Wyre | Colin Nutt

About

The low-lying island of Wyre is known for its grey and common seals, and for birdlife including divers and ducks. Wyre has two ancient monuments: Cubbie Roo's Castle, one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland; and the roofless remains of St Mary's Chapel – a rare surviving example of a medieval church. The castle takes its name from the giant of Orkney folklore, Cubbie Roo, linking this character to the actual castle builder, the Norse chieftain Kolbein Hrúga.

Famous For

  • Cubbie Roo’s Castle is mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga. Built circa 1145, it is believed to be where the murderers of the last Norse Earl of Orkney, Earl John, fled in 1231.

  • St Mary’s Chapel, located below the Cubbie Roo's Castle, is a good example of Romanesque architecture.

  • The Bu was the childhood home of Edwin Muir, the famous Orcadian poet, novelist and translator. Muir was born in Deerness, Orkney but lived as a child on Wyre.

Ask an Islander

  • Braes of Ha’Breck is a Neolithic settlement at the western end of Wyre. This settlement had many houses and a domestic stone quarry dating back to 3300–3000BC.

  • The Taing is a good place to see common and grey seals. Or head to the loch nearby, where eiders and Arctic terns can be seen in the summer, and great northern divers and long-tailed ducks in the winter.

Accommodation

Check out the following accommodation listings to book your stay.

Visit Scotland accommodation

More Information

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

Explore Orkney - Wyre

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 runs regular sailings between Wyre and Tingwall on Mainland Orkney. Some ferries run via Rousay and Egilsay.

Buses connect Tingwall with 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.