Shapinsay is a mere 25 minutes away by ferry from Kirkwall.

An island of rich pastures, farming has been the way of life here for generations.

As the ferry rolls into Elwick Bay, the splendour of the Victorian calendar house, Balfour Castle, comes into view.

The Douche, a drystone tower rising up from the rocky shore, is the final landmark before the ferry docks at the pier in the village of Balfour — Orkney’s first planned village, built to house the Balfour Estate workers.

Shapinsay Heritage Centre offers a unique insight into island culture.

Traditional and modern arts and crafts, such as painting, jewellery, glasswork, textiles, woodturning, photography and knitting, are practised in the island, and several craftsfolk may also welcome visitors to their studios.

An attraction of an older vintage is Burroughston Broch. A fine example of an Iron Age site, the broch is found some six miles along the eastern arm of the island, open all year round and free of charge.

Heather moorland, wetlands, lush green pasture, sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches are all to be found in Shapinsay, and there is a wealth of wildlife in residence.