Exploring the Brough of Deerness
We decided to go on a trip out to the far East of Orkney mainland to the Brough of Deerness.
Living on the west of mainland Orkney we don't venture to the far east very often and it's only a 40-minute drive! We had visited The Gloup before and walked along the coast, there are some amazing cliffs and views there! But without realising it we had always turned back just before the Brough of Deerness.
Upon arriving in Deerness and following the road round to The Gloup there is a well-appointed car park and a map showing you the points of interest. There is a circular walk around past The Gloup, Brough of Deerness, Mull head and the Covenanters Memorial. There is also a visitor centre at Mull Head with toilets and a picnic area.
We walked from the car park towards The Gloup, thankfully it was a calm day with little wind which always makes a cliff walk more enjoyable!
As you can see from the photos the rock formations and sea views along here are amazing, there is lots of open space for children to run free (away from the edge!) and also lots of lovely spots for a nice picnic if you choose a day with good weather.
Walking further along the path we found some more amazing cliffs, including a cove where the water comes in and you can stand up on the peninsular and look down. Also to the right, you can see the rock stack where the Brough of Deerness is, and a path going between and up the side of the cliff.
We then found the sign for the Brough of Deerness, the Brough is the remains of a settlement on a rock stack, its hard to see what you are looking at until you get there. The path to the Brough is narrow, windy and steep. Not for the faint-hearted! David explored the path and the Brough whilst me and my four-legged friend watched and took photos! The path would have been tricky for our wee ole boy.
The remains of the Brough is mainly the chapel although you can work out some other rocks under the thicky tufty grass but care should be taken because some tufts are actually the cliff edge!
The views from the Brough are amazing across the sea and back towards the land where the cliffs can be seen in all their glory. David even got a glimpse of some orcas from up here but I missed them!
All along these paths, there are plenty of chances to see wildlife and flora and fauna. I particularly liked the cotton grass as its the first time I have seen it.
This leaflet of Mull Head has some good information on it.
Whilst in Deerness it's also worth stopping at some of the beaches, they are quite different from the beaches near us on the west. Dingieshowe is particularly nice with sand dunes creating a nice sheltered bay and there are toilets here too. Digieshowe beach forms the isthmus which connects Deerness to mainland Orkney.
If you like gin then the Deerness Distillery is a good place to visit as well, you can see how they make the Gin and they also have a small shop with ethical produce.
We'd definitely recommend a drive around Deerness on a visit to Orkney. Just driving or cycling around Orkney gives you a feel for the island and way of life here.
Until next time.