Summary accessibility statement
Before you visit
Please check ahead for suitability for your access needs. Download a full accessibility guide below.
How to get here
Buses stop at Norseman village, 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east of the reserve. Bus route is No 6 Kirkwall to Tingwall. Up to date travel information can be found on travelinescotland.com.
Cycle route 1 of the National Cycle Network runs through Norseman village, 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east of the reserve.
The reserve is 4.5 miles (7.3 km) north of Finstown off the A966. Take the minor road west at Norseman village, signposted for RSPB Cottascarth, then turn right at Settisgarth, following the signs for the reserve. The road passes through the farmyard at Lower Cottascarth Farm (follow the signs for the hide) to the car park just above it. Lower Cottascarth is a working farm so please be considerate and aware of farm machinery and equipment as you pass through the farmyard.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.
Access to facilities
- The hide at Cottascarth is accessed by a trail which leads from the car park, 600 m away.
- The trail is sloping, unsurfaced and can be wet and muddy at times.
The track to the hide is along a rough track.
- This nature reserve is important for wildlife and is also a working farm. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
- As this is a working farm we request that dogs are not brought to the reserve. If you do bring your dog please keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead and avoid areas with livestock.