Page 1

INSIDER GUIDE 2019

AN EXPERIENCE TO TREASURE ORKNEY.COM PLEASE LEAVE THIS GUIDE BEHIND FOR OTHER VISITORS TO ENJOY


A VERY WARM ORKNEY WELCOME… Whether you are a regular visitor to our shores or this is your first time, I am delighted you have chosen to visit Orkney.

Orcadians have been welcoming visitors to this unique place for hundreds of years and visitors are always assured of a very special place in Orkney hearts. All year round the islands provide a plethora of opportunities – whatever your interests – cultural, adventure, heritage, family fun or wildlife and nature. This guide has been created to help you to identify what you’d like to do whilst you’re here. We have also included some itineraries – with ideas on what to see if you’re interested in Neolithic, Viking or wartime history, nature, or Orkney’s food & drink and craft offer. However there is so much more information available – online at orkney.com and through the local VisitScotland iCentre in Kirkwall, to help you to make the most of your Orkney time. Orkney also has a fantastic events programme – from music festivals to agricultural shows – so it’s worth checking out what’s on during your stay at orkney.com/events for the latest information and booking details. We are all, of course, simply guardians of this special place for future generations, and we hope that you will consider the fragility of our environment and do all you can to protect it during your stay.

Gareth Crichton - Chair Destination Orkney

PROTECTING ORKNEY Look out for the leaf symbol throughout this guide for ways you can help to ensure Orkney’s future is preserved.

2

ORKNEY.COM


4 KIRKWALL 8 EAST MAINLAND 12 WEST MAINLAND 16 STROMNESS 18 INNER ISLES 20 SOUTH ISLES 22 OUTER ISLES 26 STARRY SKIES & SHORTER DAYS 28 OUT & ABOUT 44 TWO DAYS REMEMBERING FORTRESS ORKNEY 46 AN ORKNEYINGA DAY 48 A DAY WITH NATURE 50 A DAY IN ORKNEY’S NEOLITHIC PAST 52 A DAY-LONG TASTE OF ORKNEY 54 HANDMADE IN ORKNEY 56 CRAFTS & SHOPPING 68 FOOD & DRINK 90 TOURING & TRAVEL 99 SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE 100 TAKE A TOUR 101 USEFUL INFORMATION 102 AREA MAP 103 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

ORKNEY.COM

3


KIRKWALL - ORKNEY’S PROUD CAPITAL With medieval streets and the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral at its heart, its lively atmosphere, and welcoming townsfolk, time in Kirkwall is always time well spent. Orkney’s bustling capital offers a range of cafés, shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the Pickaquoy Centre – with its indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The VisitScotland iCentre – open all year – is a must for great local information and advice on island hopping, transport, attraction opening times, tour guides and more. Kirkwall’s Library and Archive is a popular destination for those researching local history and the Orkney Museum provides a real insight into the islands’ history, with Tankerness House Gardens

being a delightful stop-off point. Dominating the Kirkwall skyline, and at the heart of the town is the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, founded in 1137. The huge sandstone structure took over 300 years to complete in the days when the islands were ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney. Open to visitors all year round, the cathedral is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture and knowledgeable guides can help you to get the most from your visit.

The Bishop’s Palace and The Earl’s Palace are also to be found in central Kirkwall, adjacent to the Cathedral. The Bishop’s Palace was built at the same time as St Magnus Cathedral and together they are two of the best-preserved buildings of their time. The Earl’s Palace was added in the early 1600s, by Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney. Kirkwall’s medieval streets and alleyways are worth exploring – with crow-stepped gable-ended stone houses built by

Aerial view of Kirkwall

4

ORKNEY.COM


KIRKWALL KIRKWALL

wealthy merchants in the 17th and 18th centuries. The town centre is well served with largely independent shops, selling daily essentials as well as a variety of merchandise – from island spun knitwear to freshly caught lobsters, locally produced beer to handmade jewellery. Of course, the town has a selection of larger supermarkets on its periphery and has excellent transport links.

GET LOCAL INFORMATION FROM LOCAL EXPERTS Pop into Kirkwall’s VisitScotland iCentre, where local experts with a wide range of knowledge can advise you on how to get the best experience of Orkney.

Whatever time of day you find yourself in Kirkwall, there will be cafés and restaurants to tempt you. Many serve local produce, with daily specials and are accommodating of special dietary needs.

The iCentre offers free WiFi and is open all year round.

In the evenings Kirkwall’s bars often host live music, with traditional fiddle and accordion players, or other live bands. In June each year the St Magnus International Festival is a huge draw, with visitors arriving from across the globe to enjoy a range of musical and theatrical events.

For more information visit www.visitscotland.com or call 01856 872856

Over recent years Kirkwall has become a popular destination for cruise liners, which are regular visitors to the scenic bay during the summer months. Don’t be surprised to hear Scandinavian, Chinese, Australian and many more languages happily mingling with the local Orcadian dialect as you enjoy all that Kirkwall has to offer.

FOR UP TO THE MINUTE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT’S ON IN KIRKWALL VISIT WWW.ORKNEY.COM/EVENTS

St Magnus Cathedral

The Pickaquoy Centre

Kirkwall Harbour

ORKNEY.COM

5


D

E

LN

32 ST

LA

10

15

WE

LLI

ON NGT

ST

9

ST

BUT T

QUO

Y PL

WAT

VICTORIA

S

T

M A I N 29

RE YC

18

ION

UO

UN

T TQ

VICTORIA RD

BU

GLA ITN ESS PA R K

20

NDAS CRES C E N T

40

D

AT E RG E

23

R OA

DU

AD

ST

RO

12 26

AC E

PL

PA L

L

OY

ST

O

QU

GS

RNES S LN

1

KA

KIN

D

OA

CTI

JUN

11

L

6

ST RY ND

IL

17 34 22

TANK E

TH E

ST

ON

ER

ST

E

14 The Ayre Hotel Ayre Road T: 01856 873001 www.ayrehotel.co.uk

M

WE

ST

35 41 LA 36 N

21

PIC

30

LE

ST

HO

G R E AT

US

ST

BR

RO

RD N

ST MA GN

G

SC

8

AD

5

IN

BE

RT

42

SC

ST CLA

Y LO A

EN

T

N

4 2

Bishop’s Palace & Earl’s Palace Palace Road T: 01856 871918 www.historicenvironment.scot

7 Orkney Wireless Museum Kiln Corner T: 01856 871400 www.owm.org.uk

Healtherapy T: 01856 874929 www.healtherapy-orkney.co.uk

8 The Pickaquoy Centre Muddisdale Road T: 01856 879900 www.pickaquoy.co.uk

2

Highland Park Distillery Holm Road T: 01856 874619 www.highlandparkwhisky.com

3

The Orkney Distillery Ayre Road T: 01856 875338 www.orkneydistilling.com

4

5

6

6

9 Scapa Crafts Scapa Court T: 01856 872517 www.scapacrafts.co.uk 10 Scapa Distillery Visitor Centre St Ola T: 01856 873269 www.scapawhisky.com

Orkney Hand Crafted Furniture by Fraser Anderson 11 St Magnus Cathedral and St Magnus Centre New Scapa Road 12 Broad Street/Palace Road T: 01856 872492 T: 01856 878326 www.orkneyhandcraftedfurniture.co.uk www.stmagnus.org Orkney Library & Archive Junction Road T: 01856 873166 www.orkneylibrary.org.uk Orkney Museum and Tankerness House Gardens Broad Street T: 01856 873191 www.orkney.gov.uk

ORKNEY.COM

15 The Foveran St Ola T: 01856 872389 www.thefoveran.com 16 The Kirkwall Hotel Harbour Street T: 01856 872232 www.kirkwallhotel.com 17 Kirkwall & St Ola Community Centre Broad Street T: 01856 873354 18 The Lynnfield Hotel Holm Road T: 01856 872505 www.lynnfieldhotel.com 19 The Orkney Distillery Ayre Road T: 01856 875338 www.orkneydistilling.com 20 The Orkney Hotel Victoria Street T: 01856 873477 www.orkneyhotel.co.uk 21 The Pickaquoy Centre - Café Muddisdale Road T: 01856 879900 www.pickaquoy.co.uk 22 Real Food Café & Restaurant Judith Glue, Broad Street T: 01856 874225 www.judithglue.com

OUT & ABOUT 1

FOOD & DRINK 13 The Albert Hotel & Bothy Bar Mounthoolie Lane T: 01856 876000 www.alberthotel.co.uk

AL

39

28

37

ST

LI

38

31

N

O

EE

O

QU

N TH

A

CA

E AC PL

13

MOU

W

E’S IN ER

G

RO

7

RD

ST

B UR

H

O U TH

GE

BURNM

3 19

E

ID

14

UR ST 16 25

OR

BR

HARBO 27

AY R E R O AD

SH 24

H AT TC

33

23 Royal British Legion Junction Road T: 01856 873297 www.rbls-kirkwall.org.uk 24 The Shore Shore Street T: 01856 872200 www.theshore.co.uk 25 Skippers Bridge Street T: 01856 872232 www.kirkwallhotel.com 26 St Magnus Centre Palace Road T: 01856 878326 www.stmagnuscentre.org 27 St Ola Hotel Harbour Street T: 01856 875090 www.stolahotel.co.uk 28 The Storehouse Restaurant with Rooms Bridge Street Wynd T: 01856 252250 www.thestorehouserestaurant withrooms.co.uk 29 West End Hotel Main Street T: 01856 872368 www.westendkirkwall.co.uk


KIRKWALL

SHOPPING 30 Aurora Jewellery

35 Kirkness & Gorie Broad Street T: 01856 888792 www.thelongship.co.uk

Albert Street T: 01856 871521 www.aurora-jewellery.co.uk

31 The Brig Larder

36 The Longship Broad Street T: 01856 888790 www.thelongship.co.uk

Albert Street T: 01856 873146 www.jollysoforkney.co.uk

Orkney Arts and Crafts

32 Hume Sweet Hume Albert Street T: 01856 988213 www.humesweethume.co.uk

www.orkneyartsandcrafts.com

37 Creative Orkney

33 Jolly’s of Orkney Scott’s Road, Hatston T: 01856 872417 www.jollysoforkney.co.uk

Ortak, Albert Street T: 01856 878346 www.creative-orkney.com

38 Sheila Fleet Jewellery

34 Judith Glue

39 Starlings Albert Street T: 01856 874334 www.starlingsorkney.co.uk

40 Sutherland’s Pharmacy Victoria Street T: 01856 873240 www.sutherlandspharmacy.co.uk

41 Tait and Style Broad Street T: 01856 888793 www.thelongship.co.uk

42 W Hourston Jewellers Albert Street T: 01856 872151 www.hourstonoforkney.co.uk

Bridge Street T: 01856 876900 www.sheilafleet.com/shops

Broad Street T: 01856 874225 www.judithglue.com

KEY TO BUSINESS TYPE Jewellery

Earl’s Palace

Clothing & Accessories Gifts Art & Craft Food & Drink Pharmacy

St Magnus Cathedral Concert

ORKNEY.COM

7


EAST MAINLAND BEYOND THE BARRIERS Wartime heritage and archaeological sites are framed in a landscape of beautiful villages and stunning sandy beaches with wildlife in abundance. The East Mainland and the islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay have, since the Second World War, been linked by the Churchill Barriers. These barriers were commissioned by Winston Churchill to block the eastern approaches to Scapa Flow, as one of the world’s finest natural anchorages, it was home to the British Home Fleet. Today the Churchill Barriers provide easy road crossing from the East Mainland to Burray and South Ronaldsay, whilst offering spectacular views of Scapa Flow and the island of Hoy.

On the shores of the tiny island of Lamb Holm is the world renowned Italian Chapel. This iconic symbol of peace and reconciliation was built by Italian prisoners of war, brought to Orkney in 1942 to construct the Churchill Barriers. The prisoners requested two Nissen huts as a place to worship and they used their traditional craftsmanship, under the guidance of Domenico Chiocchetti, to transform them, inside and out, using only the most basic of materials, into what is now Orkney’s most visited wartime landmark.

The landscape has other reminders of the importance that Orkney held as a key strategic location during the First and Second World Wars. A visit to the cliff top Balfour Gun Battery at Hoxa Head, with its concrete bunkers, watch towers and memorials is a stark reminder of the impact the war years had on Orkney, its residents and the service men and women stationed here.

Churchill Barriers

8

ORKNEY.COM


Perched on the southernmost tip of South Ronaldsay is the Tomb of The Eagles. This Neolithic burial chamber was first discovered in the 1950s by local farmer Ronnie Simison. Today its visitor centre offers a unique view of Mesolithic, Stone Age and Bronze Age Orkney. Visitors can go right into the tomb (via a pulley – the entrance chamber is rather low!)

Burray’s Fossil and Heritage Centre provides a fascinating insight into Orkney’s ancient past – and the construction of the Churchill Barriers.

A little further north, Banks Chambered Tomb is quarried from solid rock and is the only tomb of its kind in Orkney.

On your journey into South Ronaldsay you will encounter the typical Orkney village of St Margaret’s Hope, with craft galleries, shops and cafés.

The East Mainland and adjacent islands are home, at least for part of the year, to a variety of sea birds and its lochs are a breeding ground for oystercatchers and lapwing. The sea cliffs of the Mull Head nature reserve at Deerness are a popular spot for bird watchers.

EAST MAINLAND

Travelling south across the barriers from the Mainland, through Lamb Holm and into Burray and South Ronaldsay, you will find quaint villages, lovely beaches and much island wildlife. This is a breeding ground for grey seals, (locally known as selkies) and pups can be seen bobbing in the waters or basking on the rocks with their mothers through October, November and December.

LOCAL INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGER TIPS VisitScotland accredited Information Partners are based throughout Orkney and offer excellent advice on how to get the most from your visit, with insider tips about the must-see attractions on the island. Look out for the ‘iKnow’ logo.

PICK UP THREE PIECES Pick Up Three Pieces was an initiative started by Orkney’s children, who wanted to help to clean up litter affecting their beaches and surrounding areas. Please do help out by picking up any litter you come across and placing it in one of the many Pick Up Three Pieces bins that are located across the islands. Stay in touch at facebook.com/PickUpThreePieces

Italian Chapel

Hoxa Head

ORKNEY.COM

9


FOOD & DRINK

OUT & ABOUT 1

Banks Chambered Tomb South Ronaldsay T: 01856 831605 www.tomboftheotters.co.uk

6

Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre Burray T: 01856 731255 www.orkneyfossilcentre.co.uk

2

Christina Sargent Art Gallery South Ronaldsay T: 0740 054 2026 www.wheemsorganic.co.uk

7

3

Deerness Distillery Ltd Deerness T: 01856 741264 www.deernessdistillery.com

Sheila Fleet Jewellery Kirk Gallery, Café and Workshop Tankerness T: 01856 861203 www.sheilafleet.com/shops

8

4

Hoxa Tapestry Gallery South Ronaldsay T: 01856 831395 www.hoxatapestrygallery.co.uk

Tomb of the Eagles South Ronaldsay T: 01856 831339 www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk

9

5

Italian Chapel Lamb Holm T: 01856 781580 www.italianchapel.co.uk

Workshop & Loft Gallery St Margaret’s Hope T: 01856 831587 www.workshopandloftgallery.co.uk

Kite surfing by the Barriers

View over Deerness

10

ORKNEY.COM

Community Café @ Orkney 10 Fossil and Heritage Centre Burray T: 01856 731255 www.orkneyfossilcentre.co.uk

11 Skerries Bistro South Ronaldsay T: 01856 831605 www.skerriesbistro.co.uk 12 Sheila Fleet Kirk Gallery & Café Tankerness T: 01856 861758 www.sheilafleet.com/shops

St Margaret’s Hope


FIRTH

HELLIAR HOLM

The String

Kirkwall Bay

Finstown

Hatston

Swanbister Bay

Inganess Bay

7 12

Deer Sound

St Peter’s Pool

HOLM

Howequoy Head

5

GLIMPS HOLM CALF OF FLOTTA

HUNDA

BURRAY

OTTA

oint of ckness

Hoxa Head

LAMB HOLM

The Bu Sands

6 10

Point of Ayre

COPINSAY

Burray Ness

2 13

Grimness

...

Widewall Bay Kirkhouse Point

SWITHA

Cantick Head

SOUTH RONALDSAY Windwick Bay

1 11

SWONA

Newark Bay

KEY TO BUSINESS TYPE Jewellery Clothing & Accessories Gifts Art & Craft Food & Drink Pharmacy

Ayre of Cara

4

Herston Head

The Gloup

Rose Ness

9Water Sound

St Margaret’s Hope

Dingieshowe

B9052

St Mary’s

Scapa Flow

DEERNESS 3

East Mainland

Waulkmill Bay

13 Wheems Organic Produce South Ronaldsay T: 0740 054 2026 www.wheemsorganic.co.uk

Mull Head

TANKERNESS

Scapa Bay

ORPHIR

SHOPPING

Rerwick Head

Kirkwall

EAST MAINLAND

Bay of Firth

Loch of Kirbister

AUSKERRY

Balfour

Burwick

Halcro Head

8

Brough Ness

DID YOU KNOW? GREY SEALS COME ASHORE DURING THE AUTUMN TO PUP. YOU CAN SEE MOTHERS AND THEIR NEWBORNS FROM A SAFE DISTANCE AT WINDWICK IN SOUTH RONALDSAY REMEMBER NOT TO GET TOO CLOSE SO YOU DON'T DISTURB THEM!

PENTLAND SKERRIES STROMA

Gills Bay

John o’ Groats

Kite surfing

ORKNEY.COM

11


WEST MAINLAND - THE HEART OF NEOLITHIC ORKNEY With its dramatic cliffs and stunning coastal scenery, thriving sea bird colonies and spectacular walks, the West Mainland has plenty to enjoy. Yet its incredible Neolithic remains are perhaps the biggest draw to this corner of Orkney, with the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, the UNESCO World Heritage Site at its core. The West Mainland has become a focus of archaeological discovery, with its landscape rich in well-preserved remains of the Neolithic Age. Recent findings indicate that Orkney was the epicentre of much cultural and social development for Western Europe throughout this pivotal time in our history. You can get up close to see for yourself how our ancestors lived 5,000 years ago in sophisticated communities with developed cultural practices and complex building techniques. The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, comprises Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the

Skara Brae

12

ORKNEY.COM

Standing Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe, and is easily accessible stretching as it does from the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of the Mainland along the Brodgar peninsula. You will quickly discover that, in addition to these major sites, the West Mainland is dotted with smaller tombs, standing stones and prehistoric villages. Nestling into the West Mainland coastline at the picturesque Bay of Skaill is the best-preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe, Skara Brae. The village lay protected and hidden under layers of

sand for over 4,000 years. First exposed in 1850 by a huge storm, excavations since have revealed a series of six houses and a workshop, telling a story of what life was like between around 3,100BC and 2,500BC. The visitor centre provides an excellent starting point, with its reconstructed house, but the excavated remains themselves, clearly give an impression of the lives of their inhabitants - with stone beds, dressers, shelving and hearths showing the relatively ordered life their inhabitants lived thousands of years ago.


changing our understanding of the Neolithic period and the ways of its people. Recent finds including pottery and tools indicate our Neolithic ancestors may have journeyed to this place from across the UK, probably for worship, pilgrimage and celebrations.

The Ring of Brodgar dominates the Brodgar peninsula. This iconic ring, standing as it does in a natural amphitheatre of hills between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, is thought to have been a place of ritual and ceremony. Built between 2,500 and 2,000BC, the huge circle today has 27 stones remaining and visitors can walk right around the ring, doubtless wondering just how these huge slabs were transported and erected – and how powerful their symbolism must have been to our forefathers.

The remaining element of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is the Maeshowe Chambered Tomb. This huge structure is acknowledged to be the finest Neolithic burial chamber in Northern Europe. Constructed almost 5,000 years ago, the cairn’s entrance passage is aligned so the setting midwinter sun illuminates the interior chamber at the winter solstice. It is worth noting that booking in advance is essential for Maeshowe – visit www. historicenvironment.scot

The Ness of Brodgar, an active archaeological site stretching over six acres is open to visitors during much of July and August, with regular guided tours. An elevated walkway gives a great view of the site as a whole, and an indication of the scale of the yet uncovered remains. This site is already

Just further along the peninsula, the Standing Stones of Stenness are thought to be part of the world’s earliest standing stone circle. A ceremonial site, probably in use around 3,100BC, the Stenness circle originally comprised 12 huge stones.

The Brough of Birsay at the north west of the West Mainland is accessible only on foot, via a causeway at low tide. The island has the remains of a Norse village – and plenty of sea bird life. It is thought Earl Thorfinn had his hall and church here, or close by, and the martyred remains of St Magnus were laid to rest here before being taken to the cathedral in Kirkwall.

WEST MAINLAND

Just 200 metres from Skara Brae is the imposing Skaill House, built in 1620 by Bishop George Graham of Orkney. The house is open to the public and entry is included in a joint ticket with Skara Brae. Visitors can experience a family home as it was in the 1950s, and discover the items collected by the family since the 17th Century. Neolithic and Iron Age finds, Captain Cooks’s dinner service, the Bishop’s bed and Stanley Cursiter paintings are just some of the exhibits on show.

LOCAL INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGER TIPS VisitScotland accredited Information Partners are based throughout Orkney and offer excellent advice on how to get the most from your visit, with insider tips about the must-see attractions on the island. Look out for the ‘iKnow’ logo.

COUNTRYSIDE CODE We want Orkney to be a place everyone can enjoy being outdoors. The Scottish Access Code provides guidance on how to enjoy the outdoors, whilst taking care of this beautiful place. Please do take the time to look at the code at www.outdooraccess-scotland.com

Brough of Birsay causeway

Skaill House

Ness of Brodgar

ORKNEY.COM

13


like for those who manned the guns and guarded this vital waterway during the years of conflict.

Back on the West Mainland the much later Earl’s Palace ruins in Birsay village are worth stopping off at to explore, and across on the north east coast is the Iron Age Broch of Gurness – Scotland’s bestpreserved broch village. Inevitably the West Mainland has much to remind us of its wartime years, with the Kitchener Memorial near Marwick Head a dramatic feature of the landscape. Erected in 1926, the memorial marks the sinking of HMS Hampshire, on the night of 5th June 1916, when over 700 crew, including the Minister of War, Lord Kitchener, lost their lives. The ship had left Scapa Flow on route to Russia, but sank after striking a mine laid by a German U Boat. Visitors can also enjoy tours of the Ness Battery, located at the entrance to Scapa Flow, just outside Stromness. The tour will give you an idea of what life was

...

Another wartime feature of the West Mainland landscape is the distinctive control tower at HMS Tern. One of Orkney’s four military airfields, the site’s main role was to provide training facilities for the Navy. Today the Birsay Heritage Trust operates tours of the Control Tower, Cinema and Fire Station. The dramatic cliffs of the West Mainland offer walkers breathtaking coastal paths. The ten-mile coastal path from the Black Craig to the Brough of Birsay offers walkers views of sea stacks, towering cliffs and white sandy beaches. Alternatively, cycling is a great way to explore this part of Orkney, stopping off to enjoy local cafés and tearooms, of course.

Ness Battery

HMS Tern

DID YOU KNOW? ORKNEY'S WEST COAST IS FULL OF PLACES TO WATCH THE SUN SET, THE VIEW FROM MARWICK HEAD OR YESNABY IS PERFECT FOR WATCHING THE CLIFFS GLOW AS THE SUN SINKS INTO THE ATLANTIC.

Ring of Brodgar

OUT & ABOUT 1

Barony Mill Birsay T: 01856 721439 www.birsay.org.uk

7

HMS Tern Birsay T: 0734 220 2530 www.hmstern.co.uk

13 Orkneyinga Silversmiths Birsay T: 01856 721359 www.orkneyinga.co.uk

2

Broch of Gurness Evie T: 01856 751414 www.historicenvironment.scot

8

Kirbuster Museum Birsay T: 01856 771268 www.orkney.gov.uk

14 Skaill House Sandwick T: 01856 841501 www.skaillhouse.co.uk

3

Brough of Birsay Birsay T: 01856 841815 www.historicenvironment.scot

9

Maeshowe Chambered Cairn Stenness T: 01856 851266 www.historicenvironment.scot

4

Corrigal Farm Museum Harray T: 01856 771411 www.orkney.gov.uk

10 Michael Sinclair Woodturner Harray T: 01856 761099 www.michael-sinclair-woodturner.co.uk

15 Skara Brae Sandwick T: 01856 841815 www.historicenvironment.scot 16 Skaill House Falconry Sandwick T: 01856 851160 www.skaillhousefalconry.co.uk

5

Fernvalley Wildlife Centre Rendall T: 01856 751461 www.fernvalleywildlifecentre.co.uk

11 The Orkney Brewery & Visitor Centre 17 Toumal Art Studio Orphir Quoyloo T: 0781 072 0981 T: 01856 841777 www.toumalart.co.uk www.orkneybrewery.co.uk

6

Fursbreck Pottery - Harry Potter Harray T: 01856 771419 www.orkneypottery.co.uk

12 The Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre Sandwick T: 01856 841207 www.orkneystorytelling.com

14

ORKNEY.COM

18 The Woolshed Evie T: 01856 751305 See listing on www.creative-orkney.com


ROUSAY

Costa Head

FOOD & DRINK

Brough of Birsay

19 Barony Hotel Birsay T: 01856 721327 www.baronyhotel.com

29

Loch of Swannay

BIRSAY

Birsay 1

20 Eviedale Bistro & Café Evie T: 01856 751714 www.eviedale-cottages.co.uk 21

EYNHALLOW

3

19

Loch of Hundland

Loch of 8 Boardhouse

Marwick Head

13

EVIE

11

24 26 27

23

SANDWICK Bay of Skaill

RENDALL

4

Loch of Harray

B9056

Yesnaby

12

FIRTH

10

Bay of Firth

Loch of Stenness 9 25

Black Craig Billia Croo

Kirkwall

STENNESS

Warebeth

Loch of Kirbister 17

27 Castaway Crafts

The Kame of Hoy

GRAEMSAY Houton

Waulkmill Bay

M

yo

fH

St John’s Head

Swanbister Bay

ton

Moaness

Scapa Bay

ORPHIR

ou

SHOPPING

Hatston

28

Stromness

Kirkwall Bay

Finstown

Hoy Sound

St Ma

Ba

26 Alison Moore Designs Dounby T: 01856 771511 www.alisonmoore.co.uk

Bay of Isbister

HARRAY 6

B9055

24 Smithfield Hotel and Café Dounby T: 01856 771215 www.smithfieldhotel.co.uk 25 Standing Stones Hotel Stenness T: 01856 850449 www.standingstoneshotel.co.uk

GAIRSAY

22

15 14 16

23 The Orkney Brewery & Visitor Centre Quoyloo T: 01856 841777 www.orkneybrewery.co.uk

Tingwall

5 21

Dounby

B9057

Gairsay Sound

Woodwick Bay

West Mainland

7

The Old Man of Hoy

Dounby 01856 771376 www.castawaycrafts.co.uk

Rora Head

B9047

Rackwick

28 The Little Orkney Dye Shed Stenness T: 01856 851169 www.littleorkneydyeshed.co.uk Orkcrafts T: 01856 841464 www.orkcrafts.com

29 Swannay Brewery By Evie T: 01856 721700 www.swannaybrewery.com KEY TO BUSINESS TYPE Jewellery Clothing & Accessories Gifts Art & Craft Food & Drink Pharmacy Specialist

Scad Head

Howequo Head

GLIMPS HOLM

Lyrawa Bay PegalRYSA BayLITTLE

Mill Bay

Lyness Little Rackwick B9047

North Bay

Tor Ness

Scapa Flow

CAVA

HOY

Rackwick Bay

T

WYRE

20 18

B9056

22 The Merkister Hotel Harray T: 01856 771366 www.merkister.com

Wyre Sound

2

B9057

Fernvalley Wildlife Centre and Tearoom Rendall T: 01856 751461 www.fernvalleywildlifecentre.co.uk

Trumland

Eynhallow Sound

WEST MAINLAND

Saviskaill Bay

CALF OF FLOTTA

HUNDA

BURRAY

FARA

Water Sound

FLOTTA

Longhope B9047

LONGHOPE

Point of Hackness

Hoxa Head

St Margaret’s Hope

Herston Head

Widewall Bay

SWITHA

Cantick Head

SO RON

Brims Ness

Wind B

SWONA

Burwick Brough Ness

Brough of Birsay

STROMA

ORKNEY.COM

15


STROMNESS - A CENTRE FOR THE ARTS With its historic winding streets, delightful setting and busy harbour, Stromness draws visitors all year round. The first recorded development on the shore of Hamnavoe was in 1595, when William and Marion Clark opened an inn to meet the needs of the increasing number of Northern European vessels heading to the Atlantic to trade with America and the Far East. Since that time Stromness has become Orkney’s second largest town, its charming narrow streets and lively atmosphere attract visitors throughout the year. From the port area, the winding streets delight visitors with independent shops, galleries and studios offering locally made knitwear, arts, crafts and jewellery. Stromness has long attracted artists and today the Pier Arts Centre provides an impressive home for an important collection of British fine art donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist, Margaret Gardiner. The permanent collection includes works by major 20th Century artists Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis, as well as contemporary art by Sean Scully, Eva Rothschild and Olafur

Eliasson. The centre also houses work by local artists and offers a year-round programme of changing exhibitions and events. Music is very much at the heart of Stromness and many of the town’s bars have live music from local bands, whilst storytelling also remains popular. The Stromness Museum tells of this fascinating town’s past and its people. With an eclectic mix of exhibits from fossils to war memorabilia, a special audio tour through the main street guides listeners with voices from Stromness’s past and present. Much of the outdoor activity drawing visitors to Stromness revolves around the sea. Diving, fishing and sailing are all popular and an indoor swimming pool, with sauna and steam room offers entertainment when the weather is less kind. Walking and cycling routes are of course plentiful and are a great way to explore the area.

ORKNEY ZEROWASTE Zerowaste is a local charity working in the Orkney community to raise waste awareness and offer practical recycling advice. We are fully committed to Zerowaste and encourage our visitors to play their part too. To see the good work we’re doing visit www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/oz

The Pier Arts Centre

Stromness Harbour

16

ORKNEY.COM

Stromness Museum


ET RE ST

OUT & ABOUT D

A

7

6

2 10

12

ES

HI Stromness Museum P W Alfred Street T: 01856 850025 www.stromnessmuseum.co.uk

CHU R C

HR D

NORTH PIER

MANSE

West Side Cinema Stromness Town Hall www.wscinema.wordpress.com

LN

STREE

T

4

TO R I A

4

10

VIC

3

O

The Pier Arts Centre Victoria Street T: 01856 850209 GR IE www.pierartscentre.com V

5

E

R

2

KL AN

K

Ness Battery Ness Road T: 0775 985 7298 www.nessbattery.co.uk BAC

1

BA N

JO

8

STROMNESS

HN

9

SOUTH PIER

H A M PL

FOOD & DRINK

13

The Ferry Inn John Street T: 01856 850280 www.ferryinn.com

6

The Royal Hotel Victoria Street T: 01856 850342 www.royalhotelstromness.com

STROMNESS HARBOUR

GRA

5

HE

LL

IH LIGHTHOUSE PIER

AL

FR

ED

ST

DU

D

ND

OA

AS

ER

ST

OL

11

3

1

SHOPPING 7

Artworks of the Earth Victoria Street T: 01856 851308 www.artworksoftheearth.com

8

The Pier Arts Centre

9

E Flett Butcher Ltd John Street T: 01856 850309 www.eflettbutcher.co.uk Orkney Fish Garson Food Park T: 01856 850870 www.orkneycrab.co.uk

10 The Quernstone & Knitwear Victoria Street T: 01856 852900 www.quernstone.co.uk

11 Scapa Scuba - Red Shed Dive Shop Dundas Street T: 01856 851218 www.scapascuba.co.uk

12 Sutherlands Pharmacy Victoria Street T: 01856 850338 www.sutherlandspharmacy.co.uk

13 Waterfront Gallery Victoria Street T: 01856 850644 www.waterfrontgallery.co.uk KEY TO BUSINESS TYPE

Jewellery Clothing & Accessories Gifts Art & Craft Food & Drink Pharmacy Specialist

Orkney Folk Festival

ORKNEY.COM

17


INNER ISLES - A REAL GLIMPSE OF ISLAND LIFE The Inner Isles – the islands of Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Shapinsay – offer visitors a rich selection of brochs, cairns and Viking heritage, with fabulous coastlines to explore and wonderful wildlife to discover. ROUSAY Rousay is the largest of the Inner Isles, only a 20-minute boat journey from the Mainland. Known as the ‘Egypt of the North’, Rousay has over 150 archaeological sites, the most impressive of which can be found along the Westness Heritage Walk. Considered to be the most important archaeological mile in Scotland, this amazing trail takes you on a journey through the first Stone Age settlers to the Pictish Iron Age, the Viking invaders, the time of the Earls, and the crofting clearances of the early 1800s. Many visitors choose to cycle the 13-mile circular coastal road, enjoying the dramatic views.

The island is home to over 70 species of bird, including some that are becoming increasingly rare across the rest of Britain. Rousay’s flora is a delight, the rare Primula Scotica can be spotted on the clifftops during May and July. Rousay’s wildlife includes the Orkney vole, while the many seals are a joy to watch from the shore – autumn is the best time to see Grey seal pups. Daily* vehicle ferry from Tingwall

EGILSAY AND WYRE The 12th Century Norse church on Egilsay, with its distinct Viking round tower identifies the site of the martyrdom of St Magnus in 1117. This subsequently became an important place of pilgrimage. Onziebust is a farmland and wetland RSPB reserve, where oystercatchers, curlews, lapwing, arctic terns and the elusive corncrake may be seen. The island of Wyre has an intriguing history, with a castle built by legendary Viking giant Cubbie Roo around 1170. The island’s heritage centre is well worth a visit, and seal watching is a visitor’s favourite pastime here. Daily* vehicle ferry from Tingwall

Sacquoy Head, Rousay

18

ORKNEY.COM


Sacquoy Head Faraclett Head Saviskaill Bay

YOU CAN FIND OUT ABOUT SAILINGS TO THE INNER ISLES Brough of BirsayAT THE KIRKWALL VISITSCOTLAND Loch of BIRSAY Swannay iCENTRE OR GO TO WWW.ORKNEYFERRIES.CO.UK

Birsay

Loch of Boardhouse

Marwick Head

Eynhallow Sound

1

War Ness

Wyre Sound

Point of The Graand

Green Holms

WYRE EVIE

B9056 Shapinsay is just a half hour ferry crossing north east from Kirkwall, with spectacular views of Helliar Holm lighthouse en route. Balfour Castle’s baronial splendour B9057 creates an imposing approach as you SANDWICK Bay of Skaillenter Elwick Bay. The island’s heritage centre, in Balfour village, offers locally Loch of stained made crafts including textiles, Harray to purchase. glass, jewellery and ceramics B9056

Gairsay Sound

Woodwick Bay

West Mainland

Tingwall

Dounby

SHAPINSAY

GAIRSAY

Veantrow Bay

Bay of Isbister

HARRAY

Balfour

FIRTH

HELLIAR HOLM

Bay of Firth

The String

Kirkwall Bay

Finstown

Hatston

Daily* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall If travelling by car it is advised to book in advance, but foot passengers can purchase tickets on board.

Stromness Warebeth

Loch of Kirbister

St Magnus Kirk, Egilsay

Hoy Sound

he Kame of Hoy

GRAEMSAY Houton

East Mainland

ou fH Scad Head

OUT & ABOUT IN ROUSAY Little Rackwick

CAVA

Mill Bay Rousay Tours Lyness T: 01856 821234 www.rousaytours.co.uk

FOOD & DRINKB9047 1

CALF OF FLOTTA

LONGHOPE

Brims Ness

BURRAY Water Sound

FLOTTA

B9047

Rose Ness The Bu Sands

HUNDA

FARA

Longhope

The Taversoe North T: 01856 821325 Bay www.taversoehotel.co.uk Tor Ness

Local craftsHowequoy Primula Scotica LAMB Head HOLM

GLIMPS HOLM

PegalRYSA BayLITTLE

Point of Hackness

Hoxa Head

Burray Ness

Ayre of Cara

St Margaret’s Hope

Herston Head

Dingiesho

B9052

St Mary’s

Lyrawa Bay

HOY

kwick Bay

Scapa Flow

Grimness

Widewall Bay Kirkhouse Point

SWITHA

Cantick Head

Burroughston Broch, Shapinsay

SOUTH RONALDSAY Windwick Bay

Halcro Head

SWONA

DE

St Peter’s Pool

HOLM

yo Rackwick

Deer Sound

Waulkmill Bay

Ba B9047

TANKERNESS

Scapa Bay

ORPHIR

Swanbister Bay

Inganess Bay

ton

Moaness

Rerwick Head

Kirkwall

STENNESS

Black Craig Billia Croo

Ness of Ork

The Galt

RENDALL

Of course, it wouldn’t be Orkney without plentiful archaeological sites including the Burroughston Broch, theB9055 Odin Stone and the Standing Stones of Stein. The RSPB of with wildlife reserve of Mill DamLoch teems Stenness including ducks, geese and swans.

Falls of Warness

Trumland

Loch of Hundland

SHAPINSAY

Backala

EGILSAY

EYNHALLOW

B9057

Yesnaby

EDAY

ROUSAY

Costa Head

INNER ISLES

Fersness Bay

ORKNEY.COM

19


SOUTH ISLES - HOME OF ORKNEY’S ONLY MOUNTAINS With their partly mountainous landscape, sea cliffs and sea stacks, lighthouses, prolific wildlife and oil terminal, Orkney’s South Isles each has its own charm. Together they offer visitors a rich variety of experiences that will thrill and delight. HOY Hoy’s mountainous moorland and glacial valleys make it very different to Orkney’s other islands. It really is an adventurer’s paradise. The island can be easily reached by ferry. There are 2 routes leaving from the Mainland. Named ‘High Island’ by the Vikings, Ward Hill is Orkney’s highest peak, rising to 1,570 feet. The iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack is considered to be one of the most challenging climbs in the UK and St John’s Head presents a serious challenge for experienced climbers, with its 1,136 foot vertical cliff face - the highest in Britain.

Old Man of Hoy

20

ORKNEY.COM

Visitors can enjoy the recently restored path which leads from the magnificent bay of Rackwick, up the hill and along the cliffs to the Old Man. Inland from Rackwick the Dwarfie Stane is thought to be the only Neolithic rock-cut tomb in Britain dating from 3000BC. The Hoy RSPB reserve covers over 10,000 acres of moorland and dramatic sea cliffs, attracting large numbers of migrating and resident birds, including the ever-popular puffin, great skuas and hen harriers. To the south of Hoy lies the village of Lyness where you will find the Scapa Flow

Visitor Centre and Museum, (Currently closed for redevelopment until spring 2020. During the summer of 2019 visitors can enjoy a pop up exhibition found in the Hoy Hotel in Lyness). The Napoleonic-era Martello Tower and Battery at Hackness are also popular with visitors. Daily* vehicle ferry from Houton Daily* foot ferry from Stromness


B9055

Bay of

Loch of Stenness

STENNESS

Black Craig Billia Croo

The small island of Graemsay, with its two lighthouses, lies between Hoy and Stromness on the Mainland. With a tiny population of only 23, this island is largely undeveloped providing a haven for wild plants.

Stromness Warebeth

Loch of Kirbister

Hoy Sound The Kame of Hoy

Moaness

Houton

Waul Ba

Ba y

of

St John’s Head

Swanbister Bay

n

Off the east coast of Hoy, sits the island of Flotta which was a strategic military base during both world wars, when it became temporary home to thousands of service men and women. The Peerie Museum offers a fascinating insight into those years, with its collection of wartime artefacts.

ORPH

uto

FLOTTA

GRAEMSAY Ho

Daily* foot ferry from Stromness

SOUTH ISLES

GRAEMSAY

Finstown

The Old Man of Hoy Rora Head

Flotta today is best known for its oil terminal, but this shouldn’t deter a visit to this picturesque island. The Flotta Trail is a great way to experience the island’s beauty and to enjoy a 360 degree panorama view from the Witter - one of the most spectacular in the UK.

B9047

Rackwick

Scad Head

Lyrawa Bay

HOY

Rackwick Bay

PegalRYSA BayLITTLE

Mill Bay

Lyness

Daily* vehicle ferry from Houton

B9047

North Bay

* Information based on summer months. For winter timetable please go to www.orkneyferries.co.uk

Tor Ness

CAL

FARA

FLOTTA

Little Rackwick

If travelling by car it is advised to book in advance, but foot passengers can purchase tickets on board.

Sc

CAVA

Longhope1 2

Point of Hackness

3 B9047

LONGHOPE

SWITHA

Cantick Head

Brims Ness

S

OUT & ABOUT IN HOY 1

Hackness Martello Tower and Battery T: 01856 701727 www.historicenvironment.scot Island of Hoy Development Trust Community Bus T: 01856 701356 www.hoyorkney.com

STRO

Island Tours of Hoy T: 0788 799 5730 www.islandtourshoy.com

FOOD & DRINK 2

Stromabank Hotel T: 01856 701494 www.stromabank.co.uk

SHOPPING 3

Beach Gallery

Hoy Low Lighthouse, Graemsay

Mainland Scotland

Gills Bay

Scrabster

Thurso

T: 0784 800 8145 www.beachgallery.co.uk

Rackwick, Hoy

ORKNEY.COM

21

J


OUTER ISLES - MYSTERIOUS AND MAGICAL Considered by many as the jewel in the Orkney crown, the Outer Isles have a mystery and magic all of their own. Each island has its own rich culture and strong sense of identity – and all offer a friendly Orkney welcome to visitors, both those experiencing the islands for the first time and those who return time and again. WESTRAY Westray, affectionately known as the ‘Queen o’ the Isles’, is a thriving community with a true island spirit. Reached in an hour and a half by ferry from Kirkwall on the Mainland, Westray is a popular year-round destination for visitors. The Westray Heritage Centre in Pierowall is home to the stunning Westray Stone, a Neolithic carving from a Stone Age tomb. The 12th Century Cross Kirk and St Mary’s Church are also to be found in Pierowall. Westray was firmly put on the map in the summer of 2009 when a tiny carved stone figurine - the Orkney Venus - was discovered. This 5,000 year-old treasure is the oldest representation of the human form to be found in Scotland and is colloquially known as the Westray Wife.

Tresness, Sanday

22

ORKNEY.COM

Other island treasures include the Quoygrew Viking longhouse and the ruins of Noltland Castle, a dramatic 16th Century fortress built by Gilbert Balfour, Mary Queen of Scots’ Sherriff of Orkney. The high sea cliffs of the RSPB reserve at Noup Head, form one of the most important seabird sites in the UK and a colony of around 600 puffins can be observed throughout the summer months around the Castle O’ Burrian sea stack. Daily* flights from Kirkwall Daily* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

... DID YOU KNOW? THE CASTLE O'BURRIAN IN WESTRAY IS ONE OF ORKNEY'S BEST PUFFINSPOTTING PLACES! HEAD THERE BETWEEN MAY AND AUGUST TO SEE THESE COLOURFUL LITTLE CHARACTERS.


SANDAY

EDAY

Those seeking a truly rural island experience will enjoy the tiny island of Papa Westray or ‘Papay’ as it is known locally, with its population of under 100. Here you can step back in time and encounter the oldest house in Northern Europe. The Knap of Howar, a Neolithic farmstead, predates the Pyramids by over 1,200 years. A spectacular walk along the sea cliff brings you to the restored 12th Century St Boniface Kirk.

Celebrated for its beautiful beaches and sheltered bays, Sanday is the largest of Orkney’s North Isles with over 500 residents.

The isle of Eday is just eight miles long and home to 150 islanders, who are proud to welcome visitors to their lovely island.

Sanday’s rich archaeological heritage includes a Neolithic tomb at Quoyness. One of the island’s most significant discoveries was a Viking boat burial complete with the skeletons of an elderly woman, a younger man and a child. Findings from the grave included weapons, a sickle and an elaborately carved whalebone plaque which are now displayed at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall.

The Eday Heritage Walk is a wonderful way to experience the island’s past, with remains from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, Pictish and Norse periods, including the Vinquoy chambered tomb and the Stone of Setter. At 15 feet, it is Orkney’s tallest standing stone.

The stunning low-level cliffs of Papay’s RSPB reserve at North Hill play host to nationally important numbers of breeding arctic terns and skuas and is one of the best places to spot the rare Primula Scotica (Scottish Primrose). Daily* flights from Kirkwall Daily* foot ferry from Westray Twice weekly* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

... DID YOU KNOW? ORKNEY HAS THE WORLD’S SHORTEST SCHEDULED AIR FLIGHT IN THE WORLD. THE FLIGHT BETWEEN THE ISLANDS OF WESTRAY AND PAPAY TAKES LESS THAN TWO MINUTES.

Historically, the island’s low-lying coast made it difficult for passing ships, many of which foundered on its reefs until a lighthouse designed by the first Robert Stevenson was built at Start Point in 1807. Today its vertical stripes make it a striking and much photographed landmark. The island has a Heritage Centre, shops and craft galleries, together with a challenging 9-hole golf course. The Sanday Ranger Tour is a great way to see the best that Sanday has to offer. Daily* flights from Kirkwall (except Sunday) Daily* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

OUTER ISLES

PAPA WESTRAY

Another glimpse into the island’s past can be enjoyed at the Red House Croft Restoration Project where a threshing mill, grain drying kilns and a forge can be viewed. The Eday Heritage Centre provides an interesting commentary on island life, including the unique experience offered through the Eday Oral History Project recordings. Eday offers plenty of opportunity to get close to nature, with its upland moors, grasslands, freshwater lochs and a stunning coastline enticing visits from a wide variety of animals and birds throughout the year. Mill Loch attracts bird watchers and in June and July common seals can be seen with their delightful pups. Weekly flight from Kirkwall Daily* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

YOU CAN FIND OUT ABOUT SAILINGS AND FLIGHTS TO THE OUTER ISLES AT THE KIRKWALL VISITSCOTLAND iCENTRE OR GO TO WWW.ORKNEYFERRIES.CO.UK OR WWW.LOGANAIR.CO.UK

Knap of Howar, Papa Westray

Noup Head, Westray

Geramount, Sanday

ORKNEY.COM

23


STRONSAY

NORTH RONALDSAY

This beautiful, low lying isle is ideal for those who love to explore on foot or on two wheels, with the highest point Burgh Hill only 46 metres above sea level.

The remote island of North Ronaldsay is the farthest away isle, famous for its seaweed eating sheep.

Known for its hospitable community, Stronsay is the perfect place to relax and unwind, with its accessible beaches and turquoise bays. On the eastern coast the Vat of Kirbister is a sight to behold – the finest natural rock arch in Orkney. The cliffs at Lamb Ness and Lamb Head are home to huge seabird colonies and one of the best sites in Europe for spotting rare migrants. Seals are also frequent visitors to the island’s sandy beaches and sheltered bays. The island’s Heritage Centre in Whitehall tells of the fascinating role it played in the herring industry. Whitehall was one of the busiest ports in Europe, when vast fleets moored at its waters from the 17th Century until the 1930s. You can now also visit the island’s many craft producers by following their local craft trail. Daily* flights from Kirkwall Daily* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

Inhabited for many centuries, there is evidence of Iron Age settlements at sites including the Broch of Burrian alongside other eye-catching landmarks and attractions including the tallest land-based lighthouse in Britain. The smaller Old Beacon, built in the 1780s, was featured in the BBC’s popular Restoration Village series. Nowadays, former lighthouse buildings are being converted into stylish accommodation, cafés, working mills and retail outlets.

THE DOG CODE

Today the island’s sheep have become an attraction in themselves. This ancient and hardy breed feed almost exclusively on seaweed from the foreshore, outside a 13-mile stone dyke that surrounds the island. The meat is highly prized by top chefs for its unique gamey flavour and can be tasted in several of Orkney’s excellent restaurants. An annual sheep festival draws volunteers to help maintain the sheep dykes and protect this exclusive flock.

If you are walking over moorland and grassland in summer months, or if you are near to the shoreline, we ask that keep your dog close to heel to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds. Please do pick up and dispose of any mess your dog leaves behind.

North Ronaldsay has a bird observatory and is on the flight path for thousands of migrating birds, while off its shores, pods of passing killer and pilot whales, porpoises and dolphins can be spotted. Daily* flights from Kirkwall Twice weekly* vehicle ferry from Kirkwall

Mill Bay, Stronsay

24

ORKNEY.COM

Orkney is a wonderful place to share with your four legged friends – sandy beaches, open spaces and coastal walks. While you are enjoying Orkney with your dog, please do take care to ensure the safety of our wildlife and livestock. Please keep your dog on a lead when adjacent to sheep and cattle.

See more guidance at www.outdooraccess-scotland.com

If travelling by car it is advised to book in advance, but foot passengers can purchase tickets on board. * Information based on summer months. For winter timetable please go to www.orkneyferries.co.uk or www.loganair.co.uk

North Ronaldsay Lighthouse


PAPA WESTRAY

Bow Head

7 8

9

10 Nouster Bay Point of Burrian

Holm of Papay

Pierowall

5

Bride’s Ness

Moclett

4

6

Dennis Head

Nouster

Noup Head

Moclett Bay

Tafts Ness Holms of Ire

WESTRAY

Otters Wick Bay of Tuquoy

Inga Ness

Bay of Lopness

Stanger Head

SANDAY

Berst Ness

CALF OF EDAY

Holm of Faray Westray Firth

1

Start Point

2 Cata Sand

Red Head

Rapness

Bay of Newark

3 Backaskaill Bay

Point of Huro

Tres Ness

FARAY Sacquoy Head Faraclett Head

Loch of Swannay

Loch of Boardhouse

B9057

Tingwall

Dounby

B9057

Loch of Harray

SHAPINSAY

GAIRSAY

The String

Kirkwall Bay

Hatston

Ayres Rock - Car Hire, Loch of Taxis & Tours Kirbister ORPHIR T: 01857 600410 www.ayres-rock-hostel-orkney.com Waulkmill

OUT & ABOUT IN WESTRAY

Inganess Bay

ton

ou

HOLM

Westray Dingieshowe B9052 & Papa Westray

fH Ba

3 B9047

North Bay

Hoxa

5

Newark Bay

LAMB HOLM

SHOPPING

GLIMPS HOLM

Point of Ayre

HUNDA

BURRAY Water Sound

Head

Brims Ness

FOOD & DRINK 8

COPINSAY

Ayre of Cara

Papay Pub (Sat night only) www.papawestray.co.uk

SHOPPING

Rose Ness

The BuSweet Hume Hume Sands T: 01857Burray 677259 Ness www.humesweethume.co.uk

6

Papay Development Trust www.papawestray.co.uk Papay Peedie Tours T: 0793 123 5213 www.papawestray.co.uk

www.westraypapawestray.co.uk

Howequoy Head

St Margaret’s Hope

9

Papay Co-op T: 01857 644321 www.papawestray.co.uk

Grimness

Kirkhouse Point

SOUTH RONALDSAY Windwick Bay

Halcro Head

SWONA

The Gloup

Tourist Association St Mary’s

Backaskaill Restaurant Head Widewall T: 01857 600305 Herston Point of Bay Head Hackness Longhope www.bedandbreakfastsanday SWITHA B9047 orkney.com Cantick

LONGHOPE

7 DEERNESS

Westray Heritage Centre East T: 01857 677414 Mainland St Peter’s Pool www.westrayheritage.co.uk

yo

FOOD & DRINK FLOTTA

Lyness

Mull Head

4

Scapa Flow

Mill Bay FARA

TANKERNESS

Westraak Tours Deer Sound T: 01857 677777 www.westraak.co.uk

Bay

Bay 2LyrawaSanday Heritage Centre PegalRYSA T: 01857 600724 CALF OF FLOTTA BayLITTLE www.sanday.co.uk

HOY

OUT & ABOUT IN PAPA WESTRAY

Rerwick Head

Scapa Bay

Swanbister Heilsa Fjold Community Centre Bay T:Houton 01857 600359 www.sanday.co.uk

The Sanday Bus T: 0751 308 4777 CAVA See Facebook

AUSKERRY

HELLIAR HOLM

OUT & ABOUT Kirkwall IN SANDAY

B9047

Lamb Head

Rothiesholm Head

Balfour

STENNESS

Scad Head

Ness of Ork

The Galt

Bay of Isbister

Bay of Firth

ness

Bay of Holland

Veantrow Bay

Finstown

RAEMSAY 1

Odness

STRONSAY

FIRTH

B9055

Mill Bay

St Catherine’s Bay

Green Holms

RENDALL

HARRAY

Loch of Stenness

Linga Holm

Gairsay Sound

Woodwick Bay

West Mainland

ICK

Point of The Graand

WYRE EVIE

Whitehall

War Ness

Wyre Sound

Loch of Hundland

Papa Stronsay

Falls of Warness

Trumland

Eynhallow Sound

Holm of Huip

Backaland

EGILSAY

EYNHALLOW BIRSAY

Spur Ness

EDAY

ROUSAY

Costa Head

Loth

Fersness Bay

Saviskaill Bay

6

s

NORTH RONALDSAY

Mull Head

OUT & ABOUT IN NORTH RONALDSAY 10 North Ronaldsay Sheep and Alpacas T: 01857 633253 www.howar.co.uk

Burwick Brough Ness

PENTLAND SKERRIES

ORKNEY.COM

25

OUTER ISLES

Point of Sinsoss


STARRY SKIES AND SHORTER DAYS Whatever time of year you have chosen to visit Orkney, you will be enchanted by its seasonal offerings. As long as you’re dressed for the weather, being outdoors throughout the year brings a plethora of delights. As autumn turns to winter the night skies can be lit up with a stunning array of colour dancing and create a mesmerizing display. Those lucky enough to experience the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights over Orkney will have a memory to treasure. The winter solstice was a highly significant event for Orkney’s Neolithic inhabitants, and today throughout

Northern Lights over Kirbister Loch

26

ORKNEY.COM

the three weeks either side of 21st December visitors can experience a magical phenomenon at Maeshowe. The huge tomb was constructed so that its entrance aligns to the setting sun. During those weeks as the sun sets, it shines a shaft of light down the narrow entrance, lighting up the whole central chamber.

FOR UP TO THE MINUTE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT’S ON DURING YOUR STAY VISIT WWW.ORKNEY.COM/EVENTS


sanderlings and turnstones. Migrating whales, dolphins and porpoises enjoy the calmer waters and grey seal pupping season from October to December is a delight. When the weather is inclement, the Orkney Creative Trail is the perfect way to enjoy the islands, and to get to meet some of our most talented craftspeople. (See page 54 for details).

Like us, wildlife enjoys Orkney all year round. Winter is an ideal time to spot both rare species and wintering regulars. Look out for long-tailed ducks, great northern divers and Slavonian grebes, along with curlews, golden plovers,

Throughout the year Orkney hosts events from international gatherings to small community affairs. You can find out what’s on during your stay at www.orkney.com/events.

STARRY SKIES & SHORTER DAYS

Christmas and New Year are truly special times in Orkney, with many community events to enjoy. The most famous is the Christmas and New Year Ba’ game. This noisy ball game is played on the streets of Kirkwall by two fiercely competitive teams – the Uppies and the Doonies – each made up of over 100 local men. It is a spectacle not to be missed.

LOCAL INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGER TIPS VisitScotland accredited Information Partners are based throughout Orkney and offer excellent advice on how to get the most from your visit, with insider tips about the must-see attractions on the island. Look out for the ‘iKnow’ logo.

... DID YOU NOW? THE VAT OF KIRBISTER IN STRONSAY IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO WATCH AN ORKNEY SUNRISE! GET UP EARLY AND WALK TO THIS SPECTACULAR ROCK ARCH TO SEE THE SUN CLIMB ABOVE THE HORIZON.

The Kirkwall Ba' game

Maeshowe

ORKNEY.COM

27


28

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

29


30

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

31


32

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

33


34

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

35


36

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

37


38

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

39


40

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT ORKNEY.COM

41


42

ORKNEY.COM


OUT & ABOUT

To make the most of your holiday in Orkney, visit orkney.com

ORKNEY.COM

43


TWO DAYS REMEMBERING FORTRESS ORKNEY Orkney’s strategic location and the excellence of the great natural harbour of Scapa Flow have made it of military importance for hundreds of years. It was a major naval base in both world wars, with thousands of service men and women serving in the islands. Every Orcadian family has memories of wartime and the part our islands played as Fortress Orkney. SHARE YOUR WARTIME ITINERARY #visitorkney #loveorkney

DAY 1 WARTIME ITINERARY 1

START THE DAY AT HOUTON

2

READ ABOUT THE SINKING OF THE ROYAL OAK

3

SEE THE IMPRESSIVE CHURCHILL BARRIERS

4

VISIT THE ORKNEY FOSSIL & HERITAGE CENTRE

5

SEE THE REMAINS OF THE DEFENCES AT HOXA HEAD

6

TAKE A DRIVE PAST KIRKWALL AIRPORT

7

FINISH YOUR DAY AT ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL

Orkney’s wartime heritage is extensive. Exploring it - and gaining an understanding of the impact of wars on service-people and the local community - deserves time, so this itinerary is split over two days.

DAY 1

Begin the day at Houton, overlooking Scapa Flow. Houton was a wartime seaplane base and is now a ferry terminal serving Hoy and Flotta. You get a great view of Scapa Flow and there are often small boats in the distance, helping experienced divers explore the wrecks of the remains of the German High Seas Fleet, scuttled here in 1919. Following the coast road back towards Kirkwall you will reach Scapa beach where, just beside the marine control centre, you’ll find interpretation boards telling the story of the sinking of the Royal Oak early in World War Two. Torpedoed by a submarine making a daring raid, the Royal Oak sank with tragic consequences. Take the road southwards to Holm, where you will see the first of four causeways blocking the eastern approaches to Scapa Flow.

Churchill Barriers

44

ORKNEY.COM

Hoxa Head

These are the Churchill Barriers, commissioned following the sinking of the Royal Oak. The construction of the barriers was a huge engineering challenge. Cross the barrier and you’ll be able to visit the beautiful Italian Chapel, built using waste material by Italian POWs brought to Orkney to assist with the construction of the barriers. Continue on to Burray, where the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre includes a fascinating exhibition about the building of the barriers. Then south again, across barrier number four to South Ronaldsay. At Hoxa Head, the remains of the defences guarding one of the main entrances to Scapa Flow can still be seen. Return back across the barriers and take the road past Kirkwall Airport, which began life as RAF Grimsetter during the Second World War, one of several airfields - real and dummy protecting Orkney. Your final stop of the day is St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, where there is a very touching memorial to those lost on the Royal Oak. The ship’s bell forms part of the memorial.

St Magnus Cathedral


WARTIME ITINERARY

ROUSAY EDAY EGILSAY 10

WYRE

9

STRONSAY

GAIRSAY

WEST MAINLAND

SHAPINSAY 8 7 13 14 2 6

12 11

GRAEMSAY

EAST MAINLAND

1

Kitchener and HMS Hampshire Memorial

3

BURRAY 4

FLOTTA

HOY 16

15

3

3 5

17

LONGHOPE

DAY 2 WARTIME ITINERARY 8 9

DRIVE ALONG THE WARTIME RUNWAY AT HATSTON TAKE A TOUR AT HMS TERN

10 SPEND SOME TIME AT THE

KITCHENER MEMORIAL

11 SEE THE WARTIME

COLLECTION AT STROMNESS MUSEUM

12

TAKE AN ORGANISED TOUR OF NESS BATTERY

AND IF YOU’VE GOT MORE TIME TO EXPLORE... 13 ORKNEY WIRELESS MUSEUM 14 ORKNEY LIBRARY &

ARCHIVE

15 FLOTTA 16

THE SCAPA FLOW VISITOR CENTRE & MUSEUM

17 HACKNESS MARTELLO

SOUTH RONALDSAY

DAY 2 As you leave Kirkwall travelling westwards you’ll pass Hatston. 75 years ago it would have looked very different. As HMS Sparrowhawk, it was a busy Fleet Air Arm airfield. Few of the cruise liner passengers, on their journey to and from Kirkwall, realise they are driving along a wartime runway! Journey on to the West Mainland where you’ll encounter another airfield, HMS Tern. A local heritage trust provides guided tours of this fascinating part of Orkney’s wartime history. Further west at Marwick Head you’ll find the Kitchener Memorial, commemorating a tragedy from an earlier conflict. In June 1916, HMS Hampshire struck a mine and sank with the loss of more than 700 men including Lord Kitchener. Now travel onwards to the picturesque harbour town of Stromness. Stromness Museum has an extensive wartime Orkney collection, including artefacts recovered from the scuttled German High Seas Fleet. Near Stromness you’ll also find the Ness Battery, which guarded the Hoy Mouth entrance to Scapa Flow in both world wars. Tours of this interesting site are available, a fitting end to your two-day exploration of Fortress Orkney.

Hackness Martello Tower

Ness Battery

OTHER PLACES TO SEE IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME There is much more to see and do than will fit into two days. Here is a small selection of ways in which you can continue your exploration. In Kirkwall, the Orkney Wireless Museum has a fascinating collection of domestic and defence wireless equipment. The nearby Orkney Library and Archive has a broad selection of materials about wartime Orkney, including the diary of Gunner Astles who was stationed at Hoxa Head during the First World War. The small island of Flotta, now home to an oil terminal, was a busy military base in the two world wars and there are extensive remains to visit. On nearby Hoy, too, there is much of interest. The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum at Lyness is undergoing a major refurbishment at present and is closed until 2020. There is a temporary exhibition in the Hoy Hotel in Lyness. On Hoy, too, you can see a reminder of earlier conflicts. Hackness Martello Tower and Battery were constructed in the Napoleonic era to guard convoys assembling for safety in Orkney’s sheltered waters.

TOWER & BATTERY

ORKNEY.COM

45


AN ORKNEYINGA DAY Norwegian Vikings would have taken just two days to sail to Orkney where they raided, traded, settled and prospered. They told stories of their ancestors in drinking halls and by hearth-light at home. These stories are the Orkneyinga Saga, the history of the Earls of Orkney. SHARE YOUR VIKING ITINERARY #visitorkney #loveorkney

YOUR VIKING ITINERARY 1

START YOUR DAY AT THE ORKNEYINGA SAGA CENTRE

2

NEARBY YOU’LL FIND EARL’S BU

3

CLOSELY FOLLOWED BY THE RUINOUS ROUND CHURCH

4

SEE INSIDE MAESHOWE’S CHAMBERED CAIRN

5

CONTINUE ON TO BIRSAY, THE ORIGINAL CENTRE OF VIKING POWER

6

IMAGINE EARL THORFINN THE MIGHTY IN HIS SEAT OF POWER AT THE BROUGH OF BIRSAY

7

ADMIRE ST MAGNUS CHURCH

8

END THE DAY IN KIRKWALL

9

TAKE IN THE MAGNIFICENT ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL

10 VISIT THE NEARBY ORKNEY

MUSEUM

AND IF YOU’VE GOT MORE THAN A DAY... 11 WALK THE ST MAGNUS WAY 12 TAKE A TRIP TO EGILSAY

AND SEE THE IMPRESSIVE ST MAGNUS KIRK

46

ORKNEY.COM

The best place to start your Viking day is at the Orkneyinga Saga Centre in Orphir. The centre’s video and exhibition prepares you to see some of the saga locations in person. The first of these is the Earl’s Bu and nearby Round Church, immediately beside the Saga Centre. The Bu features in the saga as the site of the murder of Sweyn Breastrope by the notorious Sweyn Asliefsson. The ruinous Round Church is thought to have been modelled on the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. From the Saga Centre, make your way to Maeshowe. As recounted in the saga, a party of Vikings broke into this Neolithic chambered cairn and left runic carvings on the walls - Viking graffiti, the largest such group of runic inscriptions in the world. Visits to Maeshowe are by Historic Environment Scotland guided tour only, and you are strongly advised to book online in advance at www.historicenvironment.scot Now continue your journey northwestwards to Birsay, the original centre of Viking power in Orkney. The most powerful of Orkney’s Earls - Earl Thorfinn the Mighty - had his seat here, either on the tidal island called the Brough of Birsay or in what is now Birsay village. The Brough can be visited at low tide. St Magnus Church in the village stands on the site of the earliest Cathedral in Orkney.

The final stop in your Orkneyinga day is Kirkwall - Kirkjuvagr, church bay, as the Vikings knew it. The magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, founded by Earl Rognvald in 1137, dominates the town. The nearby Orkney Museum is a perfect end to your day.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME Leaflets and guide books will guide you to many more sites throughout these Viking islands, but here are two suggestions. If you are a keen walker, the St Magnus Way is a 55-mile pilgrimage trail through the West Mainland, commemorating the 900th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Magnus. The route is divided into five sections. More information can be found at www.stmagnusway.com including start and end points. On the island of Egilsay, the impressive 12th century St Magnus Kirk stands on the spot where the martyrdom is believed to have taken place.


VIKING ITINERARY

ROUSAY EDAY 6

12

11 7 5

...

EGILSAY

WYRE WEST MAINLAND

STRONSAY

DID YOU KNOW?

GAIRSAY

Orkney wasn’t always part of Scotland.

SHAPINSAY 8 9 10

4

GRAEMSAY

HOY

2 3 1

FLOTTA

LONGHOPE

Longship at Orkneyinga Saga Centre

In 1474, Orkney became part of Scotland, after King Christian I of Norway (plus Denmark and Sweden) pledged Orkney and Shetland against payment of his daughter’s dowry when she married King James III of Scotland. He failed to pay so both groups of islands were annexed to Scotland.

EAST MAINLAND

BURRAY

SOUTH RONALDSAY

Round Kirk Brough of Birsay

Inside Maeshowe Chambered Cairn St Magnus Church

ORKNEY.COM

47


A DAY WITH NATURE Orkney is a nature-lovers’ paradise of landscapes and seascapes with abundant wildlife. Some people come with a specialist interest and knowledge but for most visitors the natural world is part of the overall experience of the islands. Why not spend a day getting to know our nature better? SHARE YOUR NATURE ITINERARY #visitorkney #loveorkney

YOUR NATURE ITINERARY 1

START AT BRODGAR RSPB RESERVE

2

TAKE A SHORT DRIVE TO COTTASCARTH AND RENDALL MOSS RESERVE

3

HEAD TO THE NORTH SIDE OF SCAPA FLOW TO SEE HOBBISTER

4

SEE RED THROATED DIVERS ON THE BIRSAY MOORS

5

VISIT THE HIDE NEAR THE STANDING STONES OF STENNESS

6

PUFFINS CAN BE SEEN AT THE BROUGH OF BIRSAY

7

AND THE CASTLE OF BURRIAN

AND IF YOU’VE GOT MORE THAN A DAY... SEE SEALS, PORPOISES & DOLPHINS ALL ROUND OUR COASTLINE

48

ORKNEY.COM

Orkney’s bird-life is outstanding. No surprise, then, that the RSPB manages 13 nature reserves across the islands. Visits to the reserves and bird hides are an ideal way to see our resident and migrating birds year-round. There are regular guided walks on many reserves between May and August.

Orkney’s coastal cliffs are famous for seabirds, including puffins which breed at a few locations including the Brough of Birsay and, in greater numbers, the Castle of Burrian in Westray. Our seabird colonies of fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots are a noisy, busy, sight to behold but do be careful on the cliffs.

The Brodgar RSPB reserve is a good starting point for your day. It is easily accessible and is a great place to see waders and water birds. From there it is a short drive to the Cottascarth and Rendall Moss reserve. The reserve has one of the highest densities of breeding curlews in Europe.

Many of the wildlife encounters you’ll experience will be unplanned. Hen harriers hunting across fields, perhaps, or short-eared owls along roadside verges in twilight. Travel slowly and stay alert – you never know what you might spot. If you see a stoat, though, please tell us. Stoats are an invasive species and pose a serious threat to our native wildlife.

Hobbister on the north side of Scapa Flow is mostly wilderness, but the shoreline beside Waulkmill Bay is popular with Orcadians as well as visitors. If you prefer to do your birdwatching in the comfort of a hide, the RSPB has three. The Loons hide near Marwick Bay has a loon listening wall, the Birsay Moors hide is a great place to see red throated divers, and the Cottascarth hide is famous for hen harriers. Orkney Islands Council has a hide near the Standing Stones of Stenness.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME Sanday with its beautiful sandy beaches is one of the larger north isles and the resident ranger organises a great calendar of events and activities throughout the summer months. There are seals in our coastal waters, and further out you may see porpoises or dolphins. Occasionally you might see whales in deeper water. People often use Facebook to share information about current sightings. Wherever you go in Orkney, the natural world is all around you. Keep binoculars and a camera ready and don’t hurry from place to place.


7

NATURE ITINERARY

WESTRAY SANDAY

ROUSAY EDAY

6 4

WYRE

STRONSAY

GAIRSAY

WEST MAINLAND

2

SHAPINSAY

1 5

3

GRAEMSAY

HOY

THE ORKNEY NATIVE WILDLIFE PROJECT

EGILSAY

FLOTTA

LONGHOPE

EAST MAINLAND

Led by Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland, the project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The main aim is to ensure that Orkney's unique native wildlife is safeguarded by managing the invasive non-native predators that threaten the current balance. A major part of this is a stoat eradication programme, we ask if you see one to contact: E: north@snh.gov.uk T: 01856 886163 www.facebook.com/ OrkneyNativeWildlifeProject

BURRAY

SOUTH RONALDSAY

Red throated diver

RSPB Brodgar nature reserve

ORKNEY.COM

49


A DAY IN ORKNEY’S NEOLITHIC PAST Stand anywhere in the heart of Neolithic Orkney on one of our endless midsummer evenings and you’ll understand instinctively why our prehistoric ancestors made this the centre of their lives. You are in one of the world’s special places.

SHARE YOUR NEOLITHIC ITINERARY #visitorkney #loveorkney

YOUR NEOLITHIC ITINERARY 1

DISCOVER HOW OUR STONE AGE ANCESTORS LIVED IN SKARA BRAE

2

SEE THE IMPRESSIVE STANDING STONES OF STENNESS

3 4

TAKE A GUIDED TOUR ROUND MAESHOWE BACK TO KIRKWALL FOR A VISIT TO ORKNEY MUSEUM

AND IF YOU’VE GOT MORE THAN A DAY...

50

5

TOMB OF THE EAGLES

6

DWARFIE STANE

7

MIDHOWE CHAMBERED CAIRN

8

LINKS OF NOLTLAND

ORKNEY.COM

A day spent exploring Orkney’s Neolithic monuments will only just scratch the surface of our rich archaeological heritage, but - to adapt a well-known proverb - a journey of 5,000 years starts with the first step! Begin your journey at the village of Skara Brae on the edge of Orkney’s West Mainland. This jewel in Orkney’s World Heritage crown provides an insight into the daily lives of our Stone Age ancestors. Take time to explore the visitor centre with its replica house before visiting the well-preserved village. Next, travel to the Ring of Brodgar and the nearby Standing Stones of Stenness, stunningly impressive stone monuments constructed with the simplest of tools. Archaeologists believe that Brodgar and Stenness were part of a ritual landscape, perhaps centred on the Ness of Brodgar where long-buried enigmatic buildings and walls are being excavated. The excavations take place for a few short weeks in the summer when there are guided tours available on site. Described as a masterpiece of Neolithic engineering, the nearby large chambered cairn of Maeshowe was built around 2,800BC. It is aligned such that the midwinter solstice sunset shines down the entrance passage, illuminating the

interior. Visits to Maeshowe are by Historic Environment Scotland guided tour only, and you are strongly advised to book online in advance at www.historicenvironment.scot. If there is still time at the end of your day’s journey of exploration, a visit to the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall will help complete the Neolithic story.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME If your interest and imagination have been caught by Orkney’s Neolithic past there are many other places to visit. Too many to list, but here are some examples to inspire you. At the Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsay our ancestors were buried with the talons and bones of sea eagles, perhaps the symbol of their tribe. On Hoy, the Dwarfie Stane is Britain’s only rock cut prehistoric tomb. On Rousay, the Midhowe Chambered Cairn is an impressive 100 feet long. At the Links of Noltland on Westray, archaeologists discovered an extensive Neolithic settlement with two exquisite carved figurines, dubbed the Orkney Venus and the Westray Wifie.


8

SANDAY

NEOLITHIC ITINERARY

WESTRAY

...

ROUSAY EDAY

7

DID YOU KNOW?

EGILSAY WYRE

1

STRONSAY

GAIRSAY

WEST MAINLAND

SHAPINSAY

2 3

4

GRAEMSAY

EAST MAINLAND

Our Neolithic ancestor’s homes weren’t so very different to ours. Long before Stonehenge or even the Egyptian pyramids were built, Skara Brae was a thriving village. Occupied for approximately 600 years, between 3,100 and 2,500BC, each house had a similar layout – a single room with a dresser to house important objects located opposite the entrance, storage boxes on the floors and storage spaces in the walls, beds at the sides, and a central hearth.

6 HOY

FLOTTA

LONGHOPE

BURRAY

5

SOUTH RONALDSAY

Standing Stones of Stenness

Skara Brae

Maeshowe

Dwarfie Stane

ORKNEY.COM

51


A DAY-LONG TASTE OF ORKNEY We are proud of the authenticity and quality of our food and drink. Our pristine natural environment and bountiful seas are the source of a wide range of delicious, distinctive, high quality food and drink for you to enjoy. Of course, you can eat local produce every day while you are in Orkney, but a special day spent getting to know our wonderful produce is time well-spent. SHARE YOUR FOOD & DRINK ITINERARY #visitorkney #loveorkney

YOUR TASTE OF ORKNEY ITINERARY 1

BEGIN YOUR DAY VISITING ONE OF KIRKWALL’S DISTILLERIES - EITHER HIGHLAND PARK

2

OR SCAPA DISTILLERY

3

ALTERNATIVELY TRY A GIN AT THE ORKNEY DISTILLERY

4

OR DEERNESS DISTILLERY

5

EXPERIENCE ORKNEY’S ONLY REMAINING WORKING MILL AT BARONY MILL

6

ENJOY A TOUR OF ORKNEY BREWERY

AND IF YOU’VE GOT MORE THAN A DAY... 7

8

9

52

SEE THE SEAWEED EATING SHEEP AT NORTH RONALDSAY TAKE IN SOME FARMING HERITAGE AT CORRIGALL FARM MUSEUM OR SEE A ‘FIREHOOSE’ AT KIRBUSTER MUSEUM

ORKNEY.COM

Begin your day with a visit to one of our two internationally famous whisky distilleries, Highland Park and Scapa, both on the outskirts of Kirkwall. A visit to either will provide an insight into the ingredients and processes that produce these distinctive island whiskies. Better still, visit both and choose your favourite dram! If your preference is for gin, the Orkney Distillery and Deerness Distillery produce characterful craft gins reflecting their Orkney provenance. From there, travel west towards Birsay where Orkney’s Viking Earls first had their hall and farmlands. Here you can experience Orkney’s only remaining working mill. Barony Mill produces traditional Orcadian beremeal, a variety of barley well-suited to our climate and short growing season. The mill dates from 1873 and there are fascinating tours, as well as beremeal and oatmeal for sale. If you plan on sampling our exceptional whisky, gin or beer, please do so responsibly, perhaps by making one of your party a designated driver for the day. Your choice of venue for lunch or dinner, or even for coffee and home bakes, will depend on where you are, your tastes and budget. Look out for our locally reared premium beef and sustainably fished crab, lobster, scallops and salmon, our famous ice-cream, oatcakes, fudge, cheese and baking, and our awardwinning beers, whisky and gin. Wherever you choose to eat, take time to savour the tastes.

While in Orkney’s West Mainland, visit the Orkney Brewery in Quoyloo where you can enjoy insightful tours and sample award-winning hand-crafted beers in the tasting hall. The brewery visitor centre is in a former Victorian school, and adults and children can have fun exploring the building’s past.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

North Ronaldsay is famous for its small flock of rare breed North Ronaldsay sheep, which are kept on the foreshore for most of the year where they feed on seaweed, giving the meat a distinctive flavour, much sought-after by chefs. In August, there are agricultural shows in several parts of Orkney, culminating in the main County Show held at the Bignold Park in Kirkwall where farmers come to show off their animals and vie for the accolade of Show Champion. For an insight into how our ancestors farmed and lived, the Corrigall Farm Museum is a traditional late 19th century farmhouse and steading. In Birsay, Kirbuster Museum is the last un-restored example of a traditional ‘firehoose’ in Northern Europe. These two museums, bringing the past vividly to life, are popular with adults and children alike. You’ll be surrounded by our pristine environment wherever you travel in Orkney, whether on Mainland or on any of the smaller islands.


7

WESTRAY SANDAY

FAIRTRADE IN ORKNEY ROUSAY EDAY

5

6

EGILSAY

9

WYRE

STRONSAY

GAIRSAY

WEST MAINLAND

8

While in Orkney, look out for Fairtrade products and services. The island communities of Westray and Papa Westray led an inspired Fairtrade campaign, inspiring the whole of Orkney to follow and we have been a member of the Fairtrade movement since 2014.

SHAPINSAY

3

1

2

RAEMSAY

OY

NORTH RONALDSAY

TASTE OF ORKNEY

PAPA WESTRAY

4 EAST MAINLAND

FLOTTA

LONGHOPE

BURRAY

SOUTH RONALDSAY

Highland Park Distillery

Orkney Distillery

Orkney Brewery

North Ronaldsay sheep

Scapa Distillery

ORKNEY.COM

53


HANDMADE IN ORKNEY From traditional skills to contemporary styling, creativity is an integral part of the Orkney experience. It is perhaps no surprise that Orkney is a thriving centre of creativity, with its dramatic landscapes and seascapes and their changing colour palettes having long been inspiration for painters, potters, jewellers, sculptors, furniture makers and textile designers. From world-renowned artists to smallscale local producers, Orkney's creative community is an important part of the local economy, but it is also a valued part of the visitor experience – with many of those who come to Orkney finding that

Michael Sinclair RPT Woodturner

54

ORKNEY.COM

something special to take home as a valued memento of their Orkney time. As local artists and crafts people often have their studios where they live, they can be found right across Orkney – sometimes in the most unexpected of places. One of the best ways to see them at work is to follow the Creative Trail. Developed by Creative Orkney, the trail makes it simple for visitors to discover many of Orkney's traditional and contemporary arts and crafts businesses and to enjoy them within the stunning

landscape that is their inspiration. The Creative Trail includes around 20 destinations, taking you across the Mainland and onto a number of the isles including South Ronaldsay, Rousay, Sanday and Westray. It can be followed in its entirety, or you can of course choose a section to follow at your leisure. You can pick up a printed Creative Trail booklet at the VisitScotland iCentre in Kirkwall. The guide contains all the information you'll need – including travel directions and opening times. In addition,


As many of the destinations are workshops you may be able to enjoy seeing work being created, and in some cases you may even be offered a guided tour. If you're tempted to purchase, work can be bought from many of the galleries and workshops when you visit. Alternatively you can also purchase from various retail shops across the islands or display cabinets, which are located at Kirkwall Airport, the Stromness NorthLink Ferry Terminal and Kirkwall's VisitScotland iCentre.

HANDMADE IN ORKNEY

look out for the brown signs across the isles to guide you.

Of course not all of Orkney's crafts people are included in the Creative Trail, so do look out for locally made items in shops and visitor centres.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME Local makers on Stronsay have also banded together to form a craft trail that can take you on a tour of the island, so if you have more time why not explore it? To find out more about Stronsay's craft trail go to www.visitstronsay.com/thingsto-do/arts-crafts/

GET LOCAL INFORMATION FROM LOCAL EXPERTS Pop into Kirkwall’s VisitScotland iCentre, where local experts with a wide range of knowledge can advise you on how to get the best experience of Orkney. The iCentre offers free WiFi and is open all year round.

WHY NOT STAY IN TOUCH WITH CREATIVE ORKNEY ONLINE AT WWW.CREATIVE-ORKNEY.COM

For more information visit www.visitscotland.com or call 01856 872856

Sheila Fleet

Scapa Crafts

Toumal Art Studio

ORKNEY.COM

55


56

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

57

CRAFT & SHOPPING


58

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

59

CRAFT & SHOPPING


60

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

61

CRAFT & SHOPPING


62

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

63

CRAFT & SHOPPING


64

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

65

CRAFT & SHOPPING


66

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

67

CRAFT & SHOPPING


68

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

69


70

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

71


72

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

73


74

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

75


76

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

77


78

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

79


80

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

81


82

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

83


84

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

85


86

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

87


88

ORKNEY.COM


FOOD & DRINK ORKNEY.COM

89


90

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

91

TOURING & TRAVEL


92

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

93

TOURING & TRAVEL


94

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

95

TOURING & TRAVEL


96

ORKNEY.COM


ORKNEY.COM

97

TOURING & TRAVEL


98

ORKNEY.COM


SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

STAY UP TO DATE AND SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE With a choice of social channels to choose from, you never need to be far away from Orkney. We'd love you to share your experiences on social media. Whichever channel you prefer, be it Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Twitter, why not tell the world what you think is special about Orkney? Social channels are also a great way to stay right up to date with what's happening in Orkney, from events to weather updates, wildlife

sightings and of course to get ideas of places you'd like to visit, so you can make the most of your Orkney time. The What's New section of orkney.com is always a great place to find the latest information, and do remember to sign up, via the website, for our monthly digital Orkney newsletter.

F L

@visitorkney

TAKE PART IN OUR 2019 VISITOR SURVEY

/orkneycom

Everyone who takes part has the chance to win an Ola Gorie, Ness of Brodgar pendant and earrings.

@orkneycom @orkneycom

WHY NOT SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE ORKNEY IMAGES ON INSTAGRAM USING #VISITORKNEY AND #LOVEORKNEY OUR THANKS GO TO ALL OUR TALENTED CONTRIBUTORS.

_nicollew

The inspiration for this stylish, modern jewellery is the intricate rock carvings found in the Neolithic ‘cathedral’ at the centre of the ancient ceremonial site, the Ness of Brodgar. The closing date is 31st October 2019, to enter please visit: www.surveymonkey. co.uk/r/orkney2019

gsduffin76

orkneymermaid

orkneyjar_sigurd

nicholi.fraznikov ORKNEY.COM

99


TAKE A TOUR To make the most of your time in Orkney why not book a tour with one of our experienced guides? Their local knowledge is invaluable and you'll learn so much from them. PRIVATE TOURS

SCHEDULED TOURS

Odin Tours of Orkney T: 01856 751757 www.odintoursoforkney.com About Orkney John O' Groats Ferries - Day tour T: 01856 851172 T: 01955 611353 Orcadian Wildlife www.aboutorkney.com www.jogferry.co.uk T: 01856 831240 www.orcadianwildlife.co.uk Brodgar - Viking Hiking Orkney Heritage Tours T: 0782 561 7346 T: 01856 871536 Orkney Highlights www.brodgar.co.uk www.orkneyheritagetours.co.uk T: 0774 762 7666 Orkney Tailor Made Tours Experience Orkney Tours Stagecoach - Discover Orkney T: 01856 466008 T: 01856 761304 T: 01856 870555 www.orkney-tailor-made-tours.co.uk www.experienceorkneytours.com www.stagecoachbus.com The Orkney Tour Guide Great Orkney Tours Wildabout Orkney T: 01856 841464 T: 01856 861443 T: 01856 877737 www.theorkneytourguide.co.uk www.greatorkneytours.co.uk www.wildaboutorkney.com Orkney Tour Options Heritage Attractions - Walking T: 0783 678 2178 T: 01856 841207 www.orkney-tour-options.com www.orkneystorytelling.com Orkney Tourist Guide Association Island Travel Orkney www.otga.co.uk T: 0772 655 9743 Papa Westray Orkney Trike Tours www.islandtravelorkney.com T: 0793 123 5213 T: 01856 741293 JP Orkney - Food and drink tours papayranger@gmail.com www.orkneytriketours.co.uk T: 0779 122 5416 Sanday Personalised Orkney Tours www.jporkney.co.uk T: 01857 600359 T: 01856 761899 Kirkwall Walking Tours www.sandayranger.org www.facebook.com/TouristGuide.JoJones T: 01856 781223 RSPB Scotland Pettlandsker Boat Trips www.kirkwallwalkingtours.com T: 01856 850176 T: 01856 831605 Lizzie's Orkney Tours www.rspb.org.uk www.boattrips-orkney.co.uk T: 0774 264 8700 Orkney Islands Council Rural Planner Scapa Scuba - Diving www.lizziesorkneytours.com T: 01856 873535 ext 2541 T: 01856 851218 Love Orkney Tours ross.irvine@orkney.gov.uk www.scapascuba.co.uk T: 0754 548 0748 Orkney's World Heritage Site Scenic Orkney www.loveorkneytours.com T: 01856 841732 T: 0751 017 9026 My Orkney Tours orkneyrangers@hes.scot www.scenicorkney.com T: 0771 049 4187 See Orkney www.myorkneytours.co.uk FOR TOURS OF THE INNER, OUTER AND T: 01856 870635 SOUTH ISLES, PLEASE SEE PAGES 18 - 25 Northerly Marine Services - Boat Tours www.see-orkney.co.uk T: 0782 545 9242 Stromness Tours Ltd www.northerlymarineservices.co.uk T: 0775 985 7298

ORKNEY WILDLIFE RANGERS

100 ORKNEY.COM


TO & FROM ORKNEY

HEALTH SERVICES

Charles Tait - Guide Books T: 01856 873738 www.charles-tait.co.uk Craigies Taxis Ltd Kirkwall T: 01856 878787 www.craigiestaxis.com J & W Tait Ltd - Garage Kirkwall T: 01856 872490 www.jandwtaitltd.co.uk Orkney Car Hire Kirkwall T: 01856 872866 www.orkneycarhire.co.uk Orkney Car Rental Kirkwall Airport T: 01856 875500 www.orkneycarrental.co.uk Orkney Community Transport Organisation Kirkwall T: 01856 871536 www.orkneycommunity transportorganisation.com Orkney Cycle Hire Stromness T: 01856 850255 www.orkneycyclehire.co.uk Orkney Marinas T: 01856 871313 www.orkneymarinas.co.uk Stagecoach Kirkwall T: 01856 870555 www.stagecoachbus.com

Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd T: 01856 886210 www.hial.co.uk John O' Groats Ferries T: 01955 611353 www.jogferry.co.uk Loganair Ltd T: 0344 800 2855 www.loganair.co.uk McKinlay Kidd T: 0141 308 8009 www.mckinlaykidd.com NorthLink Ferries T: 0845 600 0449 www.northlinkferries.co.uk Orkney Marinas T: 01856 871313 www.orkneymarinas.co.uk Pentland Ferries T: 01856 831226 www.pentlandferries.co.uk Scapa Travel Ltd T: 01856 889040 www.scapatravel.co.uk Wildabout Orkney T: 01856 877737 www.wildaboutorkney.com

Dounby Surgery T: 01856 771209 Eday Surgery T: 01857 622243 Evie Surgery T: 01856 751283 Flotta Surgery T: 01856 701769 Heilendi Kirkwall T: 01856 872388 Hoy & Walls Health Centre T: 01856 701209 North Ronaldsay Surgery T: 01857 633226 Papa Westray Surgery T: 01857 644227 Rousay Practice T: 01856 821265 Sanday Practice T: 01857 600221 Shapinsay Surgery T: 01856 711284 Skerryvore Kirkwall T: 01856 888240 South Ronaldsay Practice T: 01856 831206 Stromness Surgery T: 01856 850205 Stronsay Practice T: 01857 616321 Westray Surgery T: 01857 677209

INTER ISLAND Loganair Ltd Kirkwall Airport T: 01856 872494 www.loganair.co.uk/travelinformation/orkney-interisland-services Orkney Ferries Shore Street, Kirkwall T: 01856 872044 www.orkneyferries.co.uk

PUBLIC CONVENIENCES Graemsay Graemsay Pier Hoy Longhope Pier Lyness Pier Moaness Pier Rackwick North Ronaldsay North Ron Pier Papa Westray Moclett Pier Papa Westray Pier Rousay Trumland Pier Sanday Kettletoft Pier Loth Pier Shapinsay Balfour Pier ISLES Stronsay Eday Whitehall Pier Backaland Pier Westray Egilsay Gill Pier Egilsay Pier Pierowall Flotta Rapness Pier Gibraltar Pier Wyre Wyre Pier Disabled access available

MAINLAND Birsay Birsay Palace Burray Burray Pier Fourth Barrier Deerness Dingieshowe Beach Dounby Dounby Village Evie Aikerness Finstown Finstown Village Holm St Mary's Pier Kirkwall Scapa Beach Shapinsay Terminal Shore Street St Magnus Lane Whitechapel Peedie Sea Boat Shed

Orphir Houton Terminal Waulkmill Beach Rendall Tingwall Ferry Sandwick Skaill Beach South Ronaldsay Burwick Sands O' Wright St Margarets Hope Cromarty Square Stenness Stenness Village Stromness Ferry Road Pier Head Warbeth Beach

POST OFFICE Kirkwall Post Office 15 Junction Road, Kirkwall Stromness (Argo’s Bakery) 50 Victoria Street, Stromness Post Offices are located around most of the mainland parishes and outer Isles. Some may be located within the local shops.

SWIMMING Hoy Swimming Pool Lyness T: 01856 701265 The Pickaquoy Centre Kirkwall T: 01856 879900 Sanday Swimming Pool Sanday T: 01857 600722 Stronsay Swimming Pool Stronsay T: 01857 616406 Swimming & Fitness Centre Stromness T: 01856 850552 Westray Swimming Pool Westray T: 01857 677775

EMERGENCY Balfour Hospital New Scapa Road, Kirkwall, T: 01856 888000 NHS 24 T: 111

CONTACT US Produced by Destination Orkney 1st Floor The Travel Centre West Castle St Kirkwall KW15 1GU T: +44 (0)1856 230300 E: admin@visitorkney.com www.orkney.com Design & content: r//evolution marketing Front cover image: Ring of Brodgar, Filip Snajd snajdrphotoghraphy.com Destination Orkney has taken every reasonable step to ensure that the information contained in this guide is correct at time of going to press. However it is subject to alteration and we cannot guarantee that the information published remains accurate. We recommend that all information is checked direct with the tourism provider. Orkney Tourism Group accepts no liability for any inaccuracy in the information provided.

WITH THANKS Destination Orkney would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the creation of this guide: VisitScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Food and Drink, Creative Orkney and Digital Media Orkney.

PHOTOGRAPHIC CREDITS Colin Keldie, Premysl Fojtu, Fiona Annal, Sean Purser, Antonella Papa, John Wishart, Adam Hough, RSPB Images, Hugo Anderson-Whymark, Iain Sarjeant, Paul Tomkins, Adam Hough, Kenny Lam, Max Fletcher, Raymond Besant, Fionn McArthur & Scottish Viewpoint MAPS © Collins Bartholomew Ltd 2017. The contents of the maps are believed correct at the time of printing. Nevertheless, the publisher can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions, changes in the detail given, or for any expense or loss thereby caused. The representation of a road, track or footpath is no evidence of a right of way.

ORKNEY.COM 101

USEFUL INFORMATION

GETTING AROUND


YOU CAN FIND OUT ABOUT SAILINGS AND FLIGHTS TO THE INNER & OUTER ISLES AT THE KIRKWALL iCENTRE OR GO TO WWW.ORKNEYFERRIES.CO.UK AND WWW.LOGANAIR.CO.UK 102 ORKNEY.COM


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY... Orkney attracts artists, performers and musicians to participate in its year-round calendar of events, and visitors from every corner of the world come to Orkney to enjoy their talents in this unique setting. Orkney's strong cultural heritage is evident today in its many and varied events that happen throughout the year. The packed festival calendar attracts world class artists and draws enthusiastic audiences that appreciate both the performances and the unique Orkney setting. The Orkney International Science festival held in September certainly starts the autumn festival programme off with a bang, with fascinating talks, lectures, demonstrations, experiments and scientific guest speakers from around the world. Find out more about the Science Festival and Orkney's full festival programme at www.orkney.com/events. Summer is Orkney's agricultural show season, with shows held

across the islands, each offering a great day out with the best of Orkney's cattle, sheep, horses, goats, poultry, pets and dogs on show. Six shows make up the calendar, ranging from Sanday in the north isles to South Ronaldsay and Burray in the south and culminating in the County Show in Kirkwall in early August. Check out what’s on during your stay online.

Hope, South Ronaldsay. Young girls gather at the local school, dressed as working horses, complete with collar and headdress in costumes handed down through generations.

Some require pre-paid tickets - whilst others are informal and you can simply turn up on the day, but do check out details on the website to avoid disappointment.

The boys compete at the Sands O' Wright - a vast beach just outside the village where they use miniature ploughs to draw lines in the sand, learning the craft of the finely tilled furrow.

Other unique events that give a true flavour of Orkney life, include the Riding of The Marches, an impressive sight as horses, ponies and carriages take to the streets of Kirkwall before their riders carry a standard around the old boundary of the town.

The Ba’ is one of Orkney’s most renowned events. This ancient ball game is played in the streets of Kirkwall at Christmas and New Year, with hundreds of local men competing in what is a rowdy and spirited contest – one not to be missed!

You can also receive event and other useful information straight to your inbox, with the monthly Orkney newsletter. Why not sign up and enjoy a little Orkney magic every month.

The Festival of the Horse and Boy's Ploughing Match take place in August in St Margaret's

Each of these events has evolved to create a true spectacle, enjoyed by Orcadians and visitors alike.

FOR AN UP TO DATE EVENTS CALENDAR VISIT WWW.ORKNEY.COM/ EVENTS

ORKNEY.COM 103


104 ORKNEY.COM

Profile for Destination Orkney

The Orkney Insider Guide 2019  

The Orkney Insider Guide 2019