the story for the design

Shapinsay

Shapinsay is part of the lush and beautiful Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland.

Low-lying and fertile, Shapinsay has a strong farming community and two nature reserves with wonderful birdlife.

The spectacular Balfour Castle, home to the Balfour family from the 18th Century, can be seen from as far away as the tower of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney's main town.

Inside, there is a set of false bookshelves, which cover a secret passage. The Balfour family used this hideaway to escape unwanted visitors, and this allowed their butler to truthfully say that the Balfours were not at home!