Walks in Burray
Over the causeway to Hunda
Before starting this walk it is good manners to call at the farmhouse at Littlequoy and ask permission to cross the causeway. Remember that the island is used for grazing sheep and is home to ground nesting birds, so if dogs are allowed over the causeway, they must be kept on leads.
There is space for a few cars on the grass verge just past the farm The route to the small island of Hunda is pretty obvious - it's joined to Burray by a small causeway, built in 1941 as part of the boom defences against small surface craft. Follow the track down to the causeway and cross the natural stony shelf known as Hunda Reef. Thanks to the causeway Hunda can be accessed at all states of the tide, but it is still quite exposed and to be avoided in foul weather.
Except for the sheep,the island is uninhabited. Leave the causeway and head north-east (right) along the beach. Examine the exposed strata in the short cliffs here, where the sandstone bedrock is overlain with much more recent boulderclay, a glacial deposit from the last Ice Age consisting of fine clay dotted with pebbles.
Scramble up onto the grass-topped cliffs where sensible and follow a faint path heading around the island in an anticlockwise direction. East Ayre - at the eastern end of the island - offers great views over Churchill Barrier No. 3 between Burray and the small island of Glimps Holm, with Churchill Barriers No. 1 & 2 beyond linking to Lamb Holm and Mainland just outside St Mary's. These barriers were built during WWII to protect the British Home Fleet which was based in Scapa Flow.
Continue around the circumference of the island on a narrow track through the heather, watching out for the many grey and common seals that have made isolated Hunda their home, as well as the otters that are frequently sighted here. Arctic terns nest on the island, so it's important to stick to the path where possible to avoid disturbing their nests. The north and west side of the island possesses superb views over the expanse of Scapa Flow, one of the the great natural harbours of the world with an average depth of only 30m.
As the path returns to the causeway look for an abandoned quarry to the left of the path. Unlike the concrete-block construction of the main Churchill Barriers the Hunda causeway is a solid stone embankment sealed with a concrete skin, with the stone taken from this quarry. It is thought locally that this causeway may have been an prototype for the Churchill Barriers, with the intention of storing ammunition for the many coastal batteries on Hunda and well away from the civilian population. Return along the causeway to return to the start.
Details of the following walks to be added at a future date.
Village to Grimness and back
Kirk to Bu Sands, Echna Loch and back
Burray hall over the hill to Littlequoy the back to Hall past Ladywater.