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The bridge connecting East and West Burra

Burra (Old Norse: Barrey[1]) is the collective name for two of the islands of Shetland:

The two are connected by bridge to one another, and to Mainland by way of Trondra. They form part of the Scalloway Islands.

Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland suggests that the name is a corruption of "Borgarey" (island of the broch)[2], and while this is unlikely, and no broch is extant, the place name Brough, on West Burra lends some support to this case. However, the form used in the Orkneyinga Saga is "Barrey".


  1. Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9
  2. Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins.
Islands of Shetland

Inhabited islands:
Mainland  •
Bressay  • Burra (East & West)  • Fair Isle  • Fetlar  • Foula  • Muckle Roe  • Out Skerries  • Papa Stour  • Trondra  • Unst  • Vaila  • Whalsay  • Yell

Other islands:
Balta  •
Bigga  • Brother Isle  • Colsay  • Hascosay  • Hildasay  • Lamba  • Linga, Muckle Roe  • Linga, Yell  • Mousa  • Muckle Flugga  • Noss  • Oxna  • Papa  • Papa Little  • Samphrey  • South Havra  • Uyea, Northmavine  • Uyea, Unst  • Vementry  • West Linga