|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||5.5 miles (8.9 km)|
|Meets:||A965, A967, B9056|
|Route outline (key)|
Is the B9055 Orkney's most archaeologically important road? It starts at the small village of Stenness, in sight of the ancient burial chamber of Maes Howe (well worth a visit, the guided tour is fantastic!), passes the Stones of Stenness, Barnhouse neolithic village, the Ring of Brodgar and its neighbours, and then finishes on the Loch of Skaill, barely a mile from Skara Brae. If you are ever on Orkney, you WILL use this road!
To return to the somewhat tedious task of a route description: heading northwest from the A965 at Stenness, we use the narrow, but natural, finger of land that separates the Loch of Stenness from the Loch of Harray. After passing the parking area for the Stones of Stenness, which is clearly an old loop of road, we cross the channel that connects the two lochs together at the narrow Bridge of Brodgar. As this finger of land slowly widens the road passes a number of standing stones, some in gardens, before reaching the Ring of Brodgar up on the hill. The parking area is now further up on the opposite side of the road.
As we climb up the low hill at Wasbister, the road narrows a touch, losing the centre line, although not quite becoming single track. It soon widens again, snaking around a couple of easy bends and on to the long straights that lead to the A967 crossroads at Hestwall, which is reached by another slightly narrower section. The crossroads is actually staggered right-left and leads to a road of quite different character. Narrower throughout and much twistier, it drops to proper single-track in places. After a little over a mile the end is reached on the B9056 at Aith on the shore of Loch Skaill. Turn right for Skara Brae!