Orkney & Shetland 2019 - Day 10
Orkney - Tomb of the Eagles
The day started cold and overcast with patches of showers. After a good breakfast we headed south, crossed the 4th Churchill Barrier onto South Ronaldsay and headed towards the port of Burwick on the south coast, now an abandoned ferry terminal. On the way we stopped at Windwick Bay to look for birds. Then we drove to the Tomb of the Eagles, just as the next squall of freezing rain arrived. After the Tomb, we explored the town of St Margaret Hope and Uppertown and Lowertown. As the weather had not improved (i.e. warmed up a bit) we returned to the hotel.
The road to Burwick
Windwick lies on the eastern side of South Ronaldsay. It is a small sandy bay with high rocky headlands. There is a walking path around the headl;ands that forms part of the Coastal Walk. A short walk to the north was enough in the biting wind...
Tomb of the Eagles
Near the southeast corner of South Ronaldsay are several archaeological sites. The two most visited are the Tomb of the Eagles and the Banks Chambered Tomb. Both are privately owned and operated with personalised talks and tours. The Banks Tomb site also has a good cafe, the Skerries Bistro. We had planned to visit both, and to have lunch at the bistro, but unfortunately for us (and them), the Banks site and Bistro are closed on Saturdays (which seems a bit odd...)
We arrived at the Eagles site just as more freezing rain arrived, so the small visitor's centre was welcome. Here we received an informative talk from local guides, including the daughter of the farmer who found the tomb. After the talk, and after the rain had passed, we headed out across the fields to the "burnt mound" site and then the Tomb. The burnt mound is a oile of burnt rocks and charcoal beside a small stone building. The purpose of the site is unknown, but clearly the stones were heated in a fire. Either the fire of dropping them into water caused them to break. We continued to the Tomb site, braving the near-freezing wind.
Last updated: 17/06/2019