“Westray is a fabulous island. After departing the ferry, I caught the Bus and was driven the 8 0r so miles to the biggest settlement on Westray, Pierowall. It is a spectacular scene as you drop down into Pierowall, with it’s turquoise blue water and sweeping bay.
I stayed at the very friendly Pierowall Hotel and had arranged a tour of Westray through Westraak, with Graham Maben.
The day I arrived the weather was absolutely glorious and was the best day throughout my whole time on Orkney. After booking myself in, I went for a walk towards the Airport. After a short climb, I was able to stop for a minute and look back at Pierowall to admire it’s stunning setting.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t last and due to this I was unable to complete my tour with Graeme which we had arranged for the following day. However, I was able to have lunch with Graeme at the Haff Yok Cafe, where I promised him I would be back to take the tour in the future.
In my opinion, no visit to Orkney is complete without a trip to Westray. A truly, lovely island”
How do I get to Westray? Loganair (part of the Flybe group) fly from Aberdeen, Barra, Belfast, Benbecula, Birmingham, Campbeltown, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Islay, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, London (Gatwick), Manchester, Manston (Kent), Newquay, Norwich, Southampton, Stornoway and Sumburgh (Shetland). Most flights are via Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Inverness. Or, you could travel by Northlink ferry from the ferry terminals in Aberdeen (to Kirkwall) and Scrabster (to Stromness). Alternatively, you could travel by Pentland Ferries on the Gill´s Bay to St Margert´s Hope route. Finally, John O´ Groats passenger only ferries run from John O´Groats to South Ronaldsay. From May to September, there is a direct bus route from Inverness to John O´Groats that meets with the ferry – this is known as ´The Orkney Bus´. There is at least one ferry a day to Westray, except on Sunday. Also, there is a Loganair flight every day from Kirkwall.
How do I get around Westray? M & J Harcus operate a bus service on Westray. This meets the ferry to Westray and the ferry from Papa Westray as they are at opposite ends of the island. Car hire is available from D Groat and a taxi is available from K & G Maben. Guided tours are available through Westraak, who also offer bicycle hire.
What’s worth visiting on Westray? Noltland Castle is an imposing, uncompleted 16th century Fortress. Also, the Heritage Centre has a permanent exhibition of Westray’s history, including the Westray Stone and has a genealogy section. Quoygrew is a late Viking Age and medieval rural Settlement, considered to be one of the finest examples of Viking archaeology in Orkney.
Where can I stay on Westray? There are two hotels on Westray, the Cleaton House Hotel and the Pierowall Hotel. Bed and Breakfast is available at No 1 Broughton, The Old Manse and Sand o’ Gill. Self catering is available at Three Island View, Fisherman’s Cove and Crofter’s Rest. Also, at Daisy Cottage, Daybreak, Seaquoys, Skaill Cottage, Orcadee and Rosevale. There is a Hostel and camping at The Barn.
Any other information on Westray? The Westray Development Trust uses renewable energy and recycling initiatives and plans to make the island self-sufficient in energy by 2012. Westray has a community owned wind turbine, erected in 2009. For more information on Westray, please read Favourite Scottish island locations Part 1
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