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Orkney Islands

Oystercatcher - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Sea Pies

Oystercatchers are known as Skeldro, Chaldro, or Shaalder in Orkney. If you think those names are difficult, internationally they are known as …

Barquentine Thalassa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Barquentine Thalassa

The Northlink Ferry from Scrabster on the Scotland mainland to Stromness on the Orkney Mainland is always entertaining, thankfully in a good …

The North Sea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The North Sea

The North Sea is magnificent. It’s been the victim of overfishing, suffered from industrial and agricultural runoff, dredging, and dumping of waste. …

Orkney Ferries - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Orkney Ferries to Westray

I’m heading to one of the North Isles of Orkney, which are North Isles themselves. I took this photograph of the North …

Northlink Ferries - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Scrabster to Stromness by Northlink Ferry

The Scrabster to Stromness ferry across the Pentland Firth takes about 90 minutes. As we leave mainland Scotland for the Mainland of Orkney there’s a classic Stevenson’s lighthouse.

The Italian Chapel - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Italian Chapel has twins

Orkney’s Italian Chapel was once part of a large complex of Nissen huts with tracks and gardens. For many years it has …

There used to be a floating bank which visited the outer Orkney islands. Now the banker gets the plane and a tour of the Northern Isles is more likely to be a rare example of a ‘stag-do’ pub crawl by motor launch. How cool is that? One pub per island and miles of water in between. That’s one occasion you definitely need a designated driver. → 5 July, 2016

45 degrees. No, that’s not the temperature in Fahrenheit. It’s the angle at which people have to walk in this wind just to keep upright in Orkney. If there’s ever a still day, there must be people falling over all over the Islands, with nothing to keep them upright. → 3 July, 2016

MV Varagen - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

928 tonnes

The MV Varagen was built in Selby in 1989 and weighs 928 tonnes unladen. I’m currently thanking Archimedes that it floats.

Safe Zephyrus


The Safe Zephyrus is a floating hotel in Orkney’s Scapa Flow. I wonder if i can find it on AirBnB? According to …

Flotta from the air

Is it just me?

Is it just me or does the Orkney island of Flotta look quite barren from the air?

North Ronaldsay

North Ronaldsay

The island of North Ronaldsay is famous for its sheep who live on seaweed and are kept off the fields by dry …

Midhowe Broch from the air - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Midhowe Broch from the air

Midhowe Broch on the Orkney island of Rousay looks amazing as we fly above it. There are 4.5 metre wide walls which …



Stronsay looks beautiful and green from the air. Strjónsey: Old Norse for “Good fishing and farming island”

Rackwick Burn, Hoy - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Rackwick Burn

Rackwick Burn sounds like an unfortunate little rash but is actually the name of a small stream on the Orkney Island of …


Flying over Flotta

I was amazed to find out that anyone lives on Flotta. I thought the entire Island had been evacuated to build one …

Balfour Castle - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The Islands of Orkney

Orkney is a plural. It’s acceptable to say ‘the Islands of Orkney’. It’s fine to say ‘Orkney’. Saying ‘the Orkney Islands’ won’t …