The Mamas and the Papas!
A spoof tourist brochure is promoting the delights of the fictional Orkney island of 'Mama Westray' - but we'd recommend a trip to the very real and very beautiful Papa Westray instead!
Orkney has some beautiful island destinations but - despite the intriguing sound of the Hall of McFlummery and the Tomb of the Haddock – we can unfortunately confirm that ‘Mama Westray’ isn’t one of them.
A talented prankster has produced a spoof tourist brochure which has been on display in Orkney, highlighting the attractions in the fictional island.
We do have an island called Papa Westray, or Papay as it’s known locally, which sits alongside its larger neighbour of Westray. And whilst it might not have an annual Ratsmack event, there are plenty of things to do there. Here are our top five recommendations.
The Papay Wildlife Club
Experience Papa Westray’s beautiful nature and wildlife with unique package holidays run by the island’s Development Trust. The monthly events highlight everything the island has to offer from flowers and fauna to birdlife and the sea surrounding the island. Enjoy the landscape and become part of a small and welcoming community during your stay. Find out more from the Papay Wildlife Club webpage and find them on Facebook too.
Be a record breaker
Did you know that the shortest scheduled flight in the world operates between Westray and Papa Westray? Book your seat with Loganair and take to the skies between the islands – for all of the ninety seconds or so! Soak up as much of the spectacular scenery as you can from the air before exploring both islands. Find out more about Westray and Papa Westray from the official tourism site.
Explore ancient communities
Orcadian houses are built to last and that’s certainly the case in Papa Westray. The island hosts the Knap of Howar – the oldest standing house in northwest Europe. It’s thought the first occupants could have been using the structure as many as six thousand years ago. You can explore the site in splendid solitude too – no booking, ticket or audio guide required, just take as long as you need.
Bring your binoculars
Papa Westray is home to one of Orkney’s finest nature reserves. The RSPB’s North Hill is a habitat full of heath, sea cliffs and some of the best birdlife anywhere in the islands. The wild and windswept hill welcomes breeding birds like great skuas, lapwings and oystercatchers. The North Hill is a nature experience as it’s meant to be!
Meet the ranger!
Guided tours can be a great way of exploring the nooks and crannies of a destination. That’s certainly the case in Papa Westray, and the island has the perfect person to show visitors the local attractions. Join the Papay Ranger for a ‘Papay Peedie Tour’ this summer and he’ll take you through the archaeological and natural heritage of this beautiful and unique island.