Brough Of Birsay, Birsay

4.7
#2 of 18 in Parks in Orkney Islands
The Brough of Birsay is an uninhabited tidal island off the north-west coast of The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland, in the parish of Birsay. It is located around 13 miles north of Stromness and features the remains of Pictish and Norse settlements as well as a modern light house.
The island is accessible on foot at low tide via a largely natural causeway. It is separated from the mainland by a 240m stretch of water at high tide: the Sound of Birsay.
The Norse settlement has been partly removed by coastal erosion, and the cliffs are reinforced by concrete rip-rap to prevent further damage.
The Old Norse name for the island was "Byrgisey" which means fort island, and gives the parish its name. Brough, indeed, means fort (for etymology, see broch).
Arrange to visit Brough Of Birsay and other attractions in Birsay using our Birsay route planner.
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Brough Of Birsay Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
279 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Besides the uniqueness of getting to walk to the island at low tide, you can see the ruins of an ancient settlement. a lighthouse, beautiful cliff views and of course PUFFINS! They are why I wanted to...  more »
  • When of the best places to see sea birds on mainland Orkney and probably the only place for puffins. It's also just a lovely walk in it's own right. There's a causeway so access is only possible eithe...  more »
Google
  • Excellent location, Iron Age village on the island can be visited. Check tide times because the causeway is submerged at high water. Charges apply in summer Good parking facilities
  • Awesome place to visit. It was an extremely early low tide the day I went so there were no other people about. I saw a few puffins among the nesting birds on the north east side cliff face. Definitely worth the visit!
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