Despite arriving at Tormiston Mill at 10.00am the earliest tour we could get on was 7.00pm! (Twilight tour) We spent the day visiting other sites in the area and duly returned at 6.30pm as requested. Unsurprisingly Dafydd was the only child on the tour and he was the only one with a head light on!
Karen and Sophie stayed and looked around the shop whilst myself and Dafydd followed the painted footprints across the road and to the chamber – just in case we couldn’t find it!
The tour was full (12 people I think) and we were soon joined by Ben our guide – who also had a torch.
A brief introduction talk was given outside and we then all slowly entered the burial chamber. Dafydd and myself hung around at the back so we could walk a bit slower and take in as much as possible. Once inside, the main chamber was larger than I expected and there was plenty of room for all of us. As previously mentioned the stonework is excellent.
Ben then gave a very informative talk and invited questions from the ‘audience’ which he duly answered as best he could. It was then time to see the Viking Runes and the lights were turned off so they could be highlighted by Ben’s torch – which it did superbly.
(I wasn’t expecting to see a dragon/griffin carving)
We took it in turns to have a closer look and before we knew it, it was time to leave.
The time went really quick and everyone seemed to enjoy their visit.
Make sure you book well in advance if you are under time constraints. It must get mega busy in the main holiday period.
I know this type of organised tour is not everyone’s cup of tea but I don’t have a problem with them. At least this way you are guaranteed to be able to have a look in the tomb with a relatively small number of people. Without this system it would be like sardines in the chamber. I don’t know how you would get out once you were inside!
It does also allow the site to be protected for future generations to enjoy.
Posted by CARL
9th July 2012ce