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Rousay is an island within the Orkney Islands, in the North of Scotland.

It is the sixth-largest island in Orkney, at 11,937 acres, and has a population of approximately 219.

Rousay has been nicknamed 'The Egypt of the North' due to its richness in archaeological sites - a total of 166, including Midhowe Broch and Cairn, a popular destinations for visitors to the island.

The name of this fascinating island has developed over hundreds of years, after originally being named 'Hrólfs-øy' (meaning 'Rolf's Island'). Orkney was under Norse rule from the 800s until 1486 - when it was subsequently surrendered to Scotland - with the name 'Hrólfs' a common first name for Norsemen. In the late 1300s, the island's name became 'Rollesay', before developing into 'Rolsay' in the 1400s, and into the more familiar, 'Rowsay' in the early 1500s. The island was finally first referred to as 'Rousay' in the year 1549.

Today, Rousay is a very self-sufficient island, with a Grocery Shop, Primary School, Doctor's Surgery, Post Office, Fitness Centre, and Church, as well as an Inn serving meals, Builders, Gardening Services, Hairdressers, a Fuel Station and a Haulier/Refuse Collector. Rousay also has a Fire Station, the services of which are shared between Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre, as is the Ambulance. Orkney Ferries continues to provide regular ferry sailings between Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre, and Tingwall, with RAFT Services providing public transport on Rousay. Orkney's Mobile Library continues to make monthly visits.

There are also many social groups and activities on the island, including: an Over-60s Lunch Club, Badminton and Table Tennis, Youth Club, Dancing Groups, Yoga Classes, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Spinning Group, Film Showings, and loads more; you are more than welcome to join in the fun!

Due to its close proximity to the Mainland of Orkney, Rousay residents are able to make use of the many services elsewhere in Orkney too - there's shops, dentists, vets, butchers, supermarkets, a cinema, a leisure centre, many sports facilities, swimming pools, and plenty more!

Please click on an image below, to read more about each of the five districts on Rousay.

brinian frotoft westside wester sourin