Birsay map


The Parish of Birsay in which the Loch of Hundland Climate Station is located.


Birsay is the largest parish in the Orkney Islands with over 7,000 hectares..  It is located in the North West corner of the main island and is bounded on two sides (North and West) by the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a very diverse parish with six lochs:-

Loch of Boardhouse

Loch of Swannay

Loch of Hundland

Loch of Sabiston

Loch of Isbister

Loch of Banks

There is about 10 miles of coastline with rocky beaches and vertical cliffs up to 120m in height.

The highest Point is Mid Hill at 193m and there are several other hills with elevations of 150m

The Birsay Moors, the Hillside burn and Durkadale valley, along with The Loons, are places rich in bird life as is Marwick head, The Brough of Birsay and Costa Head.

The remainder of the land is used in agriculture with well managed,  productive farms.

Part of the parish is located on the outskirts of the village of Dounby and there is a village at the Palace in the North West corner.

The parish has many archaeological sites and sites of interest such as the Norse Settlement on the Brough of Birsay,  the ruins of the Earls Palace,  St Magnus Church, (both in the village called the  Palace or the Place ),  the Click Mill, the Barony Mill (the only working water mill in Orkney) and the remains of Twatt Airfield (HMS Tern) and Kitcheners Memorial on Marwick Head.

Birsay Heritage Trust operates the Barony Mill and produces bere meal and oat meal. See