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.
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!
There's plenty to do in Orkney during January 2018. Go out to see undisturbed wildlife, Maeshowe at midwinter or catch up on the Christmas Art Exhibitions still open in galleries throughout the islands! Read our events guide so that you don't miss a thing!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Looking for puffins, standing stones, sea stacks, owls, otters, groatie buckies or Viking runes in Orkney? We've written a handy guide to the Orkney islands which should answer your questions and point you in the right direction!