Papa Westray, known locally as Papay, is one of the last places in the British Isles where you can experience rural island life for real.
Here, visitors can step back in time and encounter the oldest house in Northern Europe, the Knap of Howar, a Neolithic farmstead, which predates the Pyramids by over 1,200 years!
The farm of Holland is worth a visit. This complex of agricultural buildings is adjacent to Holland House, the seat of the Traill lairds of Papay for three centuries. One of the farm workers’ bothies has been turned into a compact museum with a fascinating range of artefacts from the island’s history.
Papay is also famous for its birds and the North Hill is an important nature reserve.
While you can catch a ferry across to the island from neighbouring Westray, the journey to Papay is best experienced on the wing. The flight between the two islands, in one of Loganair’s small Islander aircraft, is officially the shortest scheduled route in the world, taking around two minutes. They’ll even give you a certificate to prove you’ve done it!
Papa Westray is well-connected, both to the Orkney mainland and neighbouring Westray.
Orkney Ferries currently operates sailings to the island on Tuesdays and Fridays. There are also regular passenger-only crossings on Mondays-Saturdays between Westray and Papa Westray, with a connecting bus service linking the ferry terminals.
Papa Westray also has daily flights with Loganair to and from Kirkwall. If you fly via Westray you'll also get to experience the world's shortest scheduled flight, which clocks in at under two minutes. Advance booking for all inter-isles flights in Orkney is essential, especially during the summer months.