Interesting Info
Westray was once the second most important Viking base in Orkney. Graves and artifacts of Viking life were found in Pierowall, at the Westside Church, and Noltland Links.
Population
563
Useful Advice
The Castle of Burrian is the best places in Orkney to see puffins, between April and July.
Essential sites to visit
Pierowall Village
St Mary's Church
Tuquoy Cross Kirk
Noltland Castle
Noup Head
The Castle of Burrian
Noup Head

Pierowall HarbourWestray, the Queen O' The Isles, has dramatic cliffs, lovely beaches, an abundance of island craft shops to visit and even a castle.

The ferry from Kirkwall arrives in at the south end of Westray, Rapness, and the main town PuffinsPierowall is 8 miles to the north-west. Between these two points lie Viking churches, sea cliffs where the rare Primula Scotica flower can be found, and the Castle of Burrian - a low lying seastack where a huge colony of puffins nest in burrows a mere couple of metres from you.

Noltland CastleClose to Pierowall is the spectacular Noltland Castle, which was never quite finished but if fully explorable! Not much imagination is required to get a feeling of what life here must have been like. Also close to Pierowall is Noup Head (spectacular sea cliffs with a bird colony and lighthouse) and the peaceful beach of Grobust. The ferry to Papay leaves from Pierowall and there is a swimming pool and great playpark for kids.

Particularly worth a mention is the eating out to be had in Westray - from the splendor and fine cuisine of the Cleaton House Hotel, to 'the best fish and chips anywhere' found at the Pierowall Hotel (freshly caught by Westray's white fish fleet.) Do your stomach a favour and visit Westray on your trip to Orkney!

George Mackay Brown
One boat goes out in a storm
And the sea
Brims it with silver.

Another boat, another day
And the old mother
Bruises it with denial and rage.


George Mackay Brown, Orkney Pictures and Poems

Noltland Castle sunset photo © Fraser Dixon, Noup Head photo © Fraser Dixon, Pierowall harbour photo © Fraser Dixon, Puffins photo © Victoria Dixon,
Noltland Castle photo © Fraser Dixon. All text © Magnus Dixon. GMB extract © The Estate of George Mackay Brown.

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