Walk: Cowed by coos at Quoyness Cairn

Orkney | Sanday | Short walk | ★★★

[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 9 metre-long entrance passageway you need to negotiate to get inside. The reward for muddy knees is a hugely impressive and 4 metre-high interior ceiling above the central chamber, with 6 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]

📌 Walk: Cowed by coos at Quoyness Cairn ★★★
Start / finish at car park on track at Quoy Ayre, 2 mi southwest of Lady Village, Sanday, G.R.: HY 677390 ///mural.shadows.spades. Access track to the car park involves a kilometre of rough track, initially on gravel and then on sand.

▶ 2 km / 1 mi | ▲ Negligible | ⌚ Short | Easy
Features: Quoy Ayre; Quoyness Chambered Cairn
Terrain: Rough, grassy track through field. Take a torch for the cairn interior.

Route & map

Car park & Quoy Ayre - Quoyness Cairn - return by outward route


Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track

On our visit

Wildlife: Troublesome cows in the field.
Weather: Plenty of sunshine, some cloud; temperature in low teens with light breeze.

Also on this walk

📌 Quoyness Chambered Cairn ★★★★
Access from track to Quoy Ayre, 2 mi south of Lady Village, Sanday, G.R.: HY 677378 ///beginning.whispers.hazel
Always open | Free

Anything else? Quickest access by walk route above. Take a torch to explore the cairn, although one may be available on site.

[North side of the cairn]

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