The peaceful crofting island of Shapinsay is found just north of the Orkney Mainland, and easily accessible by a short ferry trip.
With a more low-lying and gentle landscape than some of its neighbours, it is typified by farmland, moorland, marsh, inlets of salt water and beaches. There are good opportunities for wildlife-watching, particularly seals and wading bird species, such as those seen at the RSPB Mill Dam reserve.
In common with much of Orkney, Shapinsay has a number of interesting prehistoric sites, including standing stones and the Iron Age Burroughston Broch. More modern is Balfour Castle, built by the owners of the island in the mid-19th century.
The main village of Balfour was built as a planned community for the estate, and has local amenities as well as the Shapinsay Heritage Centre, which houses a craft shop and cafe.
Just relax and take the time to enjoy the island.
Towns Near Shapinsay To Visit - straight line distance:Eday (9.69 miles) Rousay (9.81 miles) Orkney Mainland (10.30 miles) Stronsay (10.49 miles)
Haughland House Retreat Centre Retreat offering meditation, yoga, arts, crafts and other events.
Shapinsay Heritage Centre History of the island, set in an old forge building.