My Collection 'Summer at The Brough of Birsay'

My Collection 'Summer at The Brough of Birsay'

Early summer must be my favourite time of year in Orkney. Our evenings grow longer and lighter, our wildflowers appear in all their glory and best of all, our wild birds arrive after a long winter at sea.

One of my favourite haunts is The Brough of Birsay on the west coast of the Orkney mainland. The Brough itself is reached by a small causeway or path, hidden when the tide is high, so you need to be careful and choose your time so not get marooned across on the Brough! Either side of the pathway are the most beautiful rockpools full of all different kinds of seaweed and shells which change every time I visit depending on the light and tides. I have painted them many times at all times of year and in all weather. There are many different shells from cowries and sea urchin bits to be found particularly on the shore just below the Brough. Between May and August, you will find the cutest of our Orkney bird's, the puffins, just a few and they tend to be on the cliff at the right hand side of the Brough. It is best to visit early morning and early evening as they head out to fish at sea during the daytime.

If you turn right from the carpark and head up the coastline towards an old fisherman's hut and geo, you will reach The Whalebone totem. Along the way the low cliffs are covered with carpets of seapinks, ragged robin, pink campion and meadowsweet. Out to the left at sea are a few small outlining low rock stacks, these are where the arctic tern colony is. There is a wooden bench and I can happily sit there for hours watching these birds swaying and diving making the most beautiful shapes with their wings, bright white against the background of the ultramarine blue sea. 

To celebrate the start of summer I have chosen a selection of prints and other gifts inspired by The Brough of Birsay area from my website for you to browse, just go to

Summer at The Brough of Birsay Collection –

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