Castle & Principal Rooms
As the most northerly exlusive-use castle in Scotland and indeed the world, Balfour is a magnificent and unique place to visit. It is a rare example of a "Calendar House" - originally planned with 7 turrets, 12 external doors, 52 rooms and 365 window panes and was built in 1845 for David Balfour by the eminent Scottish Baronial architect David Bryce.
First and foremost a family home, this beautifully preserved castle has retained every bit of its original majesty and charm. The two otters that adorn the Balfour family coat of arms are depicted throughout the Castle, set in stone and carved into wood. Shapinsay is also home to wild otters, sometimes spotted on the Castle lawn or seen on the shore.
Apart from exploring the Castle, Balfour has plenty of activities to offer but if they sound a little energetic then just find a cosy spot and pass the time on otter look out - you may be rewarded.