From the doorstep at Annie's Place on Birsay Bay, Orkney you can turn in either direction and find specatacular coastal scenery, teaming with birdlife and wild flowers during spring and summer months. The photos below say it all!
On this occasion we turned left from our self catering accommodation and joined the coastal footpath just across the bridge over Boardhouse Burn in Palace Village, Birsay. On our left was a glorious carpet of daisies and buttercups stretching across the field up to the Birsay Bay Tearoom .
You can then go down onto the beach and walk across the sand and rocky shoreline, pausing in small sandy bays to search for shells (grotty buckies ...cowrie shells..are a lucky find) before either joining the grassy coastal path along the shoreline, or clambering a bit further along the shore over rocky ledges to dip your feet in the pools where local children regularly swam during the holidays.
Re-joining the coastal path, you can start to climb the gentle slope leading to the dramatic cliffs of Marwick Head and the Kitchener Memorial which nowadays commemorates all who died when HMS Hampshire hit a mine and sank in early June 1916.
As you walk this path you are surrounded on both sides by wild flowers, especially Pink Thrift, Spring Quill and Bird's-foot-trefoil (what a name!) .
You can take a picnic and spend the whole day walking and sea gazing....the views from shoreline to the top of the cliffs and back (overlooking the Broch of Birsay) are spectacular, especially when sky and sea are as blue and turquoise as you would hope to find on a the Mediterranean coast line!