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What’s on Mainland Orkney

Orkney’s main island is simply referred to as the Mainland, with most of its population living in and around the towns of Kirkwall and Stromness. Must-see archaeological attractions here include the Ring of Brodgar stone circle, the chambered cairn of Maeshowe and the incredibly well-preserved Skara Brae village. A wide range of sporting and outdoor activities are available, making for action-packed days out, and there are a variety of annual events and festivals for everyone to enjoy. Too many to list in full here, these include the Orkney Folk Festival, which takes place in May; The St Magnus Festival, which celebrates the arts in its many forms each summer; The County Show, which gives farmers the chance to meet, compete and showcase the best of Orkney farming produce every August; and the Orkney International Science Festival, which attracts world-class speakers and scientific experts to the islands each September.

area highlights

5th - 26th July 2014, Orkney:

Exhibition of photography and poetry created on land and by water in Rackwick, a tiny remote island community in Orkney.

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.

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.

April - September, Kirkwall:

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

23rd - 26th October 2014, Orkney:

The annual Orkney Storytelling Festival is now firmly established in the Orkney calendar.

Year-round, Orkney:

Click Mill is the last surviving horizontal water mill in Orkney, of a type well represented in Shetland and Lewis.


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