Guide to Orkney

The mysteries of the Orkney Islands never fail to attract young and old from far and near. The long-gone voices from the ancient sites dotted around these islands could tell us many tales of ancient civilisations, religious customs, and much more at which we can only guess. The voices may be quiet now, but they have left extraordinary remains of villages, howes, stone circles, and tombs which fire the imagination of all who visit them.

Of Orkney’s incredible allure and huge range of attractions, though, there is perhaps less mystery. Green, rolling fields bordered by huge seascapes, the festivals and shows, stacks and crashing seas, the sunken fleet at Scapa Flow, wonderful food and drink, island-hopping, golf at midnight in mid-summer, Orcadian music and crafts and of course spectacular wildlife.

In Orkney you can even feel the air and the pace of life doing you good.

Ten further hidden gems of Orkney

Ten further hidden gems of Orkney

There are so many great places to see in Orkney - and it's a shame that not all of them are as well known as Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Old Man of Hoy. We've compiled a list, an insider's guide, to some less familiar but still brilliant places to see in Orkney - we hope that you'll agree these are gems indeed!

Orkney in May 2017

What's happening in Orkney in May 2017

There's plenty on in Orkney during May 2017 - including the Orkney Wine Festival, the Orkney Nature Festival with the Per Mare Nature Festival cruise and the 35th Orkney Folk Festival! Read our guide so that you don't miss a thing!

Twelve essential historical places to visit in Orkney

Twelve essential historical places to visit in Orkney

2017 is the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology - and if you are interested in any of those things, Orkney is one of the most essential places in Scotland to visit - there's an average of three archaeological sites per square mile! We've compiled a list of twelve essential historical places to visit across the Orkney islands.

A walk to the Knowes of Trotty

A walk to the Knowes of Trotty

We think that the award for the best name in Orkney archaeology should go to the Knowes of Trotty - the largest Bronze Age burial site in Scotland. They are located in Harray in the West Mainland at the foot of a heathery hill. My family and I chose a fine autumn day to go on a brilliant walk to find this hidden archaeological treasure!

A guide to the Orkney Islands

A Guide to the Orkney Islands

Visiting Orkney? Why not take a look at our island by island and place by place guide. You'll find lots of interesting facts and helpful hints and tips so that you can make the most of your trip to Orkney.

Fascinating facts about Skara Brae you may not know!

Fascinating facts about Skara Brae you may not know!

One of the most remarkable places to visit in Orkney is the perfectly preserved Stone Age village of Skara Brae. Unlike the burial chambers and standing stones that make up the majority of the amazing archaeology in Orkney, Skara Brae is unique in that it offers us a glimpse into Neolithic everyday life. We've compiled some fascinating facts about Skara Brae you may not know!

A Guide to Events and Festivals in Orkney

A Guide to Events and Festivals in Orkney

Orkney has a packed calendar of diverse events. We’ve collected a list of annual events and festivals, from summer agricultural shows to the mass yuletide game ‘The Ba’. With classical, jazz, rock and traditional folk music mixed in between, Orkney has every possible taste covered.

12 essential Orkney books

12 essential Orkney books

The culture, landscape and history of the Orkney Islands are a great source of inspiration for poets and writers. If you're keen to do a bit of holiday reading then we've picked hand-picked 12 books that make essential guides to understanding the Orkney Islands. Not only that; they make very fine and entertaining reads!

Charles Tait – a life in pictures

Charles Tait – a life in pictures

Photographer Charles Tait is, to us, a figure central to the Orkney Tourism industry. As well as being the author of several acclaimed local guide books, his photographs have illustrated visitor brochures, calendars and postcards for many years. We asked Charles to share his story along with some tips for budding photographers keen to capture the drama of the Northern Isles!

A tour of the Orkney Brewery

A tour of the Orkney Brewery

Nestled on the wild west coast of Orkney, just 2 miles from the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, is the Orkney Brewery Visitor Centre. It’s an easy destination to recommend to visitors exploring Orkney. Located in a former Victorian schoolhouse; the Orkney Brewery offers informative tours, mouth-watering local food, a warm welcome and spectacular beer.

Skaill House Falconry

Skaill House Falconry

Skaill House Falconry is one of Orkney’s newest attractions. It’s easily found, situated in the grounds of Skaill House next to Skara Brae in the West Mainland. The business is a family affair, run by Keith Austen, along with his wife Andrea and son Lewis. Together they offer a brilliant and personal falconry experience for visitors and Orcadians alike. NorthLink Ferries were delighted when Keith agreed to answer some questions about his birds and the experience folk can expect to have at Skaill House Falconry!

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