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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

22nd - 25th May 2014, 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.

20th - 25th June 2014, Orkney:

Founded in 1977 by Orkney’s distinguished resident composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Orkney’s annual celebration of the arts has become one of the UK’s most adventurous arts events.

9th August 2014, 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.

4th - 10th September 2014, Orkney:

This international science festival includes demonstrations, talks, field trips and visits - as well as evening ceilidhs and concerts.

19th - 21st September 2014, Orkney:

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

May - September, Westray:

A small, children-friendly museum.

April - September, Orkney

Strikingly positioned beside Eynhallow Sound with views across to the island of Rousay, the Broch of Gurness (Aikerness Broch) is one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric (Iron-Age) settlement that is unique to northern Scotland.

May-September, Orkney Islands:

A water-powered meal mill and kiln built in 1873 and still in operation today.

April - September, Kirkwall:

Two of Scotland’s finest examples of architecture, and highlighting Orkney’s close Norse and ecclesiastical links, the palaces are located near St Magnus cathedral.

Mid June - September, Birsay

Birsay is a tidal island with Pictish and Viking settlements which include some of the finest examples of Norse hall-houses so far found in Scotland.


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