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Westray Landscape

the landscape of Westray

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

Udal Law

The law on who owns what land isn’t as simple as you might think. Living in a country with a name like …

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

The Bay of Skaill

On a glorious day on Westray this boat on the Ouse on the Bay of Skaill makes a beautiful scene:

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

Driftwood

There are precious few trees on Westray. Wood for buildings was a scarce material and driftwood was always salvaged by Islanders and …

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

Rainbow waves

At the north end of Westray the Atlantic is unrestrained and waves crash into the coast making blowholes, sea caves and spectacular …

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

Mae Sands

Much of Mae Sands is so low-lying that it never really drains of seawater. Walking on it looks beguiling, but wet feet …

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

Green pools

Westray’s coastline has magnificent layers of sedimentary rocks. In places there are folds and cracks: A crack in the rocks leads to …

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

The Atlantic

Westray has two sides: a North Sea side and an Atlantic Ocean side. They meet with dramatic consequences at the northernmost and …

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

Up, across or down?

The Westray coastline is so beautiful on a glorious day it’s hard to know whether to look up, look across or look …

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

Whaup Whaup overhead

A trip to the Bay of Skaill reveals the shallow turquoise waters which look Caribbean to someone as starved of heat as …

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.

Knowe o' Skea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Westray from the Knowe o’ Skea

I love the walk from Mae Sands to the Knowe o’ Skea. It’s a magical place, where currents meet, the sea boils and where an Iron Age burial ground gives views out towards the island of Rousay.

Risso's Dolphins - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Never a dull day

The weather on Westray may be dull, but there’s never a dull day on Westray.

A white blanket of cloud shrouds the island but life continues as normal for the incredible menagerie which inhabits the shores of Westray.

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

The hours before sunset

We’re on Westray and only have a few hours before sunset to see some wildlife at the Castle o’ Burrian. At least …

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

Westray wearing high heels

Westray wears its working clothes most of the time. It has an endless supply of beautiful green garments which it accessorises with …

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

Rock ledges

The sedimentary rock on Westray breaks into hundreds of ledges where the layers of time wear them away.

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

Drips

Drips of water run down the cliffs on Westray.