Burray

Burray is a small island linked to the east mainland of Orkney and South Ronaldsay by the Churchill Barriers. Once only accessible by boat, the farming and fishing community is now linked forever by the causeways.

This wind turbine was one of the first installed in the east mainland

This wind turbine was one of the first installed in the east mainland

The beautiful Bu Sands in Burray

The beautiful Bu Sands in Burray

Burray and the third barrier viewed from Glimps Holm

Burray and the third barrier viewed from Glimps Holm

Blockships at the third barrier leading to Burray

Blockships at the third barrier leading to Burray

Burray village viewed from South Ronaldsay

Burray village viewed from South Ronaldsay

The third barrier links Glimps Holm and Burray

The third barrier links Glimps Holm and Burray

The village of Burray from the air

The village of Burray from the air

It has a population of around 350, a new primary school, shop, hotel and harbour. Burray has beautiful sandy beaches, some of the best views across Scapa Flow and otters and seals can be seen from around the fourth barrier.

The Burray Fossil and Heritage Centre housed in old farm buildings is a fascinating place to visit. Fossils from Orkney and around the world are displayed, some 360 million years old. The shop stocks a large range of books on the subject, gemstones, jewellery and toys. The collection was started by Ernest Firth who found fossils in his quarry. Upstairs is the heritage centre which is an important archive for local documents, Burray census records from 1821 to 1901 and photographs. There are displays of objects used by Orcadians and furniture including a boxed bed. There is a reconstruction of an Edwardian room, showing how a typical Orkney house might have looked in the early 1900s, with the family settled around the peat fire.

The community café at the Centre also provides wonderful light meals, snacks, homebakes and drinks. The centre is open in the summer months.

For the more adventurous types, Burray also hosts Orkney's only paintball venue, at Northfield. Also available are boat trips on Scapa Flow and clay pigeon shooting.

There is also a vibrant community spirit in Burray that has helped host a small musical festival - Glastonburray - and has seen work start on a crazy golf course and new play park in the village itself.

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