Petrosphere - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

A petrosphere at the Orkney Museum

I’m fascinated by this neolithic petrosphere, or stone-age stone ball, at the Orkney Museum. I lean forward and suddenly bump my nose on the glass looking at it. What is it? What was it used for?

Beguiling - the cliffs of Orkney's coastline - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)


A calm day flying over the coastline of Orkney is beguiling. Looking below at the beautiful fresh blue water there’s little hint …

Noup Farm - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Bay of Noup

The Bay of Noup looks to have beautiful sand on this rocky and rugged coastline.

The Grip of Cleaton - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Grip of Cleaton

The history of Westray is told in two small volumes. One is its telephone directory, with its handful of names, many of …

The top 10 reasons you shouldn't visit Westray - from

The top 10 reasons you shouldn’t visit Westray

Friends and relatives often ask me whether Westray is a good place to visit and my answer is always very clear. “No,” I say. “I wouldn’t recommend it.” Here then are my top ten reasons why you should never visit Westray.

Holland Farm on Papa Westray - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Holland Farm from the air

Every time I visit Papa Westray I say “Next time I visit Papay I must have a look at all those beautiful …

St Peter's Kirk in Sandwick - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

18 inches of pew

St Peter’s Kirk in Sandwick on Orkney looks so beautiful in the low sunshine, standing quietly alone in its graveyard. It’s now …

Red telephone box - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Westray phone box

Westray still has several relics of a bygone era; red telephone boxes. There are weeds growing inside some of them as they …

Feeling alive - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Feeling alive

Seeing birds close up, in the wind, with rain on the horizon and a glorious sunset in progress, sat at the top …

Biting Stonecrop - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Biting Stonecrop

The Biting Stonecrop on the walls at Einar is obviously confused. There’s one solitary flower left when it’s meant to flower in …

Carved egg - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Serpentine egg

A trip through the Orkney Museum in Tankerness House in Kirkwall is an essential part of any visit to Orkney. There are …

Dog Whelk - photograph by David Bailey (not the)

We need to talk about Dog Whelks

‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is the actual name of the book and the movie. Kevin, however, has been talked about enough. What we really need to talk about is Dog Whelks, because despite the fact that there isn’t a bestselling psychological thriller written about them, their story is just as interesting.

Moss - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)


This moss is so beautiful in a tight pincushion on Westray’s rocky shores. Mosses have been around since before plants evolved flowers …

Orkney Seal Rescue - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Practical help for Orkney seals

Orkney Seal Rescue works to protect seals: they rescue sick, injured and abandoned animals. Here’s one: Orkney Seal Rescue founded their registered …