Tourist Information in Orkney Islands
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Orkney Islands Tourist Information




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Lying offshore on the northernmost part of Scotland you can find the low lying lands of Orkney, a collection of islands where the climate is mild, due to the Gulf Stream, and the coastlines and heathland teem with wildlife.

Being this far north, summer days are long and full darkness not known.

The Orkneys comprises 70 islands in all, many of which are unpopulated, giving you chance of experiencing wide open spaces and limitless skies.

The Mainland has many historic sites and settlements to visit, including the famous Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae which was inhabited around 3200BC to 2200BC.

For lovers of coastal scenery, there are impressive sea cliffs and sandy beaches.

Whilst there, make sure you take the Ferries and explore the North and South Islands each having their own settlements and histories. From the escapist to the family there is something for everyone - diving, canoeing, sailing, water-skiing; exploring the islands' rich heritage and folklore; walking, cycling, peaceful atmospheres, flora and fauna; winding streets, cafes and art centres.... there are endless things to do and discover.

Kirkwall, the capital city of the islands, falls on the narrowest point where West and East Mainland meet. It is the ideal place from which to discover the islands with shops and cafes, restaurants and bars. The red stone cathedral of St. Magnus towers above its centre. Stromness is the other larger 'burgh' and looking from the sea it's very pretty.

Orkney animation

The great bay of Scapa Flow is on the southern side of the Mainland, an interesting place for World War Two veterans. It was here that the Royal Navy had its main wartime base. Divers can still get down to some of the wrecks.

The Southern Isles comprise of Burray, South Ronaldsay, Flotta, Hoy and many smaller islands on which no one lives. Hoy is the second largest island and the tallest. A popular scenic spot is the Old Man of Hoy, a sea stack that juts out of the headland. The cliffs found along this coastline look very much like a those found in the Grand Canyon, but in miniature. It's a great place to walk and climb.

There are lots of islands making up the northern part of the Orkneys including North Ronaldsay, Sanday, Westray, Papa Westray, Eday, Papa Stronsay, Stronsay, Rousay, Egilsay, Gairsay, Wyre, Auskerry, Shapinsay and again many other unpopulated small islands. Connected, as with all the islands, by ferries and small airports.

If the landscapes and wildlife are not enough then warm to the traditions and heritage of its local people. The 'Orcadians' will always give you a warm welcome. Interwoven through their communities is their art, traditions and folklore. Examples of their art can be seen in the many art centres and craft shops dotted around the islands from pottery and jewellery, textiles and paintings, you are sure to find something beautiful to take away with you.

Images: CCL

The Neolithic village at Skara Brae. C Michael Hogan
Taracliff Bay, Orkney Mainland, looking west from the cliff path. Colin Smith
Stromness from the Ferry. DJB
The Old Man of Hoy, taken from Scrabster, the Stromness car ferry and demonstrating the fantastic red sandstone cliffs. DJB
The pipe band at Finstown Gala on the Mainland. Colin Smith



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Tourist Information Centres

KIRKWALL
The Travel Centre, West Castle Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, KW15 1GU
Tel: 01856 872856    Fax: 01856875056
E-mail: info@visitorkney.com
Web: www.visitorkney.com

STROMNESS
Visitor Information Centre, Ferry Terminal Building, Pier Head, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, KW16 3AA
Tel: 01856 850716    Fax: 01856 850777
E-mail: stromness@visitorkney.com
Web: www.visitorkney.com

VISIT ORKNEY TOURIST BOARD
Orkney, Highlands and Islands, Scotland
E-mail: info@visitorkney.com
Web: www.visitorkney.com


  

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