Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Month: May 2021

  • Newton Wood Bluebells

    Newton Wood Bluebells

    Bluebells are supposedly an early flowerer drawing on the energy stored in their bulbs. Three weeks ago they had yet to reach their peak, now they are rapidly losing their brilliance. This year, they seemed a little late. British bluebells, Hyacinthoides nonscripta, are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means…

  • Uath Lochans

    Uath Lochans

    A brief wander in the Spey valley on the route back south. This is the view east from Creag Far-leitire in Glen Feshie’s Inshriach Forest towards the foothills of the Cairngorms, the highest of which should be Ben Macdhui but I’m not sure if its actually on the skyline. It’s not my first visit to…

  • An Dùn

    An Dùn

    Another section of the John o’Groats Trail completed. I’ve done a fair few now. This coastline north of Helmsdale really is superb . And another ‘fort’; or is it? About the only evidence this promontory with a narrow sea arch under its neck is indeed a fort, is its name ‘An Dùn’, which means in…

  • Cairns of Yarrows

    Cairns of Yarrows

    I seem to get more of an awareness of the history of a place if some effort is needed to get there. A car park close by and manicured grounds somehow sterilises a site. Yarrows Broch was quite an adventure, through bogs, under fences, and detours to avoid over-friendly horses. 2,000 years ago, the broch…

  • Balfour Coast Battery, Hoxa Head

    Balfour Coast Battery, Hoxa Head

    During both World Wars, Scapa Flow in the Orkney archipelago was used as a naval anchorage for the British fleet. To protect the southern entrance to the anchorage, gun batteries were established at Hoxa Head and on the island of Flotta. At Hoxa, concrete buildings, foundation and plinths still remain, most relating to the World…

  • Eynhallow Sound from Rousay

    Eynhallow Sound from Rousay

    A view of Eynhallow Sound from Knowe of Yarso on the island of Rousay. Midway is the southern tip of Eynhallow and in the distance is Costa Hill with the grand height of 151 metres. Sited on a glacial shelf, the Knowe of Yarso is a chambered cairn about 5,000 years old which was found…

  • A pluviose start to the day.But it turned out nice in the end.

    A pluviose start to the day.
    But it turned out nice in the end.

    And there’s a couple of seals in the bay.But neither are wearing an orange swimming hat. But neither are wearing an orange swimming hat. One thing I was very uneasy with is the number of spring traps throughout the island. They seem to be everywhere, I counted three on our 3km walk down to the…

  • Broch of Gurness

    Broch of Gurness

    This is without doubt the best broch so far. And as an historical site, superior to Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. I know Skara Brae is Neolithic and this broch is Iron Age, a mere 2,000 years old but I must admit I was disappointed by commercialisation of the older site. The Broch…

  • Brough of Birsay

    Brough of Birsay

    A small tidal island off the north western tip of the Orkney Mainland containing a lighthouse, a few thousand seabirds and site of a Viking settlement and medieval monastery. The monastery dominates the remaining ruins, being angular and more than a few courses high. By contrast, the Viking remains and mostly below ground level, yet…

  • Marwick Head

    Marwick Head

    A tad windy today. An Orcadian word for a very strong gale or storm-wind is “Katrizper”, the Old Norse ‘kattar-rispur’, literally ‘cat’s-scratches’. We’ve moved to the north of the main island, known as Mainland. It’s poor reception so expect postings to be a bit sporadic.