The Road That Has No End

Let’s join Minnie Russell as she takes us on a beautifully descriptive tour around Rousay. – Reproduced by kind permission of the editors of
The Orkney View from issue number 68: October/November 1996.

Come to the Isle of Rousay
A place beyond compare
You’ll see lots of lovely scenery
When you set off from the pier
Below the road the fields of green
Stretch down onto the shore
And up above the brown hills
Bring joy for evermore

In spring the wild flowers cheer you
The primroses are best
Sprinkled in their millions
In all the crevices
If you look up to the hillside
When autumn sun is warm
You’ll see miles of purple heather
Lie blooming in the sun

If you travel on the Frotoft way
And look out to the sea
You’ll see islands in the sunshine
Both near and far away
Trumland House is on the right
A mansion very grand
Built by General Burroughs
When he did own the land

Standing there so stately
In its sheltered grove
It has a lovely setting
With Knitchen up above
We leave the Brinian now behind
And go down by Cot-a-Fea
Frotoft lies before us
A homely place to see

With tidy crofts along the way
And up above the hills
As we go on by Hullion
We look up to Blotchnie Field

We soon look down to Westness
And Eynhallow ’frank and free’
We think of all the legends
Heard at mother’s knee
An ancient brough can now be seen
Its like is very rare
It’s such a place of interest
Folk come fae far and near

We can now see the Westside
With its houses in decay
The crofts they all lie vacant
And been for many a day
We hear about the clearances
The folk just had to go
Once a thriving district
lt’s empty now and full of woe

Soon we’ll be in Wester
With Burrian and the loch
Some houses are now occupied
With people from the south
When we reach the corner o’ Cove
Our journey is half over
We hasten on through fertile fields
Of lovely scented clover

As we travel up the Leon
We see Westray far away
We even see the Fair Isle
On a very bonny day
We turn now at the Blossom
And go down Sourin Brae
Behind us towers Kierfea Hill
And we look across the bay

Many are the holms and isles
That now come into view
Shapinsay and its castle
Stronsay and Eday too

We hasten on the road again
Past many a well known sign
The ancient church in Egilsay
Where St Magnus he was slain
The historic isle of Wyre
It now comes into view
Makes us think of Edwin Muir
And the castle of Cubbie Roo

We are getting near the pier again
After many a twist and bend
And many a lovely view we’ve seen
On the road that has no end