Holm of Papay is well worth a visit to see the three cairns, thought to be Neolithic burial sites. The most striking, at the southern end of the island, has an impressive 20-metre subterranean chamber with shapes carved into the walls, and a narrow entrance passage with 12 side areas. Descent into the chamber is now down a ladder via a new opening in the roof, built to preserve the tomb. Look out for the ‘eyebrows’ carved into the stone. It is thought that the inhabitants of the Knap of Howar buried their dead here. It’s quite an adventure if you are staying on Papay for more than a day.
Torches are inside the tomb for visitors to use.
Boat trips to the Holm Of Papay cross South Wick from the old pier (near The Kelp Store). Contact the Papay Ranger via his Facebook Page or call him on 01857 64424; to check for the latest availability, prices and times.
Photo credit: geograph-2364255-by-hayley-green-1.jpg