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What’s on Orkney

The tranquil and friendly Orkney Islands have a Neolithic heritage going back more than 5,500 years, much of it still standing. As a result, there are numerous archaeological attractions throughout the islands, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Maeshowe, Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae on Mainland Orkney. Orkney is also internationally renowned for the abundance of birds and marine wildlife that inhabit the islands throughout the year, making it a premier all-season destination for nature lovers. Orkney’s diverse ranges of habitats are good for plants as well as wildlife, and a wide variety of wild flowers bloom each year in the islands. The Orkney Islands divide naturally into three regions - the North Isles, the South Isles and the Mainland. All offer you a rich mix of cultural, sporting and leisure activities and events - from golfing and walking, to sailing and cycling – in a temperate, welcoming environment.

regional highlights

17th - 20th April 2015, Orkney:

The Jazz Festival is held in the Stromness Hotel, and showcases local jazz musicians, as well as musicians from the jazz scene within the UK.

21st - 24th May 2015, Orkey:

Orkney Folk Festival is a firmly established date in Scotland’s folk festival calendar and has drawn visitors back many times since it started in 1982.

14th June 2015, Orkney:

A scenic and friendly Half-Marathon.

19th - 24th June 2015, Orkney:

St Magnus International Festival is Orkney’s midsummer celebration of the arts.

8th August 2015, Orkney:

Held each year on the second Saturday in August, Orkney’s County Show is a fantastic opportunity to see some of Orkney’s quality livestock.

18th - 20th September 2015, Orkney:

The Orkney Blues Festival brings together local and national artists across multiple venues for a blistering weekend of blues music.

April - September, Kirkwall:

A fascinating collection tracing the history of early domestic radio and wartime communications in Orkney.

April - September, Orkney Islands:

Part of the extensive military remains on the island of Hoy, the battery and martello tower were built between 1813 and 1815 to provide defence against French and American privateers.

May - September, Westray:

A small, children-friendly museum.

April to September, Burray

Displays of local and worldwide fossils and glow in the dark minerals, vintage exhibits and old joinery tools.


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