Cycling The Orkneys - Day 2 of 3- Mainland Tour
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Join Will on a 3 day mini break cycling around the Orkney Islands. Based in Stromness, we will spend three days visiting the sights around the Mainland and the isle of Hoy. You will need to book your own transport and accommodation.
Today will be a bit of an epic, cycling the circumference of Mainland, a distance of 144km with 1161m of ascent. We wont be in a rush, as we will have long daylight hours and a significant part of the morning will be spent visiting some of the sites that make up the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site". The visits shouldn't take very long, but will provide some great photographs. The sites include;
- Maeshowe Chambered Cairn. One of the finest Neolithic buildings in north - west Europe, a masterpiece of ancient engineering.
- Standing Stones of Stenness. Possibly the oldest stone circle in the British Isle. Admittedly only 4 stones left, but still apparently impressive to see.
- Ness of Brodgar. Archaeological excavations on the Ness have been revealing a large complex of monumental Neolithic buildings along with decorated masonry, pottery, stone tools, evidence of stone tiled roofing and much more. Work to uncover the seemingly endless secrets of the site continues for 8 weeks each summer, and the public are welcomed to the site to see this amazing place and to hear about it, on regular tours throughout the dig season.
- Ring of Brodgar. The ring was built around 2500-2000BC and covering an area of almost 8,500 square metres it is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles - just pipped by Avebury and Stanton Drew.
- Skara Brae & Skaill House. Skara Brae is the best-preserved group of prehistoric houses in western Europe. Skaill House is the finest 17th century mansion in Orkney and just next door to Skara Brae, so it would be rude not to include it.
If time allows, a visit to Broch of Gurness would be good; an Iron Age settlement, with a small village arranged around a central, massive broch tower.
The route can be downloaded here.
Check out Day 1 for transport and accommodation suggestions.
The third day of cycling can be found here.
If you have any questions regarding equipment etc email Will.Allaway@Outdoorlads.com.
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What to bring
Bike: a road bike or touring bike.
Helmet: OutdoorLads requires you to wear one and so does Will.
Cycling Clothing: lightweight and layered, colourful and/or reflective clothing will make you more visible to other road users.
Footwear: suitable for your bike and pedals.
Gloves: cycle gloves help avoid blisters, and are good in the cold
Punctures: spare inner tube, bike tyre pump and tyre levers
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs
Small snacks: such as chocolate or energy bars
Plenty of water: in bottle/s on your bike.
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: avoid getting grit or insects in your eyes, sunglasses are OK if they are not made of glass and not too shaded
Bike lights: be seen and safe - we have long day light hours but are useful in bad weather.
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.
GPS Computer - track your progress and go off on your own if fed up of our company
Food & drink
Please bring plenty of snacks, the plan is to stop somewhere nice for lunch but I can't guarantee somewhere will present itself.