Brough of Birsay

[Norse settlement and causeway, Brough of Birsay]

From a distance the Brough of Birsay looks like a featureless, grassy slope of an island, well under a kilometre across at its widest point. But peel away the surface, like archaeologists have already done here, and you can explore a Viking settlement and Romanesque monastery on the eastern half of the island. Head to the west side along one of the numerous coastal paths and you'll find 40-metre cliffs home to puffins and other seabirds in early summer, overlooked by a stumpy lighthouse. The path to the island from Birsay is via a tidal causeway flanked by some of the most sealife-rich rockpools anywhere in the UK.

[Brough of Birsay lighthouse]

📌 Brough of Birsay (buildings) ★☆☆
Location (visitor centre): End of the causeway, off the northwest tip of Orkney Mainland, G.R.: HY 239285 ///soccer.reseller.hike
Open (2019): Always (visitor centre: daily, mid-June to September, tides permitting)
Cost (2019): £5 (adults), £3 (children), free for Historic Environment Scotland members. Charges apply only during visitor centre opening hours.
Anything else? Access is on foot by a 300-metre concrete tidal causeway. Be aware of safe crossing times and leave plenty of time to explore the island before returning.

📌 Brough of Birsay (island) ★☆☆
Location (lighthouse): Northwest tip of Brough of Birsay, G.R.: HY 234286 ///spin.pebble.samplers
Open: Always
Cost: Charges apply if the visitor centre is open - see above
Anything else? Tidal causeway (see above), with lighthouse and cliffs a further 500 metres on grassy paths.

[Rockpools surrounding the causeway are rich in sealife]


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