Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Island of Oronsay,

Oronsay is a small island located off south Colonsay which can be reached at low tide by walking or driving across the sandy causeway known as the Strand, we opted to walk over the sands.
We arrived at the Strand early so walked along the coast for a while and sat on the rocks waiting for the tide to go out, which gave us time to eat our lunch before walked over to the island.

We crossed a little too soon so waded in places but the sand was firm and it gave us longer on Oronsay.

Oronsay is an island managed by the RSPB, with a ruined priory, Mesolithic shell mounds and iron age fort so far too much to look at in the four hour window provided by the low tide.

Oronsay Priory
A 14th century Augustinian priory, it is said that Oronsay was the original landing place of St Columba, but as he could still see Ireland he moved on to Iona, this cannot be confirmed as no Celtic Christian remains have ever been found, but I like the story. Beautifully maintained, I could have spent all my time on Oronsay sat within it's walls, looking at all the wonderful stone work on the two crosses, walls and carved stone grave slabs which are now housed in the old Priors House .

The Priors House

The grassland area or Machair
lots of nesting birds including lapwings and red shanks here, so we stuck to the tracks as much as we could.

Didn't get to see as much as we'd have liked so we will just have to return another day - such a shame!!!!