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  • Sands of Mussetter, Eday - image by Iain Sarjeant

Eday

Eday lies at the heart of Orkney’s north isles. Rich in archaeology and wildlife, the island is one of our real undiscovered gems.
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  • Despite being at the centre of things geographically, Eday is often overlooked by visitors.

    But spend some time in this eight-mile-long island and you’ll soon discover a vibrant community with plenty of things to see and do.

    Eday is almost an ‘Orkney in miniature’, offering sweeping sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, ancient history, wonderful wildlife attractions and the gentle pace of island life. Heather-clad moorland covers much of the centre of the island and its rolling hills offer beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding islands of Westray, Sanday and Stronsay.

    It's also home to some fascinating historical sites. You’ll find many on the island’s Heritage Walk, launched in the 1970s to take visitors on a journey through time, from the Neolithic to Norse periods. The walk takes in the Stone of Setter, Orkney’s tallest monolith, and the Vinquoy Chambered Cairn. The route also includes the spectacular scenery of the Red Head and views of Carrick House, where the infamous Pirate John Gow was captured in 1725.

    The Stone of Setter

    The island’s excellent Heritage Centre is a real treasure trove of information, artefacts and images from the past. Housed in a renovated Baptist Kirk, the centre has exhibitions over two floors and is the perfect place to explore family connections, as well as Eday’s historical and natural heritage. Hot drinks are also available if you need to escape the changeable island weather!

    There’s an incredible array of wildlife to enjoy in Eday, including one of the UK’s densest populations of red-throated divers at Mill Loch. Elsewhere, expect to see oystercatchers, hen-harriers, waxwings, guillemots and everything in-between. The island is also ideal for spotting both grey and harbour seals, and you might even catch a glimpse of an orca or otter too. A trip to Eday wouldn’t be complete without a walk on one of the wonderful beaches either – try the sands at Mussetter or the neighbouring Doomy.

    View over Mussetter beach

    For an island with such a rich past, Eday is also part of Orkney’s energy future. It’s home to the European Marine Energy Centre’s Fall of Warness tidal test site, and is also at the centre of hydrogen production. The innovative Surf ‘n’ Turf project sees surplus energy from the tidal test site as well as the local community wind turbine converted into hydrogen gas in the island, before it’s transported to Kirkwall and used to provide electricity for local ferries.

    Eday has an excellent community shop with petrol and diesel pumps, and there’s also a fantastic hostel with camping and caravan facilities.

    Travel to and from Eday is easy. There's a daily ferry service, weekly flights on Wednesdays and an inter-isles ferry during the summer.

    Other information

  • Eday position at the centre of Orkney's north isles means it has plenty of connections to the mainland.

    Orkney Ferries has a daily service linking Eday and Kirkwall for passengers and vehicles.

    You can also fly to the island, with Loganair inter-isles flights available on Mondays and Wednesdays.