Orkney Boreray Farm visit

We can offer visits to the farm to see our Boreray sheep and hear about their Neolithic, Viking, Pre-Clearances and St Kilda history. 

Normally a maximum of 12 people.  Full terms and conditions and details of how to book are below.

In our shed ('barn' for those from England) we have a display of posters showing the sheep and their history, and a display of fleece and woollen items.  

The one hour visit will include seeing the sheep and a detailed talk about the history of Boreray sheep which you can choose to focus on any or all of the sheep in the Neolithic, Viking, Pre-Clearances or St Kilda periods. 

For those with an interest in the wool you can handle some double coated Boreray fleece, learn how to separate the outer and inner coats, and experience for yourself (twisting by hand) how differently the outer and inner coats behave when spun.  You can also see a demonstration of spinning on a reproduction Viking spindle.

The 30 minute visit will be a highlights talk with opportunity to see the sheep.

A few of our sheep that were bottle raised as lambs, so are more comfortable around people, will usually be where you can see and photograph them close up.  Here are Cato and Ferdinand who have performed this role in 2019.

There are postcards you can buy and, when available, knitting yarn spun from our Boreray fleece.

The shed enables the talk and demonstration to take place in comfort even when it's windy or raining.  We will also normally bring a group of sheep (ewes and lambs if possible) to one of the fields adjoining the shed area.  You'll be able to see them at fairly close distance from the hard standing around the shed and take as many photographs as you like.  Here are some of the ewes and lambs as seen from the hard standing at the back of the shed.


There are full hand washing facilities so you can wash your hands after the visit.  This is recommended for everyone, but vital if you've handled any fleece.  We can't offer any toilet facilities.

There is car parking on the driveway a short walk, on hard standing, from the shed.  For disabled visitors it is possible to drive a car right up to the shed but we'll need informing in advance to get the gates opened.

Please note, we do need at least 48 hours notice to prepare for a visit.  We will try and accomodate shorter notice periods but there may be fewer groups of sheep that can be viewed from the area outside the shed.


Visits can be booked using the contact page, by emailing boreray@runbox.com or telephoning 01856 761331

Directions to Burnside Farm

Charges for Burnside Borerays Farm Visit, Talk and Demonstration

30 minute highlights visit & talk. 

Groups up to 6 people £20.  Groups over 6 people £ 2 per extra person

1 hour visit, talk & demonstration.

Groups up to 6 people £30.    Groups over 6 people £ 3 per extra person

Maximum normally 12 people

Terms and Conditions

  • All visits should normally be pre-booked at least 48 hours in advance to allow for moving sheep as needed and preparatory work.
  • Any visits cancelled by the visiting group with less than 48 hours notice, a charge of £20 will still need to be made to cover preparatory work and time moving sheep.
  • On any livestock farm unexpected things can happen. If a talk is unable to go ahead as planned at short notice, for example if a ewe is lambing during the time a talk would have been going on, then an appropriate reduction in charges will be made.
  • If a visit has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances on the farm then a full refund will be given.
  • Visitors must follow safety instructions on the farm, including avoiding the steep slope by the entrance to the shed that is blocked off with hurdles.
  • Children must be fully and closely monitored by their parents at all times.
  • Borerays are primitive sheep and even the ‘tame’ sheep adjacent to the hard standing will become stressed if they are petted, so touching the sheep is not possible.
  • Hand washing facilities are provided and everyone is strongly advised to wash their hands with soap and hot water at the end of the visit for health & safety reasons.