Day 6 - The Ring of Brodgar
Thursday is the day to visit the Standing Stones of Stenness, just 15 minutes car journey from Annie's Place in Birsay. Next to the Ring of Brodgar archaeologists in the past three years have uncovered an extensive new mystery site of the ages - what may be an amphitheatre of neolithic man - The Ness of Brodgar. In July and August these excavations continue, with open days, when visitors can be escorted round by helpful academics, as they work away. National Geographic Magazine featured this world heritage exploration in September 2014.
But first, since it is Thursday, take a morning walk with the RSPB Ranger around The Ring of Brodgar and you will have expert insight into the geology and ornithology of the area as well as a nature trail to identify the unique Orkney Vole, wild meadow flowers, reed buntings by the water and larks in the clear air.
Maes Howe will be next on your list, but you need to book in advance there in the busy season,
Close by, in the village of Stenness is Gerri's Ice Cream Parlour, a small cafe which will challenge you to eat the largest cone in the UK - seven scoops in one sitting - or tempt you to exotic neolithic sundaes at mediaeval prices.
Rush on to Kirkwall as you really dont want to miss the 11th century Kirkwall Cathedral, the Orkney Museum and the shops before you go back home. Our favourite restaurant in Kirkwall is Italian - Lucano's in Victoria Street, but there are many more good eating places, including The Reel in Broad Street where you can hear the Orkney fiddlers any day of the week.