We're big fans of getting off the beaten track, and the Burroughston Broch in Shapinsay is a perfect example of the benefits of a bit of exploring!
This Iron Age building is found just above the shoreline at the north eastern edge of Shapinsay, a beautiful island only a 25-minute ferry trip away from Kirkwall. Its location means that you'll probably always have the site to yourself, giving you the chance to really connect with its history.
It's a similar structure to other brochs in Orkney, especially the Broch of Gurness in the west mainland. Burroughston has only seen the main part excavated though, meaning you can stand up on the mound surrounding it and peer down into the centre of the broch. It features all the incredible touches you'd expect, including built-in storage, staircases in its double walls and stunning, intricate stonework.
Again, because of its location, the site isn't as well-kept or maintained as others on the Orkney mainland, but we think it only makes the place that little bit more special. You have to drive right across this green island to find the turn off, then a short lane takes you to a small car park. Complete the journey on foot over a grassy track and you'll find the broch.
Take some time to soak it all up, scramble down inside and touch the walls - there aren't many places you can do that! Remember to head to the sloping stone shore nearby too, as it's a perfect place for seals to clamber out and relax before dipping below the surface of the waves again.