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Westray Buildings

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


I love the windows of the old buildings on Westray in Orkney. The stonework is wonderful, the walls are so deep and …

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

Lugs, Skiffs and Yoles

I’m surrounded by lugs, skiffs and yoles. There are even bugs and centre-board allcomers. I’m at the Westray Regatta. I recognise what …

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

Tafts from the Bay of Tafts

The Bay of Tafts is nearly my nearest beach. I love it here. There’s a never-ending procession of moods as the weather and seasons change.

When the roof goes - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The ruins remain

On Westray the ruins of old buildings litter the farming landscape. Memories of the lives lived in joy and hardship linger around …

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

Collapsing roof

With the weight of flagstones on the roof timbers, a Westray roof needs love and attention to keep it keeping the rain …

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.

Pave your roof - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

In Orkney, you pave your roof

I love the beautiful pattern and texture of this perfect flagstone roof on Westray. The chimney pot, however, may need a little …

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


Running past I see that Roadmire is for sale. It looks amazing in this weather, especially overlooking the Bay of Tuquoy. Roadmire …


Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream of having a different life? Do you ever dream of moving somewhere where you can savour each day? …

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

Magnificent battlements, gunloops and ravens

Noltland Castle is a ruin that was never finished built by a paranoid man who placed defensive positions everywhere; it has walls 7 feet thick and 71 gunloops to shoot at attackers.

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

Blown away by a windmill

I was completely blown away by Sangar Mill. It’s incredible that’s it’s survived so intact, with the windmill mechanism still visible and …

Bay of Skaill - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The Bay of Skaill

It must be shell sand below for it to be so beautifully pale and for the water to be so turquoise. The …

Breck o' Aikerness - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Breck o’ Aikerness

The language that estate agents speak is not English as we know it. Breck o’ Aikerness was for sale recently. It may …

The Church of Scotland Kirk - (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The Church of Scotland

From the air, the Church of Scotland Kirk looks just as imposing as it does when on the road below. I can …

Wheeling Steen Gallery, Westray, Orkney - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Wheeling Steen

It’s a thrill to fly over Westray and see everything from a completely new perspective. I recognise the Wheeling Steen gallery below.

The Kelp Store, Papa Westray

The Kelp Store

One of Orkney’s most important exports used to be the ash from Kelp, the seaweed which is regularly washed ashore by storms …

The deserted village

The deserted village

Cycling to the Westside of Westray I can see the Netherhouse in silhouette. A series of dwellings built up the hill, the …

Sails of Sangar

The Sails of Sangar

Evidence of Westray’s long-established drive to harness the energy of the wind is seen in this ancient sail-less windmill at Sangar (Old …