Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Brough of Birsay

On my day out on Friday I went along to one of my favourite places, the Brough of Birsay (Brough pronounced like "brock" in this instance).  Well to be precise the Brough of Birsay is the tidal island just off the coast and I didn't on this occassion walk across as the tide was coming in. On the island itself are settlements dating from about the 5th Century AD, then a Pictish settlement around 7th century AD and a Norse settlement about 9th Century AD. All ruins now and managed by Historic Scotland. There's also a lighthouse on the west most part and on these cliffs, in season, you can see puffins, as well as fulmars and guillemots

But I love this stretch of coastline, and although a cloudy day, it was clear enough that, looking South, I could see the mountains of the Scottish Highlands!  Having come from the very South of England, where the Scottish Highland were thought of as being so far north, it amuses me that I am now looking "south" at them!

This cow was chewing the cud near the Birsay Tearoom (no day out is complete without a visit to a tea room!).  The tearoom overlooks the sea and is a lovely spot to sit and eat Cake!

 This is probably one of the most photographed tractors in Orkney. It's along the shore and used to haul up a small fishing boat.

This hut was used by fishermen of yore. Well it's still in use today, but the boat nousts (the dips in the grass you can see near the hut) are no longer used. This was where the small fishing boats would be pulled well above the high tide mark.  The hut still has a traditional grass roof which helps with insulation. Though the hut would probably have just been used to store equipment as it is today, rather than being a dwelling.

This rather "impressionist" photo shows the mountains of Scotland in the distance! 


  1. I came to Orkney in 2009 and loved it although only there for a week. I entered search words 'blog' 'Orkney' and look where I ended up! I have looked st some of your posts and very much like what I see - so very interesting with great photos.

  2. All I can say, is that I love
    everyone of your posts, thanks

  3. Oh, what happy memories of last summer! Walking through the garden gate straight onto the beach at Birsay, watching the ever-changing light on Marwick Head and the Brough. Beautiful, just.

  4. I was interested to read this post, as my daughter was to have visited the Brough of Birsay on a school orchestra trip 2 years ago, but it was cancelled because they couldn't get up the A9 to Scrabster because of snow.

  5. CB - well welcome to Graemsay!

    Pat - Thanks!

    DB - I thought you would enjoy remembering your visit last year :-)

    Linda - Ah yes the A9...the one and only road to & from Orkney.... always a bit of a challenge, especially in winter!