This tidal island near the NW coast of Orkney is separated from the mainland 260 yards away. Access is restricted for a few hours each day during low tide. One hundred forty foot cliffs front the north and west sides of the island. The lighthouse, built in 1925, sits atop the island.
The term ‘brough’ on Orkney refers to naturally defensive headlands. Birsay takes its name from the Brough, which in Old Norse was called Byrgisey – the fort island.