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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

Year-round, Stromness:

Many of the museum’s exhibits reflect the importance of Orkney’s maritime history.

Year-round, Stromness:

A highly acclaimed modern art gallery housing an important collection of British fine art donated by Margaret Gardiner.

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:

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

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.

3rd - 10th February 2015, Orkney Isles:

Papay Gyro Nights is a unique festival of contemporary visual and performance art that takes place in unique settings of extreme remoteness on the island Papa Westray.

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.

19th - 24th June 2015, Orkney:

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


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