Orkney is a place of megaliths. So one day found me looking at a website called The Megalithic Portal to learn about megaliths near us. There was something marked just 3 miles away and the photo of the site just blew me and my son away. We had to see it for ourselves and, as soon as a patch of foul weather ended, off we went. And found this stunner.
The bit of interest to lovers of megaliths is something on top of this magnificent rock formation, which is called The Altar. Personally, I think it's a fossilised prehistoric octopus, although someone has also suggested the claw print of a giant dinosaur.
I also think it's a sight just as impressive as the Old Man of Hoy and can't understand why it seems hardly to be known.
Getting to it is mildly problematic as the coastal path is quite eroded and none too safe in parts (see annotated map below). So my son and I made our way through two fields of the Hall of Herston farm. One of us leapt the barbed wire fence at the far end of the field and the other crawled under the bottom wire and so reached The Altar.
Today I confirmed with the owners that they don't object to Creel guests doing the same, although care should be taken if there are cattle in the fields and not to damage fences and barbed wire.
There was also a nice view of Scapa Flow from the spot.
Splendid destination for a very small after-lunch excursion. Saint Lawrence is the patron saint of Burray and South Ronaldsay. The church, also known as Old Burray Kirk, dates back to 1621 and is a very pretty ruin. The cemetery is still in use. The whole stands on the site of a possible broch. There are some Commonwealth War Graves there.
There is a nice view on the approach.
With its nave open to the skies, there is a pleasant feeling with the church walls
A very touching gravestone. The text at the bottom of the little white cross reads "Who ne'er wept nor smiled". It's for a child, stillborn in 1901
Another view of the church
Getting there is simple
I like to take photos and am fond of clichés - so I'll say I find them to be worth a thousand words.