Orphir Bay

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A short coastal walk on mainland Orkney, starting at a heritage centre with an exhibition about the Orkneyinga Saga, then visiting Earl's Bu and a ruined Viking church, concluding with a delightful stretch along the rocky coast.

At the start of the walk you can visit the small Orkneyinga Saga Centre, with an exhibition and twenty-minute video about the saga. The saga was written around 1200, possibly by an Icelander. It tells the history of the Viking Earls of Orkney from around 900AD to 1200AD.

Immediately behind the centre is The Earl's Bu, the 12th Century foundations of the home of the Norse Earls of Orkney written about in the saga. Inside the cemetery is the remaining section of the circular church built by Haakon and modelled on the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Passing through the cemetery is the start of a mile-long walk along the coast, with plenty of opportunity to watch the seabirds and possibly see seals.

The walk returns via a small collection of houses called The Breck, then there is a tiny woodland walk by a stream and a short road-walk back to the heritage centre.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Orkney - Coast


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Museum, Sea, Toilets, Woodland