Isle of Shapisay

Northern Isles

Mentioned in Norse sagas, Shapinsay lies to the north east of Kirkwall in Elwick Bay, where the village of Balfour now stands and from where King Håkon IV of Norway assembled his fleet before setting sail for his eventual defeat at the Battle of Largs in 1263. Standing stones provide evidence of mans inhabitation since Neolithic times and the Iron Age Broch at Burroughston. Cubbie Roo, the best known Orcadian giant, has a presence on Shapinsay. Today there is an RSPB and a Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve on the island as well as colonies of both Common and Grey seals.