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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

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 - October, Rousay

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

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.

24th March - 31st October 2015, 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.

Year-round, Orkney:

Although small by Maeshowe’s standards, the Cuween cairn is nonetheless an impressive feat of prehistoric engineering.

Year-round, Kirkwall:

Highland Park is the northernmost Scotch Whisky distillery in the world, and a visit to its five-star, award-winning visitor centre is a must.

Year-round, Orkney:

A late Neolithic circle of 27 upright stones,the Ring of Brodga is one of the finest stone circles anywhere.

Year-round, Kirkwall:

A fine example of Romano-Gothic architecture, St Magnus Cathedral took about 300 years to build (the foundations starting in 1137) and is of international significance.


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