Shetland Orkney Mainland

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Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby matt2matt2002 » Sun May 04, 2014 8:09 pm

In July I will be heading South from the most Northerly tip of Scotland to the most Southerly.
The ferry from Lerwick leaves at around 7pm and pulls into Kirkwall around 11 pm
I plan to take an early morning ferry from Stromness to Thurso but am at a loss as to what to do or where to go between ferries.
Checking into a hostel or B&B at past 11pm appears a little silly since I would want to be up and away early morning.

Anyone done a similar stop over?
I guess I could have a day on the island but would prefer to keep moving.

Matt
( I know Orkney is a wonderful place - and I will return - but on this occasion I will be passing through)
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby LollyKat » Sun May 04, 2014 8:33 pm

Doss down in Maes Howe? :lol:

Seriously, if you can spare an extra day there is lots to see on Orkney.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby bogmyrtle » Sun May 04, 2014 9:06 pm

I went to a concert in Kirkwall one night and another in Ullapool the next day. I stayed in the hostel at Kirkwall and left early in the morning for the Stromness ferry. I guess if you speak to the hostel or e-mail them you could arrange a late arrival and an early departure. Alternatively you could get the ferry the morning after your arrival from St Margarets Hope to Gills Bay that would remove the need for a very early start.
On the other hand I wouldn't rule out spending a day exploring if you haven't been to Orkney before. There is plenty to see and it would be very easy to fill a day. You used to be able to get B & B on the Stromness ferry if you were booked on the early morning sailing and I think they still do this. It is quite nice to get out of bed and have a shower instead of rushing to catch the ferry.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby andrew_s » Mon May 05, 2014 1:34 am

LollyKat wrote:Doss down in Maes Howe? :lol:

Maes Howe probably gets locked, but there are other places - I used one for having lunch in once, to keep out of the wind, which would have been OK to kip in, given a mat. The pick it off the map method of memory jogging led me to guess Rennibister, but google suggests I'm probably wrong. Gurness, perhaps?

On the other hand, there's a camp site in Kirkwall, by the Leisure Centre. Pitch up and pay in the morning, if you have a tent.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby molly » Mon May 05, 2014 8:57 am

I live in Shetland and know that when travelling to the mainland via Kirkwall and taking the first ferry out of Stromness to Thurso you can get B&B on the ferry alongside in Stromness. My husband and daughter last used it in March of this year but whether it's a facility just for Islanders I'm not sure, worth enquiring.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby Si » Mon May 05, 2014 1:15 pm

Maes Howe does get locked (and they will charge you an entry fee too).

However, the Widdiecombe (sp) Hill tomb is open, and the view from there first thing in the morning is worth the trip all by itself.

Not that I would condone kipping down in scheduled monuments, but you certainly won't be the first.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby bogmyrtle » Mon May 05, 2014 6:54 pm

You wouln't be able to do the Stromness ferry B & B thing on the night you arrive if you don't get into Kirkwall until 11.00pm. You have to be boarded on the Stromness ferry by 11.00pm.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby matt2matt2002 » Mon May 05, 2014 7:24 pm

Thanks folks.
If the weather is reasonable I will bike across the island and hope to doss down at the Stromness ferry terminal.
Anyone know what its like there?
Is the waiting room likely to be open?
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby bogmyrtle » Mon May 05, 2014 7:30 pm

For some reason the ferry I got was an hour earlier than usual. I got there at about 4.30am but the terminal wasn't open. It rained the whole way.
You could try one of the hostels in Stromness. there are two and both fairly close to the ferry. Just arrange for a late arrival if you plan to cycle straight there from Kirkwall. It's worth taking the back road out of Kirwall to Finstown to miss the Kirkwall traffic when the pubs shut.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby matt2matt2002 » Mon May 05, 2014 9:10 pm

Thanks Bogmutle.
I had been wondering which road to take out of town.
Maybe there will be a bus shelter I can hide in.
Matt
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby bogmyrtle » Tue May 06, 2014 10:12 pm

The answer to your problem could be here https://soundcloud.com/radio-orkney/reporters-notebook
Not serious but very funny.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby matt2matt2002 » Wed May 07, 2014 12:51 pm

Si wrote:Maes Howe does get locked (and they will charge you an entry fee too).

However, the Widdiecombe (sp) Hill tomb is open, and the view from there first thing in the morning is worth the trip all by itself.

Not that I would condone kipping down in scheduled monuments, but you certainly won't be the first.


Not that I would want to kip down there, Widdiecombe Hill tomb,but where is it exactly? A Google search does not bring it up.
(Just in case )
Thanks
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby LollyKat » Wed May 07, 2014 1:12 pm

I think it must be the Wideford Hill cairn, just a few miles west of Kirkwall.

Image
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby matt2matt2002 » Wed May 07, 2014 7:13 pm

LollyKat wrote:I think it must be the Wideford Hill cairn, just a few miles west of Kirkwall.

Image


Many thanks. Is it an actual tomb you can go into or just a cairn? If its raining I may need some shelter.
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Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

Postby Si » Wed May 07, 2014 8:03 pm

Yeah, that's the one. Been a while since I was there....little grey cells not what they were.

You can go into it, it's a Maes Howe type chambered tomb. Getting in via the original entrance is a bit of a chore but visitors can open the trap door in the roof and go down the ladder. but if you don't like spiders in the dark you my choose to go elsewhere!

Cuween tomb stands on the facing hill and you can get in via the proper entrance....probably a bit cosier than Wideford but the views aren't quite as good.
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