Burray is a small island linked to the east mainland of Orkney and South Ronaldsay by the Churchill Barriers. Once only accessible by boat and a farming and fishing community, it is now linked by the causeways. It has a population of around 350, a primary school, shop, hotel and harbour where watersports are on offer. Burray has beautiful sandy beaches, great views across Scapa Flow and otters and seals can sometimes 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 provides wonderful homebakes. The centre is open in the summer months.