Orkney Quiz

During the COVID-19 pandemic, quizzes have been a great way to pass the time with family and friends, both with those within your household, and with those who live far away, using video-sharing technology. At NorthLink Ferries we love the islands we serve, so we’ve gathered a selection of quiz questions about the Orkney islands for you to try!

A selection of quiz questions about the Orkney islands

We also have a range of Shetland-inspired quiz questions and hope you enjoy trying these too.

We hope you have fun on your way to becoming the Northern Isles quiz champion amongst your family and friends!


  1. What is the name of the oldest preserved stone built house in Western Europe, located in Papa Westray?
  2. On which Orkney island is there a surrounding dyke to keep the sheep on the shore?
  3. What is special about the flight from Westray to Papa Westray?
  4. Which charity is Orkney’s largest landowner?
  5. What is the name of the physician and explorer of the Canadian Arctic from Orkney?
  6. Which ‘Jaws’ and ‘From Russia With Love’ actor spent part of his childhood in Stromness?
  7. What is the name of the rare flower found in coastal areas of Orkney, such as Yesnaby?
  8. Where in Orkney can you find spectacular Viking runic graffiti?
  9. Which poet and author lived in Stromness from 1921 to 1996?
  10. What is the name of the 449-foot sea stack that MV Hamnavoe passes on her sailing to Orkney?
  11. Where in Orkney is Noltland Castle?
  12. How many years old (to the nearest thousand) is Skara Brae?
  13. What happened to the surrendered German Fleet in Scapa Flow on 21st June 1919?
  14. Which Orkney island is known as ‘the Egypt of the North’ due to the great number of archaeological sites there?
  15. What is the name of the castle found on the Orkney island of Wyre?
  16. What traditional game is played in the streets of Kirkwall on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day?
  17. On which Orkney island was St Magnus killed?
  18. Who was John Gow?
  19. What is the name of the large natural rock arch found in Stronsay?
  20. On which Orkney island is the Tomb of the Eagles?
  21. Which NorthLink ship is named after the Old Norse word for the Orkney Mainland?
  22. The village of Kettletoft is in which Orkney island?
  23. When was St Magnus Cathedral built (to the nearest century)?
  24. What is special about an Orkney chair?
  25. When can you visit the Brough of Birsay?
  26. What is the Yesnaby Castle?
  27. What group of people built the Italian Chapel in 1943?
  28. What is a pattie (found in Orkney chip shops) made of?
  29. The Orkney name ‘Catty face’ is given to which animal?
  30. Where in Orkney is the Ring of Brodgar located?


  1. The Knap of Howar.
  2. North Ronaldsay.
  3. It is the shortest scheduled flight in the UK.
  4. The RSPB have 13 nature reserves covering around 8,500ha.
  5. Dr John Rae.
  6. Robert Shaw.
  7. Primula scotica.
  8. Maeshowe chambered cairn.
  9. George Mackay Brown.
  10. The Old Man of Hoy.
  11. Westray.
  12. 5,000.
  13. The ships were deliberately scuttled and sunk.
  14. Rousay.
  15. Cubbie Roo’s Castle.
  16. The Ba.
  17. Egilsay.
  18. He was a pirate raised in Stromness and captured in Eday.
  19. The Vat of Kirbuster.
  20. South Ronaldsay.
  21. MV Hrossey.
  22. Sanday.
  23. 1137.
  24. They have a straw back to capture the heat of the hearth.
  25. When the tide is out.
  26. A sea stack.
  27. Italian Prisoners of War.
  28. Mince, potatoes and onion.
  29. (Short-eared) owls.
  30. Stenness, between the loch of Harray and the loch of Stenness.
Magnus DixonBy Magnus Dixon
Orkney and Shetland enthusiast, family man, loves walks, likes animals, terrible at sports, dire taste in music, adores audiobooks and films, eats a little too much for his own good.

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Header image: MV Hamnavoe sailing past the Old Man of Hoy in Orkney photo © Copyright Nick McCaffrey