Westray, The Queen of the Isles

I managed a quick get away to one of the north isles, Westray this weekend as I was singing in a concert.  Not that I need an excuse to go as it really is one of the most special places on earth.  It’s often called The Queen of the Isles and thanks to a smart phone and sunshine I can show you why.

Whenever we go we always stay with close friends that we refer to as our Westray parents. Mama Mia and Father John have taken many a person under their wing and there is always much merriment, conversation and laughter in their company.  Westray is renowned for some incredible bakers and Mama Mia is most definitely one of them so I usually end up resembling something like a pac man as I chomp my way through many choices of home bakes that emerge from an assortment of tins stored in the special cupboard.

The weather was stunning.  (I’ve never know it be anything other in Westray, I must be going at the right time) and the beautiful clear sea and clean beaches certainly gives you a holiday feel.

Westray seas

After singing in the Graand Owld Byre (translation: a posh, converted cow house)  we went for a ‘drive down the pier a look’ Anyone who is married to someone associated with fishing or boats will understand this. I remember Orkney Beef working 12 hours at the pier, then meeting me for dinner where we sat looking at the pier and as we left the hotel he said ‘shall we go down the pier a look?’ So I’m well used to it.

View from the pier at 11pm

We returned home and talked as only Norq from Ork, Mama Mia and Father John can. It barely gets dark this time of year and by the time we were heading to bed at 2am we could stand outside and it was light enough to not need a torch.

The lights across the bay
2am day break

In the morning this was my view from the bedroom window. Don’t mind if I do!

Morning view

The afternoon was ready to show off Westray in its best light and we enjoyed walks and ice creams.  There’s a beautiful old church ruin which always engages my love of history and as usual makes me wish I could time travel to see what it was like in its original condition .

The skies were blue

A plane leaves its mark

and everyone has to have a photo taken with the anchors at Pierowall.  Thankfully ‘Ideal Son in Law’ has  arms and legs that go on forever so no selfie stick needed.

He’s not my son in law but I wish he was

Before we knew it the weekend was over and it was time for home. We always say I’ll have to be back for longer next time.I think a few days writing retreat is in order.

Kirkwall from the boat

I’ve made many visits to Westray and Orkney Beef would move back there tomorrow.  I’ve always been the one to say no, but after a fantastic 24 hours, wonderful hospitality and the usual friendly welcome from the locals I’m ready to say maybe someday. 🙂



2 thoughts on “Westray, The Queen of the Isles

  1. Lovely photos of the Queen. Probably the Grand Owld Byre needs no translation for the Country & Western Lovers, although maybe they never kept cows in the Oprey. Planning a visit there one Tuesday soon, let’s see who is in concert before we try and book!

    Liked by 1 person

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