Orkney: Skara Brae

I didn’t get a picture of the seal who was bobbing up and down in the waves, but it was a sunny blustery day and I found Skara Brae very inspiring as well as fascinating. We had a lovely day there, including lunch in the café (mmmm, salmon). I was less interested in the manor house, but even there I found things to interest me (but that will have to wait as I chose so many of the site today). Thanks to Mary and Amy for a wonderful trip.

2013-10-24 11.47.44
A reconstruction of House 7 to give a sense of what the homes would look like.
2013-10-24 11.48.23
You may not think of stone as a warm hearth but the houses were large and cozy, and on a wind-whistling day like we had, warm.
2013-10-24 11.49.54
Spacious, too!
2013-10-24 11.54.18
Museums have embraced the idea of narrative as an organising principle. The walk shows how far apart in time many “old” events are — and how much beyond them Skara Brae is.
2013-10-24 11.58.11
Yep, older than Stonehenge.
2013-10-24 11.59.36
The sea has claimed some of the settlement (and rising ocean levels threaten more), but you get a sense of the organisation of it here.
2013-10-24 12.00.42
The turf protects the stones from the elements; the preservation efforts fight a slow losing battle.
2013-10-24 12.01.17
There’s such a beauty in the graceful curves.
2013-10-24 12.01.53
No wonder my imagination tries to bring it all back to life.
2013-10-24 12.03.04
Imagine this as your front garden with seals and seabirds.
2013-10-24 12.04.17
All the houses follow the same model but each one shows a variation on the theme.
2013-10-24 12.06.19
Four rainbows that day: a natural phenomenon that nonetheless delights.
2013-10-24 12.10.40
The stone shelves were used for storing food but also for displaying objects that meant something to the folks who lived there.
2013-10-24 12.12.49
In the distance Skaill House, where the modern people lived.
2013-10-24 12.20.17
How you know you’re not in America; people are trusted to be sensible.
2013-10-24 12.32.21
We were lucky with the weather; although cold and blustery it stayed dry — not bad for late October in the north.


  1. Widdershins says:

    … and actually pay attention to the signs!

  2. Andy says:

    Been there a couple of times. Managed to avoid the rain too 🙂

    1. katelaity says:

      Not easy to do!

Comments are closed.