Rousay Walk - Knowe of Yarso Walk
The Knowe of Yarso burial chamber on Rousay is situated on an elevated plateau with a splendid panoramic view across to Wyre, Gairsay, Rendall, Evie, the Burgar Hill wind turbines, Costa Hill and Eynhallow. There is a waymarked path which most people use to go up to the chamber and also to return. An alternative return route makes a more interesting circular walk which is still quite short (45 minutes to 75 minutes depending on how fast one walks and how long one spends at the Knowe of Yarso). Using the alternative route in the reverse direction and using the waymarked path on the way down also makes a much better walk for anyone wanting to take in the Knowe of Yarso on their way back from Midhowe to the pier.
Start from the small car park across the road from the sign for the Knowe of Yarso and just before the Taversoe Hotel. From the road, take the left-hand of the two tracks – the one that winds up the hill. When the track splits, again take the left-hand track and then the footpath that is signposted off to the left between some bushes and across a footbridge.
Follow the black-and-white striped posts up to the plateau and proceed along the plateau to the Knowe of Yarso. Continue along the plateau and follow the path down to the ruined house (aptly named Mount Pleasant) on a lower level plateau. Continue along the path which drops down a little and then follows the upper side of a stone dyke, past a small stone building and down towards a cluster of uninhabited dwellings. Just before the buildings, the path – now a track – crosses a stream bed and goes between two stone walls and out on to a metalled road. Go left and follow the road down to the old-style telephone kiosk at the junction with the “main road”.
Again go left and proceed past several long, low, traditional Orkney houses including Langstane up the short hill and back to the car park (possibly after a detour to the Taversoe Hotel).
En route from Midhowe to the pier, after a steep downhill stretch with two sharp bends, there is an old-style telephone kiost at the junction with a minor road.
Go left up the minor road towards a cluster of houses and continue, keeping most buildings on your left, until you see a grassy footpath on your right between two stone walls. The path goes across a stream bed, bends left, then right, and continues past a square concrete water tank up on the left. When the path splits, take the right-hand branch up towards a small stone building. The path then goes to where two stone dykes meet at right angles. Follow the path along the upper side of one of these dykes and then up to the ruined house, Mount Pleasant.
From here, the Knowe of Yarso can be seen on the sky-line and the path goes diagonally up the slope to it. From the Knowe of Yarso, follow the path marked by black-and-white striped posts, over the footbridge and down the track to meet the metalled road. Go left for the pier or right for 20 metres and down the short track for the Taversoe Hotel.
presented by Bryan Milner