Near Yesnaby is the stunning clifftop broch of Borwick, dating from the Iron Age. You are literally on the edge of the world here, as you cling onto the rock with the Atlantic underneath you. Or, not even all underneath, as while we were there the waves were crashing against it and sending spray and foam clouds into the air.
The main entrance of the broch is still standing, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of safety – The back wall has been claimed by the waves so you enter into half a broch, then a sheer drop. The inside walls have been burned red in some fire long ago.
The Yesnaby storyteller George Marwick from Peedie Borwick (1836-1912) knew a story of a secret shaft from outside the broch’s entrance leading down to a sea cave underneath. Down in the cave, he says, there are steps, and through the shaft runs a stream of pure, cool water.