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by Richard Thomas - 18:56 on 17 July 2011



The Group had its first organised trip on Wednesday 13 July when we visited Eday.   We were met at the pier by the Ranger, Gillian Skuse and the bus which was to take us up to the start of heritage trail.  On the way we stopped at the Mill Loch where we saw some Red Throated Divers.

The trail starts at the site which is probably best known in Eday – the Stone of Setter.  The Stone is perhaps the most impressive single stone in Orkney and stands some 15 feet high.  From there the trail heads uphill past the Fold of Setter which is a circular enclosure and probably Bronze age in date, the Braeside Chambered Cairn which was excavated in the 19th century – the stalls can be seen quite easily; the entrance is aligned on the Stone of Setter but whether this has any other significance is unclear.  The next site is the Huntersquoy Chambered Tomb which has one chamber on top of the other; this is the same design as Taversoe Tuick on Rousay.  From there it a good climb to the top of Vinquoy Hill where there is an impressive Chambered cairn which can be entered and certainly one of the best viewpoints in Orkney.  Indeed the day was so clear that the Fair Isle was visible

It was then downhill to the Red Croft tea room passing the partially restored Red Croft and water wheel which drove a small threshing machine.  It was great to be able to have something to eat outside looking out over the sweep of islands from the Mainland to Papa Westray.

On the way back to the Pier we stopped at the old north school where the owner, Mike Ilett has assembled some memories of the old school, models and, most impressive of all, half a submarine – HMS Otter.  Visitors can walk through the restored and re-assembled control room.


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