Situated off the north coast of Scotland the Orkney archipelago consists of lots of small islands (some 70 or so), including of course the main island is Orkney; others of note include Sanday and Westray. These really are places to escape the pressures of everyday life.
The principal town on Orkney is its capital, Kirkwall, with a port and airport this bustling town has shops and places to eat and drink. The town has a long history, founded in 1035 it shows fine examples of its ancient Norse origins and of particular interest is St Magnus Cathedral, one of the finest medieval buildings in the north of Scotland.
Orkney's history goes back to Neolithic times and has a strong Norse influence which is not surprising given its location. The Neolithic findings on the island are so significant that have been awarded UNESCO world heritage status. In the 13th century these islands were part of Norway and had been populated by Norse settlers for hundreds of years earlier. This rich historical context is evidenced by the number of ancient places of interest there are here.
The Ring of Brodgar is just one example, combining the Islands' rich history with a naturally stunning landscape to make for a truly unforgettable experience. This magnificent henge and stone circle is nestled between the Lochs of Harray and Stenness on the Mainland and offers a fascinating experience. Equally popular, and no less-impressive, at the Brough of Birsay the remains of ancient settlements can be found along with some unique vantage points to appreciate the region's incredible natural wildlife.
The diverse range of natural untouched habitats provides a home to a range of flora and fauna; in particular the magnificent displays of rare wild flowers that can be seen in the summer months which are a sight to behold. Visitors will also appreciate the abundant bird life and marine life here; wildlife tours and boat trips are available on the island.
A holiday here is for those who are looking for a unique outdoors break in one of Britain's most special locations. With stunning natural landscapes, cliff top walks and pristine beaches, wild nature and few tourists.
Orkney is in easy reach from the Scottish mainland, with ferry services operating from a number of ports including Aberdeen (Includes car ferry) and John o' Groats (Passenger ferry only in the summer). Onward travel by ferry or plane to the outer islands is available from Orkney.
Take a look at our selection of holiday cottages on the Orkney Islands today.