Walk: Cowed by coos at Quoyness Cairn

[Quoyness Chambered Cairn]

Quoyness Cairn showcases Orkney's Neolithic history at its finest. This 5,000-year old tomb is one of Europe's best: a hefty construction with a nine-metre long entrance passageway you need to negotiate to get inside. The reward for muddy knees is a hugely impressive and high interior ceiling above the central chamber, with six separate cells leading off it. The short walk from the nearest road takes in the beautiful bay at Quoy Ayre, and would be straightforward if it weren't for the nervous herd of cows densely occupying the confined field through which the access path passes when we visited. Probably best to stick to the partly-obscured, seaward side and exercise caution.

[Quoy Ayre]

Name: Walk: Cowed by coos at Quoyness Cairn ★★★
Length: 2 km / 1 mile
Ascent: Negligible
Points of interest: Quoy Ayre; Quoyness Chambered Cairn
Start / finish: Car park on track at Quoy Ayre, 3 miles south-west of Lady Village, G.R.: HY 677390 / mural shadows spades

Route: Car park & Quoy Ayre - Quoyness Cairn - return by outward route
Terrain: Rough, grassy track through field.
Wildlife today: Troublesome cows in the field.
Weather today: Plenty of sunshine, some cloud; temperature in low teens with light breeze.
Anything else? Access track to the car park involves a kilometre of rough track, initially on gravel and then on sand. Take a torch to explore the cairn, although some may be available on site.

Name: Quoyness Chambered Cairn ★★★
Description: One of Orkney's finest chambered tombs, four metres in height with a long entrance passage.
Location: G.R.: HY 677378 / beginning whispers hazel
Open: Always
Cost: Free

[North side of the cairn]


Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

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