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Places to visit near Ocean View Self Catering Accommodation in Birsay, Orkney
On a sunny day, Birsay is one of Orkney's most popular places. It's not difffcult to see why - This Northwest tip of the mainland is surrounded by dramatic seas, has some fantastic walks, lovely beaches and spectacular bird cliffs.
Birsay village is a short distance from Ocean View and has a little shop and a big ancient castle - the Earl's Palace, was built by the hated Earl Robert Stewart between 1569 and 1579.
Nearby is the Brough of Birsay, a lovely island which is joined to the mainland by a causeway when the tide is low. There's a monastry on the Brough, a lighthouse and at the other side of the island, the best cliffs in mainland Orkney to see puffins (between May and July)
Close to the Brough is a great coastal walk to Skipi Geo, where you'll find a mysterious bird-like scuplture made of whalebone.
You can drive the short few miles from Ocean View to Marwick Head, which comes alive with the sight, sound and smell of thousands of nesting seabirds in the summer months! Also at Marwick Head is a castle like structure, Kitchener's Memorial. Lord Kitchener was the face of the 'Your Country Needs You' poster, and it was at Marwick Head that his ship, HMS Hampshire was sunk during the First World War, with the loss of over 600 lives.
Within ten miles along the coastal road you'll reach the Neolithic village, Skara Brae, in superb condition and offering a view into life 5,000 years ago. Also within ten miles are the standing stones - the stone circle The Ring of Brodgar and the immense Standing Stone of Stenness. Maeshowe also is a must-visit - this is a neolithic tomb aligned to catch the midwinter sun. Later in it's life it was used as shelter by Vikings, who covered the interior with some of the finest runes - Viking graffiti - in Europe!
Ocean View is within 15 miles of the Scrabster - Stromness ferry and within 20 miles of the Aberdeen to Kirkwall Ferry and Kirkwall Airport. While you're in Kirkwall, make sure you visit the viking St Magnus Cathedral - there are also plenty of shops, restaurants and galleries to explore both here and in Stromness.
Within 30 miles of Ocean View is the Gill's Bay to St Margaret's Hope ferry, run by Pentland Ferries. This is a good part of Orkney to visit if you are interested in wartime history - the Churchill Barriers were built between islands to prevent submarine attack, and the beautiful Italian Chapel was built from nissan huts by Italian Prisoners of War.
You'll find plenty to do in Orkney during your stay at Ocean View - and that's before mentioning the fishing possibilities! The Orkney Mainland has many fishing lochs full of Brown Trout and Rainbow trout. Fishing in Orkney is free, but a small donation can be made to the Orkney Trout Fishing Association to keep the lochs well stocked. Harray and Stenness are known as the best of the big lochs to fish and the best bank fishing, or wading as it is known locally, is generally at the beginning of the season from March until the end of June. Local fishermen advise a step and cast approach - to catch more than one fish you will generally need to keep on the move.
During winter months there are shooting opportunities as thousands of Greylag and pink-footed geese land on the stubble or grass fields to feed. If you would like any advice about fishing or shooting while staying at Ocean View, we'll be happy to assist!
- NorthLink Ferries - www.northlinkferries.co.uk
- Pentland Ferries - www.pentlandferries.co.uk
- Flybe - www.flybe.com
- Birsay community page - www.birsay.org.uk
- Orkneyjar (Archaeology) - www.orkneyjar.com
- Orkney Archaeology Tours - www.orkneyarchaeologytours.co.uk
- Orkney trout fishing - www.orkneytroutfishing.co.uk