• Westray coastline, Orkney

Westray

Vibrancy, charm and genuine island spirit
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  • Westray, affectionately known as the 'Queen o' the Isles', is a thriving community of around 600 islanders. It has vibrancy, charm and genuine island spirit. Westray also boasts a wide range of visitor attractions making it a popular year-round destination.

    Much of the island's recent prosperity can be attributed to the work of the Westray Development Trust, formed in 1998 to buck the trend in population decline. Westray now has a growing community and a new generation of islanders who have planned their future on this beautiful isle.

    Westray was firmly put on the map in the summer of 2009 when a tiny carved stone figurine - the Orkney Venus - was discovered. It is the oldest representation of the human form to be found in Scotland. Such was the worldwide interest in this remarkable find that locals refer to it as the Westray Wife, reinforcing its association with the island.

    In Westray, archaeology enthusiasts are in for a treat as the island's heritage is etched across its landscape at sites including the Quoygrew Viking longhouse, the 12th century Cross Kirk and St Mary's Church in Pierowall. Here you will also find the Westray Heritage Centre home to the stunning Westray Stone, a Neolithic carving from a Stone Age tomb.

    For wildlife lovers, the RSPB reserve at Noup Head (affectionately known as Seabird City!) is the place to go. The high sea cliffs identify one of the most important seabird sites in the UK and around the Castle o' Burrian sea stack the loveable puffins can be spotted from May to August.