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What’s on The Isles of Orkney

Orkney’s outer islands each have their own unique character and are definitely worth a visit. Shapinsay, Gairsay, Stronsay, Wyre, Rousay, Egilsay, Eday, Sanday, Westray, Papa Westray and North Ronaldsay are the main islands to the north. The islands of Graemsay, Hoy, Burray, Flotta and South Ronaldsay lie to the south. Although Burray and South Ronaldsay are ‘islands’ they are connected to Mainland Orkney by the Churchill Barriers, built in the 1940s as naval defences to protect the anchorage at Scapa Flow. Hoy is home to the well-known sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy - one of Orkney’s major tourist attractions.

area highlights

Year-round, Rousay:

Constructed and used between 200BC and 200AD, Midhowe Broch is perhaps the most impressive broch in the Orkney Isles.

Year-round, Rousay:

Small visitor centre situated adjacent to the pier focusing on the history, people and impressive archaeology of Rousay.

February - December, Westray

Wheeling Steen is Old Norse for ’Resting Stone’.

Year-round, Orkney:

Perched above the dramatic South Ronaldsay cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn - better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’ - is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites.

Year-round, Orkney:

Blackhammer Chambered Cairn is a neolithic burial cairn, similar in general shape and subdivisions to the contemporary Neolithic houses at Knap of Howar.

Year-round, Orkney:

The 5,000-year-old monument known as the Dwarfie Stane is a huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.

Year-round, Orkney:

Probably the oldest standing stone houses in north-west Europe and dating from the early Neolithic period the site comprises two houses, approximately rectangular, with stone cupboards and stalls that are contemporary with the chambered tombs of Orkney.

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.

May - October, Rousay

Trumland House is a Jacobean-style mansion designed by David Bryce and completed in 1876.


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