Rousay | Colin Nutt

About

Nicknamed ‘the Egypt of the North’, due to its archeological diversity and importance, this hilly island is separated from Mainland Orkney by the Eynhallow Sound. Visit the standing stone that is reputed to come to life once a year or discover the island's sculpture created by the 'concrete poet' with connections to the island. The small island community shares the island with a wealth of wildlife – from seals and otters to wildflower colonies protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Famous For

  • The island is full of history, with lots of ancient sites and chambered cairns including Midhowe Broch and Chambered Cairn, Taversoe Tuick, Blackhammer and Yarso.

  • Rousay is home to the sculpture ‘Gods of the Earth/Gods of the Sea' by the internationally respected concrete poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, who worked briefly on the island when he was young.

  • The island has areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its cliff formations and wildflower colonies.

Ask an Islander

  • Sourin Brae is the highest road in Orkney. From the top on a clear day, you can see all the other Northern Isles.

  • Our RSPB site is a great place for bird spotting but other great places include the walk at Faraclett and the coastal paths at Wester.

  • Grey and common seals can easily be seen from Saviskaill Bay and Westness. Keep an eye out for the shy sea otter and more elusive orca in the Sound.

Accommodation

Check out the following accommodation listings to book your stay.Visit Scotland accommodation

Discover Rousay - accommodation

More Information

You can find some additional information about Rousay at the links below

Rousay Facebook Page

Explore Orkney - Rousay

COVID-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.

Getting here

Covid-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.


Orkney Ferries operates several sailings a day between Tingwall on Mainland Orkney to Rousay – 7 days a week in the summer, and 6 days a week in the winter. Bus connections are available from Tingwall on Mainland Orkney to Kirkwall and Stromness.

Find out more about getting to Mainland Orkney.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.