Top 10 Attractions

Our 5000 year old World Heritage sites

  • Skara BraeSkara Brae Village – Skara Brae is the best preserved New Stone Age village in Northern Europe.
  • Standing Stones of Stenness, sunsetThe Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar – our evocative stone Circles.
  • MaeshoweMaeshowe – superb Chambered Tomb with 1,000 year old Viking runes. The long low entrance passage is carefully lined up on the midwinter sunset.

Our Viking past

  • St Magnus CathedralSt Magnus Cathedral over 850 years old and dedicated to a Viking pacifist…
  • Bishops PalaceThe Bishop’s Palace is as old as the Cathedral. See where a Norwegian king died in 1263.

Our World War and Arctic legacies

  • Scapa FlowScapa Flow and the scuttling of the German Fleet on Midsummer’s Day 1919. From the Vikings to 1945, Scapa Flow has played a vital role in naval history. In 1919 the scuttling of the German fleet was the biggest loss of shipping in a single day.
  • Italian Chapel, Lamb Holm, Orkney - photo David MurdochRoyal Oak War Grave, the Italian Chapel and the Churchill Barriers. In 1939 the Navy believed its Scapa Flow base was secure, on 13 October a German U boat got into Scapa Flow and sank the Royal Oak, a British battleship. Winston Churchill had barriers built to stop it happening again and Italian Prisoners of War created a beautiful Chapel out of virtually nothing.
  • StromnessStromness A beautiful small town that was has close links with Canada, the Hudson’s Bay Company and Arctic exploration. Visit its superb Arts Gallery

Our Beauty spots

  • Primula ScoticaYesnaby – seascapes, renewables and in season rare flowers. At the right time of year, you may even see a puffin fly past, though we’re not making any promises!
  • Margaret at Brough of Birsay - photo David MurdochBrough of Birsay – why not make time for a hunt for the lucky seashell the groattie buckie – photo David Murdoch.