Historic Rousay

Orkney | Rousay | Chambered cairns & broch | ★★★★

[Midhowe Chambered Cairn]

Visit Orkney and you're likely to hear a phrase something like, "scratch the surface of Orkney and it bleeds history". Nowhere more so than little Rousay: the road that circumnavigates the island is only 14 miles long, but the number of archaeological sites discovered so far numbers in the hundreds. Even better, all of them are free. The island's nickname, Egypt of the North, is apt. The most famous sites are clustered on the southwest side of the island with beautiful views towards Eynhallow and its ruined church, and beyond towards the Broch of Gurness on Mainland. The Taversoe Hotel is probably the best place for a meal, with other options near the ferry terminal. Finally, don't be thinking that everything interesting on Rousay is manmade. Much of the moorland interior is an SSSI for its bird and plant life, and there are plenty of interesting coastal features as well, Sacquoy Head included.

[Midhowe Broch]

Location & info

📌 Blackhammer Chambered Cairn ★★
💬 7-stalled burial cairn close to road, today capped by a rather ugly concrete roof.
By B9064 1.5 mi west of the ferry terminal, Rousay, G.R.: HY 414276 ///divisions.paraded.stint
🚌 Bus on demand, connecting with ferry terminal | 🚗 Layby
Always open | Free

📌 Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn ★★★
💬 Large, 5,000-year-old stalled tomb with good views over Eynhallow Sound.
Off B9064 2 mi west of the ferry terminal, Rousay, G.R.: HY 405279 ///fresh.spectacle.pounce
🚌 Bus on demand, connecting with ferry terminal | 🚗 Car park
Always open | Free

💬 Knowe of Yarso is a 10-min walk (each way) uphill from the car park on a narrow moorland path, steep in places.

📌 Midhowe Broch ★★★★
💬 Probably Orkney's best preserved broch, the interior crowded with iron age furniture and partitioned rooms.
Off B9064 5 mi west of the ferry terminal, Rousay, G.R.: HY 372306 ///debut.most.important
🚌 Bus on demand, connecting with ferry terminal | 🚗 Car park shared with Midhowe Chambered Cairn
Always open | Free

💬 Midhowe Broch is just beyond Midhowe Chambered Cairn, a 10-min walk (each way) steeply downhill from the car park on a grassy path.

📌 Midhowe Chambered Cairn ★★★★
💬 Vast chambered tomb dating back to Neolithic times, protected from the elements by a hangar-like structure which also allows viewing from above.
Off B9064 5 mi west of the ferry terminal, Rousay, G.R.: HY 373305 ///item.coverings.third
🚌 Bus on demand, connecting with ferry terminal | 🚗 Car park shared with Midhowe Broch
Always open | Free

💬 Midhowe Chambered Cairn is 10-min walk (each way) steeply downhill from the car park on a grassy path.

📌 Taversöe Tuick Chambered Cairn ★★★
💬 Unusual 2-storey, triple-chambered tomb, originally all with separate entrances.
Off B9064 0.5 mi west of the ferry terminal, Rousay, G.R.: HY 426277 ///skipped.burn.heaven
🚢 Rousay ferry terminal (0.5 mi) | 🚌 Bus on demand, connecting with ferry terminal | 🚗 Layby
Always open | Free

💬 Taversöe Tuick Chambered Cairn is a 5-min walk (each way) uphill from the layby on a fairly wide path.



[Access hatch to Taversöe Tuick's third chamber]

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