Westray, an island north of ORKNEY mainland has a population of about 600 inhabitants. Most families have lived here for generations, so in Westray you can still experience the orcadian characteristics in everyday life.
I am sure you will enjoy this atmosphere on your visits to the shops or pub, when you will meet local people - a feeling I associate most with WESTRAY.
The local HERITAGE CENTRE in the village centre illustrates aspects of WESTRAYs past.
WESTRAY has a designated craft trail leading to jewellers, potters, knitters, painters and people, who still fabricate the traditional orkney chairs.
HUME SWEET HUME with their wide spectrum of textiles and art have a reputation that extends far beyond the borders of ORKNEY.
THE PIEROWALL HOTEL, where you can enjoy a meal in the bar or the a-la-carte restaurant. You will enjoy a pint or a peedie dram in and be able to enjoy local music sessions arranged from time to time.
If you'd rather stay at Bisgeos for the evening, Westray offers three grocery stores - two in Pierowall and one in the middle of the island.
WESTRAYs landscape varies from agricultural land to hills with bogs and muirs. The coastline offers sandy beaches and prominent cliffs on the westside.
If you don't want to explore the island on foot or by bike, you can join one of the island bus tours, run by Graham & Kathy at WESTRAAK, which will take to you to around various places of interest on Westray.
On bike you can explore the whole island in one day, the roads are not busy and very inviting for a cycle tour. I like the trip on the western road with its peaceful landscape and great views.
For walkers I can recommend the WESTERN walk, which follows the cliffs on the westside and passes just beneath the BISGEOS.
It leads up to NOUP HEAD, a bird reserve starting close to the bisgeos. It is famous for its gull and seabird populations nesting in the steep cliffs. You can observe puffins there, but the ideal location for seeing this bird is the Castle of Burrian, where you can see them very close up.
Guests have spotted killer whales around the noup, a lasting experience to all of them. You can see seals in different places along the coast and with some luck you can see your first otter when the inter island ferry lands at RAPNESS pier.