgar“ – the perhaps most famous stone circle
This concluded our part in Orkney and the next day we were heading towards Shetland with the 23:45 ferry from Kirkwall.