Head north to Orkney to the beautiful island of Rousay to enjoy wonderful wildlife and captivating historical sites.
Ask an Islander
We asked locals on Rousay to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what islander Dan told us:
“Each season has something special to offer,” he says. “But I particularly enjoy spring and the promise it offers for the year ahead. The wildflowers come to life with field edges and roadside verges packed with primrose, buttercups, celandine and cuckoo flowers. As spring goes on you can find common spotted orchids, bluebells and wild garlic on the island too.
“Rousay is also blessed with amazing birdlife. As well as starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds and wrens, Rousay’s rocky outcrops are home to nesting fulmars and the uplands are patrolled by raven, hen harrier, short-eared owls and great skua.
“It is fantastic to truly experience natural sound as the predominant backdrop to everyday life. In spring, the days are full of birdsong and the calls of livestock on the nearby farms.” It sounds magic.
We’ve heard about spring, but what does Dan think about winter in Rousay? “Winter on the island is much more varied than many people would expect. I love the changeability of the sea, and experiencing the Atlantic Ocean meeting the island is breathtakingly beautiful.”
And, as for Dan’s favourite parts of the island, he told us that “as a Yorkshireman, I find the meeting of the rugged landscape and the ocean a captivating spectacle at any time of year. There’s a sense of vastness on Rousay that takes my breath away. The combination of sight, sound & smell is evocative and unmistakable.”
“It’s not just the slower pace of life and the strong sense of community and identity the islanders have. There’s so much history in the landscape, from the Neolithic through to modern times. Being able to stand inside a structure that is thousands of years old really gives a sense of the generations of people who have made Rousay their home.”