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Westray Landscape

the landscape of Westray

Sunset Westray - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Sunset over the waves

It’s sunset on Westray and I’ve abandoned the car on the grass and marched off to the sea. It’s magnificent in this …

Spray - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Splash!

The seas are magical here. There are exhilarating waves at the Knowe o’ Skea. Out on the skerries, the wary Shags gather, …

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

The Fulmars of Backarass

We’re walking down past Backarass on Westray. It’s a special landscape of shattered rocks and still pools: The weather is fabulous and …

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

The Orkney Ram

The three rams at Backarass are in a huddle. They are all fine, big boys but not quite yet of Derby Ram …

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

In salutem omnium

Noup Head lighthouse is a major feature of the coast of Westray. Planned in 1895, it was announced in Parliament because, “Her …

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 …