Published on 19/06/2016
Alice Meldrum from Inverness gave us 5 stars. Thank you Alice, it was lovely meeting you and Susan, hopefully see you again soon, Richard and Pam. ...
Sitting in pristine ocean, our beautiful islands are host to an enormous variety of birds which changes throughout the year with the seasons. Orkney is justly famous for its Hen harrier population – 100 breeding pairs at the last count – and has impressive seabird cities such as Marwick Head on the Mainland and Noup Head on Westray, which create an unrivaled spectacle for birders. Our oceans teem with life from plankton to basking sharks and whales and seals of two species can be seen almost anywhere on our coastline year round.
Orkney is equally beautiful underwater and will reward the diver or snorkeller with amazing underwater experiences such as the sunken wrecks of the German High Seas Fleet to suit those of all ability levels. Scapa Scuba offers diving experiences to those who have never dived before and guided snorkelling trips with full equipment to those who want a little more from their holiday. Orkney has a lot to offer the sea kayaker, surfer and kite-surfer too. Orkney Marinas offer excellent facilities for visiting yacht owners at Stromness, Kirkwall and Pierowall, Westray.
There are 18-hole golf courses near Kirkwall and Stromness and on Sanday owned by local clubs, all of which welcome visitors. Trout fishing in Orkney is licence-free and free of charge throughout Orkney with some of the best brown and sea trout to be caught in the United Kingdom. Check out the Orkney Trout Fishing Association’s site for more details.
Archaeological and historical sites abound in Orkney, from the Neolithic village at Skaill, to the Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar. At Maes Howe you can visit a burial chamber that was ancient even when the Vikings carved their graffiti there. The Vikings in turn left a village on the Brough of Birsay, the Round Kirk In Orphir and our magnifent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Later history abounds with mediaeval palaces, Victorian model farms, and a plethora of military installations from the Napoleonic and Volunteer periods and two world wars.
Orkney is a major cultural hub for the North of Scotland. The St. Magnus festival brings together classical music performers and enthusiasts from around the world and has been followed by Folk, Rock, Blues, Science and Nature festivals. Arts and Crafts thrive here with a Craft Trail that will take you to the shops and workshops of a diverse range of craftspeople offering a wide range of hand crafted jewellery, art, musical instruments and clothing.