Walking the Brough of Birsay, Orkney

Here is an astonishing walk from mainland Orkney to that tidal island, the Brough of Birsay, and the Pictish, Viking and Christian monastic ruins there. Certainly there are longer and more exhausting walks, and perhaps there are more beautiful places to end up, but I’ve never had such a total experience, a combination of effort and beauty, than what we found walking to and from the Brough of Birsay, from literally stepping over a briefly exposed North Sea, to hiking up to a lighthouse and cliffside and looking west to where the nearest land was Canada, thousands of ocean miles away.