A WALK THROUGH TWO NATURE RESERVES
This excursion leads us to an interesting exploration of the habitats found on the islands, which are home to some spectacular wild life.
What we will see
- Lowrie's Water
- Burgar Hill
- Birsay Moors Nature Reserve
- Marwick Head Nature Reserve
- Large variety of birds and birds of prey.
What we will do
- Leaving the port behind us, we venture by coach into the countryside of the Orkney Islands as far as Lowrie's Water, a small loch on top of Burgar Hill.
- This little stretch of water lies within Birsay Moors, the largest nature reserve belonging to the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in the Orkney Islands. There are numerous species of birds to be seen, including the red-throated diver, wild geese, wild ducks and the scaup.
- We observe the skies, looking out for birds of prey, as they hover over this wild nature reserve, considered one of the best places in Great Britain to see hen harriers.
- From here, we are also able to enjoy a splendid view of the Mainland and other tiny islands belonging to the Orkney archipelago.
- Our visit over, and we cross the peat hills to admire this untamed, windswept landscape, and search for the owls which are often seen in this area.
- We continue towards the west coast, to the Marwick Head nature reserve. First, we walk as far as an observation point on a small hill and then on to an absolute city of sea birds. From here we can admire the Atlantic Ocean and hear the deafening noise of the guillemots, seagulls, petrels, razorbills, and colonies of puffins on the 60 metre-high cliff top.
- We board our coach again to return to our ship and along the way we can admire the Ring of Brodgar, the third largest monolithic stone circle in the British Isles. Probably an important burial place and religious site, archaeological studies suggest that it was built before the more famous circle of Stonehenge. Only 27 stones remain today of what is thought to have been a perfect circle of more than 60 stones that are over 4,500 years old.
What you need to know
- To reach the cliff top there will be a 1 km walk over grassy terrain.
- Due to the distance, the path and safety conditions, the excursion is not recommended for families with young children.