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Westray is a brilliant place to visit, with its beautiful beaches, puffins, lighthouse and friendly locals. It also features Noltland Castle, an imposing 16th century building with links to a particularly turbulent time of Scottish history.
It was built by Gilbert Balfour, a Master of Mary Queen of Scots household, who sought refuge in Westray following her arrest in 1567.
Noltland Castle was built as a stronghold. It is heavily fortified, with 7ft thick stone walls and no less than 71 gun holes. Its position above Pierowall Bay would also have given those inside the building the perfect view of any potential attackers.
The Castle stretches to four storeys in places, and includes a hall, storerooms, a huge kitchen and a grand staircase, added during a later phase of the building’s life. It's a fascinating place to explore, and you can quite often have it all to yourself.