Wyre

Island in Rousay

Wyre is just off Rousay, and accessed from the same ferry. It was the domain of the Viking Baron Kolbein Hruga (known as ‘Cubbie Roo’). The substantial ruins of his castle, built around 1145, stand dramatically above the northern shore. Either Cubbie Roo or his son Bjarni, bishop of Orkney, built St Mary’s Chapel, still remarkably intact.

From the jetty, you can walk south to a small heritage centre displaying photos of life in Wyre, passing the Bu, the former home of Scottish poet Edwin Muir. Continuing to the far western tip of the island, there’s a small beach at the Taing, where you’re almost guaranteed to see seals.