Today was Day 1 of our Orkney tour.

We left Kirkwall about 9.30 and then travelled to our first stop at Dounby Click Mill. This dates from the early 19th century (1823) and is the only surviving example of a horizontal watermill on Orkney. This represents a tradition of horizontal watermills dating back to the Viking era and possibly earlier. This particular mill was in use until 1920 and has now been restored.

Dounby Click Mill

Dounby Click Mill, Orkney

 

Inside Dounby Click Mill, Orkney

Inside Dounby Click Mill, Orkney, Scotland

The mill was in an area where we saw some interesting flora including Marsh Marigold and Primroses.

Primroses, Orkney

Primroses, Orkney, Scotland

Marsh Marigold, Orkney

Marsh Marigold, Orkney, Scotland

Next we drove to another remote site where we viewed some very rare flowers called Primula Scotica which are found only on Orkney and Caithness.

Primula Scotica, Orkney

Primula Scotica, Orkney, Scotland

Next stop was the highlight of the day for me as manifested in the World Heritage Site, Skara Brae. This is a Neolithic site dating back to 2500-3100 BC. This former domestic residential site was exposed by a heavy storm in 1850 but it is evident the adjacent coastline continues to erode which will continue to put pressure on this unique site.

Skara Brae, Orkney

Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland

Skara Brae, Orkney

Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland

Skara Brae, Orkney

Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland

Skara Brae, Orkney

Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland

After lunch we drove to Brough of Birsay which is a 8-12th century AD major Viking era settlement with church and domestic buildings.

Brough of Birsay, Orkney

Brough of Birsay, Orkney, Scotland

Weather in the latter part of the day proved excellent with warm sunshine and blue skies.

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