Living on Shapinsay

We have a very regular boat service, taking only 20 minutes! It leaves from Kirkwall and arrives right in the heart of Balfour Village.

In some ways, Shapinsay residents enjoy the best of both worlds, we get to enjoy all that island life has to offer while also being a stones throw (or ferry ride) from the mainland of Orkney and all that it has to offer, it makes a fantastic base to live and work, or just to stay for a few days.

Shapinsay has a lot to offer. It’s incredibly picturesque from the moment you arrive on the ferry.

As you approach, you can see Helliar Holm on your right which is a small uninhabited island with an automatic lighthouse. As you enter Elwick Bay, on your left, you will see the beautiful Victorian structure of Balfour Castle, built by the late David Balfour, whose influences can be seen throughout Shapinsay.