Otterswick and the Skanky Crab

Wandering along the white sands of Otterswick there is the cry of 'skanky crab'.  Before I know what is happening a crab claw, detached from its body by the tide, hits.  Escalating laughter and excitement emerges from the sand dunes as the cry goes out again and the ambush continues this time with a crab shell.  

Two boys have decided that this beach is the place to start a new form of entertainment.  I, on the other hand, am a little less sure of the game.

Leaving the car at the end of the road, we follow the track to the old house.  Sitting on the beach it is slowly being enveloped by the transient  sand dunes.  An evolving and moving landscape.  Once a home, now just a shadow of what the past would have been like.

Leaving the house behind us, the beautiful beach of Otterswick has sand dunes, coated in wild flowers.  Pink sea rocket merges with yellow daisies and grasses, rippling in the gentle breeze that brushes the coastline.

The sand is the perfect shade of cream.  Small shells mingle with seaweed brought in on the tide and the never ending supply of crab shells and other remains is the dream for any beachcomber.  

The walk is endless, passing the abandoned village of Ortie the beach fuses with Whitemill Bay and becomes a continuous ribbon of white sand.  Perfect in the cool light of a summer morning.

Visiting Otterswick 

Otterswick  is located to the north of Sanday .  It is located just off the road to Whitemill Bay from Burness.

Follow the road from Burness signposted to Whitemill Bay around until you come to a track, ignoring the left turn to Whitemill Bay.  Find somewhere safe to park near the large three storey house that sits at the end of the road.  Remember these are people's homes and working farms and gateways and driveways are in use all the time.

The track leads to the abandoned ruined house and a cut through the dunes here leads to the beach.  From here you can pick your direction and walk.  

It is possible to walk all the way to Whitemill Bay in a large circular walk or a shorter stroll to Ortie.

There are no facilities here.

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