Visit Norse Orkney: The Earl’s Bu Orphir

The Orkney News will be running a series of places to visit in Orkney with a Norse connection and unsurprisingly there are a lot.

The Earl’s Bu, Orphir, Mainland Orkney

Located adjacent to a beautiful and peaceful single track road this was once where a high status residence existed with a large drinking hall and a round church.

Not much remains of the Norse hall but use your imagination and you can picture the Earl and his retinue feasting there. There is a gentle slope to a sheltered bay where boats could easily bring people ashore.

In the cemetery are the remains of a circular medieval church. It is a unique structure for Scotland but unfortunately was partly dismantled during the 18th C.

Bu 4

There is car parking at the site and the visitor centre (Orkneyinga Saga Centre)  which is run by the community council has toilets. It is kept in immaculate condition.

Inside the visitor centre there are information boards mainly about the Orkney Norse Sagas and a film which delves into the stories including Earl Paul and his escapades at the Bu.

Bu 3

All of this is free but there is a donation box within the centre if you would like to contribute towards the community council’s costs in the upkeep of the centre.

A circular walk can be taken from the Bu and along the coastline. When I visited the bridge was down and as I didn’t have my wellies with me the amount of water meant I could not cross. If you can, however, the walk is well worth going on as I have done so many times.

Bu 12

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Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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5 replies »

  1. The Brek to the Bu ( or the Bu to the Brek) is a lovely walk, including that rare thing, a little bit of Orkney woodland – only a little bit, but lovely at bluebell time.

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