Ayre (landform)

An ayre is a name often applied to shingle beaches in Orkney and Shetland. The term is derived from the Old Norse word for a shingle beach - "eyrr" - and may be applied to ordinary beaches, to cliff-foot beaches (such as the Lang Ayre in Northmavine, Shetland) to spits, bars, and tombolos, but only if formed of shingle. It is sometimes wrongly applied to sand tombolos (e.g. St. Ninian's tombolo in Shetland) and to the lakes and lagoons impounded by bay-head bars, which are more properly called oyces in Orkney and Houbs in Shetland.