Brough Of Birsay, Birsay

4.8
#2 of 12 in Parks in Orkney Islands
The Brough of Birsay is an uninhabited tidal island off the north-west coast of The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland, in the parish of Birsay. It is located around 13 miles north of Stromness and features the remains of Pictish and Norse settlements as well as a modern light house.Geography and geologyThe island is accessible on foot at low tide via a largely natural causeway. It is separated from the mainland by a 240m stretch of water at high tide: the Sound of Birsay.The Norse settlement has been partly removed by coastal erosion, and the cliffs are reinforced by concrete rip-rap to prevent further damage.EtymologyThe Old Norse name for the island was "Byrgisey" which means fort island, and gives the parish its name. Brough, indeed, means fort (for etymology, see broch).
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Brough Of Birsay Reviews
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208 reviews
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  • August 19, 2017
    From 10 to 15 leads to the island via a mixture of rocks and concrete walkway leading from the small car park at the visitor center. After paying the ticket (Explorer pass preferable to individual entries for the individual attractions) you can explore a small settlement Vikingo well preserved. Going up the Hill you reach the lighthouse from which you have a splendid view. Do the complete tour of the island takes just over half an hour admiring beautiful cliffs. Must leave the island before the tide goes back. Highly recommended back in the evening when the tide was passing by and enjoy the new landscape lived a few hours earlier in "medium" in the sea.
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  • August 17, 2017
    Previous reviews say it all: this is a must-do visit. For history buffs the Pictish/Norse/medieval monastery site is fascinating - a real sense of "by the ocean of time". But the island is much more t...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    The first thing I must say is CHECK THE TIDE TIME You can only cross 2 hours either side of low tide And people do genuinely get stuck. However if you arrive 2 hrs before low tide the causeway will be...  more »

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