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Ancient Orkney

No-one could be unmoved by the glimpses of domestic life in the Stone Age village at Skara Brae - but who can ever know the meaning of the Stones of Stenness? Find out more about Orkney's Historic Sites & Monuments.


From the principal Orkney collections at Tankerness House in Kirkwall, via two farm museums, plus the story of Scapa Flow - plenty to discover about Orkney’s past.

Museums & Galleries in Orkney

Island Hopping »

Whichever island you choose, getting there is straightforward, thanks to fast, modern roll-on, roll-off ferry services.


Kirkwall is a go-ahead, substantial harbour town with a main street busy with locals and visitors. First impressions will include the extraordinary choice of upmarket craft shops along the main street while, overall, the bulk of St Magnus Cathedral dominates the skyline, as it has done for more than eight centuries. There are many more things to explore around Kirkwall, try the Orkney Museum, or the Orkney Wireless Museum, or go for a taster at the  Highland Park Distillery.


Stromness is strung out along its sheltered shore, with its crooked main street revealing narrow glimpses of blue water between its plain and practical dwellings. Well worth the stroll, however, especially to see Stromness Museum and Pier Arts Centre. For the sailors in olden times, Stromness was the last watering place before the wild North Atlantic.

Speciality Shops

Quality of light, ever-changing colours of sea and sky, and a Viking heritage, all inspire local craftsfolk from tapestry makers to jewellers.

Speciality Shops in Orkney

Orkney Festivals

In a go-ahead community sure of its identity, there are festivals and events celebrating many aspects of Orkney’s heritage. Find out more about Festivals & Events in Orkney.