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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

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.

April to September, Burray

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

May - September, Westray:

A small, children-friendly museum.

May - October, Rousay

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

March/April - October, Orkney:

Situated close to the pier, the museum tells the history of Scapa Flow and the story of its naval anchorage in the two World Wars.

March - October, Orkney:

Corrigall Farm Museum is a traditional ‘but and ben’ house.

March - October, Birsay:

The last un-restored example of a traditional ‘firehoose’ in Northern Europe, the Museum also has a collection of farming memorabilia as well as an Edwardian parlour and Victorian gardens.

Year-round, Rousay:

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

February - December, Westray

Wheeling Steen is Old Norse for ’Resting Stone’.

Year-round, Rousay:

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


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