Local Information

The Orkney islands are and archipelago of some 70 islands located off the north of Scotland of which only 21 are inhabited.

With quiet sandy beaches and stunning scenery Orkney is ideal for those looking to slow down a bit from their normal busy lifestyles, but there is also plenty to see and do in Orkney.

Skara BraeOrkney's rich archaeology is a popular reason for visiting Orkney with archaeological sites that date back over 5,000 years.  With empty unspoilt beaches, spectacular cliffs and an abundance of wildlife it is also a popular destination for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

There are lots of places to see and things to do in Orkney and around Stromness.

If eating out is your thing then you'll be spoilt for choice in Stromness with The Ferry Inn, Royal Hotel, Stromness Hotel and Hamnavoe Restaurant all providing the full dining experience, or for something a bit lighter there is Bistro 76 or Julia's Café & Bistro. There is also Stromness Chip shop for take away's.

The Pier Arts Centre which is a focal point for the local artist community and hosts a year round programme of changing exhibits, visit their website for more information.

Highland Park Distillery is the northernmost Scotch Whisky distillery in the world and is open for tours all year, check their website for details and times.

St Magnus CathedralBritain's most northerly cathedral, St Magnus Cathedral was founded in 1137 by the Viking Earl Rognvald. The cathedral also has a visitor centre with multi-lingual audio-visual presentations about the cathedral and its history.   Visit the St Magnus website for more information.

Only four stones remain of the Standing Stones o'Stenness, the largest of these standing some six metres high. The stones stand by the south eastern shore of the Loch o'Stenness, next to the road that leads to the Ring of Brodgar.

The Ring of Brodgar dates back to 2500 - 2000 BC, the stone ring forms a circle 104 metres in diameter. It is thought to have originally contained 60 stones but today only 27 stones remain.

Sunken ship at Scapa FlowScapa Flow is one of Britain's most historic stretches of water, used since prehistory as a sheltered area for ships it was especially important during the two World Wars. Scapa flow was the northern base for the British Grand Fleet at the start of the First World War.

Perhaps, Scapa Flow is most famous though as the location of the scuttling of the German High Sea Fleet in June 1919 by order of Rear Admiral von Reuter the German officer in command of the interned fleet.

Most of the scuttled fleet of some seventy four ships have been removed over time with only eight now remaining. These remaining ships prove very popular with divers.

If you're going to be using public transport to get around Orkney you might want to visit the Orkney Island Council's Transport page where you can download a PDF version of the transport guide listing all the bus routes and times as well as giving details of inter isles ferries and air transport.

Many of the outer isles can be visited in a day.  Orkney Ferries provide ferry transport to the outer isles or Loganair provide air transport to the outer isles.

For more information on Orkney, places to see and things to do as well as a list of events check out the Visit Orkney Website.

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