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.

The Orkney Folklore Trail

The Orkney Folklore Trail

Tom Muir is an Orcadian storyteller and historian. His wife Rhonda is from America and she recently created the fantastic Orkneyology.com website, which is the ideal place to start when researching a visit to Orkney. In the summer of 2019 they launched the Orkney Folklore Trail App together; it’s a brilliant resource for discovering Orkney’s places and its fascinating folklore. NorthLink spoke to Tom and Rhonda Muir and asked them all about it!

Orkney in December 2019

What's happening in Orkney in December 2019

There's plenty to do in Orkney during December 2019, including Christmas fairs, pantomimes, the Christmas Day Ba' and the Stromness Yule Log Pull. Read our events guide so that you don't miss a thing!

Our day on Egilsay

Our day on Egilsay

Egilsay is tied to one of the most well-known stories in Orkney's history; the martyrdom of St Magnus. However it is also a fantastic place to visit for a day; and we loved exploring the island, seeing the cenotaph, St Magnus Chruch, the RSPB reserve and the brilliant beach.

Deerness Distillery and the journey to create a multi-award winning distillery and spirits!

Deerness Distillery and the journey to create a multi-award winning distillery and spirits!

Deerness Distillery is a relatively new business, having only been open for just over three years in Orkney. However with their multi-award winning Sea Glass gin and smooth Into the Wild vodka they have made an indelible mark in the gin & vodka scene here in Scotland and the UK. With new product being released recently, such as Scuttled gin, owner Stuart Brown caught up with NorthLink Ferries to talk about the importance of taking your time to get things just right!

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.

The Scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet

The Scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet

100 years ago, the German navy did the unthinkable: it deliberately sank 52 of its own ships in one day. The scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow on 21 June 1919 was a deliberate act of sabotage carried out on the orders of Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, who feared that the fleet would fall into the hands of the victorious Allied powers of the First World War.

The Highlights of the North Isles of Orkney

The Highlights of the North Isles of Orkney

We love visiting Orkney's North Isles; each one is quite different from the other and from the Orkney Mainland. You'll find much to do when visiting Eday, Egilsay, North Ronaldsay, Papa Westray, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, Stronsay, Westray or Wyre. However we thought it would be interesting to pick out one place; the one thing you must see when visiting; a highlight for each of North Isles. Read on - we hope you agree with our choices!

Crafting J.Gow Rum: an interview with Collin Van Schayk

Crafting J.Gow Rum: an interview with Collin Van Schayk

Located close to the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, VS Distillers are an exciting new company creating bottles of hand-crafted rum, named after Orkney's pirate, John Gow. NorthLink were pleased to speak to Collin Van Schayk, who spoke passionately about distilling Scottish rum and the story of VS Distillers so far.

The Brough of Birsay in Orkney: all you need to know before you go!

The Brough of Birsay in Orkney: all you need to know before you go!

For an Orkney adventure to remember we’d highly recommend a visit to the Brough of Birsay. This is a tidal island on the north-west tip of the Orkney mainland which can be reached by a causeway when the tide is low. On the island itself there are the remains of a  Viking settlement and the earlier Pictish community. The Brough of Birsay is also one of the best places on the Orkney Mainland to see puffins. We have compiled a list of fascinating facts you need to know about the Brough of Birsay and surrounding area before you go!

Orkney Trike Tours – an interview with John Foster

Orkney Trike Tours – an interview with John Foster

Thinking of booking a tour of Orkney? Why not see Orkney from a uniquely thrilling perspective while riding in style with Orkney Trike Tours! We caught up with John Foster, owner of Orkney Trike Tours, who talked about his passion for bikes, Orkney adventures and his journey to becoming self-employed and doing his dream job.

Island in Focus: Shapinsay

Island in Focus: Shapinsay

Shapinsay is a picturesque agricultural oasis which is only a short, 30 minute ferry trip from Kirkwall. It's a great island for walking, or you can bring your vehicle for a lovely road trip around the island. Shapinsay has a rich history, fascinating archaeological sites, beautiful ayres, charming Balfour village and Balfour Castle, and a unique, small island atmosphere. We've compiled a list of things we love about Shapinsay, and we are certain that you will too!

View previous articles about the Orkney Islands
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