Often referred to as "Orkney in miniature", the tiny island of Papa Westray is rich in history and bird life. It is called Papay by the locals and only measures 7 km long by 2 km wide. To get there, you take the shortest scheduled flight in the world less than 2 minutes. Two flights are scheduled every day from Kirkwall and there is a ferry between Papa Westray and Kirkwall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Papa Westray is steeped in history with the many artefacts and buildings dating back hundreds and thousands of years. Visit the Holm of Papay, a small island off the coast where you will see one of the most decorated clambered cairns in the world. The walls of this tomb have many designs in the stones and are decorated with zigzag and circle patterns. At St. Treadwell's Loch, you will find a Broch mound, remains showing that this area was inhabited during the Iron Age and the remains of a medieval church. This church was a popular location for pilgrimages during the 17th
century with its dedication to St. Triduana.
Take a tour of the St. Boniface Church, that was built during the 12th
century and visit the place where the last of the Great Auks were killed in 1813 at Fowl Crag. This location is aptly named because it is a birdwatcher's paradise with the many species seabirds that breed here, such as Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Fulmar and Razorbills.
The Holland Farm and Bothy Museum is an example of traditional steadings in the Orkneys. You will surely think you have been transported back into the past with the doo'cot, the mill tramp and the kiln for drying corn.
As you walk along the sandy beaches, you can see the seals basking in the sunlight and you can enjoy a round of golf on the course next to the pier. For a small island, Papa Westray has plenty for its visitors to see and do while enjoying a peaceful and tranquil vacation.
Orkney Ferries: North Isles
These ferries operate between Shapinsay, North Ronaldsay, Papa Westray, Westray, Eday, Sanday and Stronsay.