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

Sea splash

Grobust is one of my favourite beaches on Westray. At one end are rocks which act as a roosting place for gulls …

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


This cobble has been tumbled by the waves until it is not quite smooth. It has been ‘pecked’ by crashing against other …

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

Miniature rock stack

There’s a beautiful miniature rock stack on Westray. It’s slippery at dawn as I clamber down to the beach to see it.

Patterns in the sand - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Patterns in the sand

There are billions of tiny almost indistinguishable grains of sand yet together they can make the most wonderful patterns. We are all …

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.

Pebbles and Cobbles - photograph (c) 2016 by David Bailey (not the)

Pebbles, Cobbles and Boulders

I’ve always loved the Westray beach with “The really big pebbles.” I recently discovered that a pebble can’t be any bigger than 64 mm. I think this one must count as a cobble.

The Knowe of Queen o' Howe

Grassy Knoll

On Westray, if there’s a lump in a field, it’s either rubbish dumped by a farmer or an incredibly precious and very …

Gill Pier from Sand o' Gill

Cycling in shell sand

Cycling in soft shell sand is always exhilarating and exhausting and is always a mistake; eventually. The sharp shell fragments will always …