Note: All visitors' dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

Walking on Egilsay it is easy to enjoy the wildlife and wild flowers - when the weather is good! Orchids, ragged robin, lady's smock, bog cotton, vetches, marsh marigolds and yellow iris are just a few of the flowers that cover the island during summer. May and June are particularly beautiful.

The wetland areas are alive with birdsong at certain times of year: the calls of the lapwing, skylark, curlew, oystercatcher, snipe and the unmistakable sound of the arctic tern returning at the end of April - beginning of May. Skylarks can be seen hopping fence-posts ahead of you, and their intricate song can be heard as they fly vertically.

An easy walk to the beach on the East side of Egilsay takes you through the wonderful wetland area of the bird reserve (approx 3.7km return) this is a track with deep puddles almost all year round (wellies are advisable).

For more adventurous explorers, with good clothing: To the North West are cliffs and a view of the Holm of Skockness - the island between Egilsay and Rousay. The tidal currents between the two islands can be extremely turbulent with whirlpools. To the north the coast is equally spectacular with it's rock layers leading out to deap water towards the small island of Kili Holm which has chambered cairns and mounds. The East coast smoothes off into a sandy beach which dissappears under some tidal and weather conditions.

Egilsay is well known for its part in the Orkneyinga saga as the place where St Magnus was betrayed by his cousin Hakon and murdered. St Magnus church and the monument built to mark the assumed site of Magnus' murder are both accessible by foot.

To the south of the island is an entrance to a chambered cairn - see the History section of this site for more information.


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