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.

Orkney Bere Bannock Recipe

Orkney Bere Bannock Recipe

Learn how to make traditional Orkney Bere Bannocks with this easy recipe from the Barony Mill in Birsay. Bere is an ancient form of barley ideally suited to grow in Orkney's climate - it has grown in the islands since the Stone Age. A Bere Bannock is a unique flat bread which makes an excellent starter or snack, best served warm with butter!

Orkney in April 2018

What's happening in Orkney in April 2018

There's plenty to do in Orkney during April 2018, including attending the 12th Orkney Ceilidh Weekend, the Orkney Jazz Festival, comedy from Jon Richardson and music from the Cuban Brothers. Read our events guide so that you don't miss a thing!

Our day on Rousay

Our day on Rousay

We spent a fantastic day in the Orkney island of Rousay in the late summer. Rousay is often described as the Egypt of the North because there are over 140 archaeological sites to be found within its 19 square miles! We saw chambered cairns, Iron Age brochs, amazing art and beautiful beaches!

Seals in Sanday with Emma Neave-Webb

Seals in Sanday with Emma Neave-Webb

Emma Neave-Webb is the Sanday Ranger and in the winter months she has been remotely operating the Sanday Seal Cam, which is proudly sponsored by NorthLink Ferries. Broadcasting from a remote beach on the island, the Sanday seal cam shows two pupping beaches in the months when grey seals haul ashore to give birth. We spoke to Emma and she offered a fascinating insight into seal behaviour!

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.

A fantastic day out at Fern Valley Wildlife Centre

A fantastic day out at Fern Valley Wildlife Centre

If you're looking for a great place to go in Orkney, then we'd heartily recommend Fern Valley. Based in Rendall, Fern Valley is a fabulous animal centre and tearoom under the one roof which opened in the summer of 2017. All of the animals that live there are exotic rescue animals; visit for a chance to get up close to African Pygmy Hedgehogs, Meerkats and Raccoon dogs!

Jewellery Designers of Orkney

Jewellery Designers of Orkney

It's easy to see why the lovely Orkney islands attract so many writers, artists and makers to its shores. There is inspiration to be easily found just outside your front door! In recent years, the Orkney craft industry has developed a reputation for producing many talented designers of beautiful and unique jewellery. Find out what inspires these amazing people!

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.

A Brief History of Stromness

A Brief History of Stromness

The town of Stromness in the Orkney Islands has a fascinating salt-encrusted history and this year the town celebrates 200 years since it became a Burgh of Barony and 150 years of the Stromness Lifeboat. We've delved into the history of Stromness to find out about the events which shaped the town through the years!

Food from the Orkney Islands that you must try!

Food from the Orkney Islands that you must try!

When visiting the Orkney Islands you’ll find that, as well as having a unique history and heritage, Orkney also has some unique and very tasty food to try! The Orkney menu owes much to the fresh air, fertile fields and rich seas around the islands. Make sure you sample some of our suggestions before you take your ferry home!

Our trip to the Barony Mill

Our trip to the Barony Mill

The Barony Mill in Birsay is a working watermill, the only one in Orkney. During the winter, the miller makes beremeal, from an ancient form of barley, which has been used in Orkney since the stone age. We'd highly recommend the Barony Mill as a must-see to any visitor to Orkney; it has a fascinating tour. The children particularly enjoyed making the mill come to life!

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