Located a few miles to north-east of Scotland is a group of islands know as the Orkney. It contains a total of two hundred islands located 16 km north of Caithness of Northern Scotland and the administrative capital is Kirkwall on the mainland. Around 7000 people are living in this region.
The largest island in Orkney is accepted as the Mainland. The islands north of the mainland are known jointly as The North Isles, those to the south as The South Isles. Almost all of the islands possess lochs (lakes) and the rivers are merely streams draining the highland. These places are really amazing spots to visit and grab the essence of the region.
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Climate and Temperature
Temperature during summer is normally 12c (54f) and during winter is 4c (39f). January, February and March are normally winter there and March is the coldest time of the year. September is persistently the finest month and at the end of October or the start of November arises the peedie (or little) summer or milder weather. Traveller can pre-plan their trip and access these places during the right time of the year and enjoy their vacation.
Transport in Orkney
British Airways and British Airways Express fly to Kirkwall from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Wick, Sumburgh (Shetland). Connections can be made with flights to and from London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Belfast.
A privately-run ferry in Orkney operates daily from John O’ Groats to Burwick on the southern tip of Orkney. There is additionally the Orkney Bus from Inverness to Kirkwall. The Puffin Express minibus service operates from Inverness to John O’ Groats and stops at the Carn Liath broch, Brora, Camster Cairns, Wick, and Duncansby Stacks.
The Citylink coach services from Inverness to Scrabster and the Northlink ferry service to Stromness. There are also bus connections from Wick railway station to Scrabster.
The House of Skaill
Beside the prehistoric village of Skara Brae lies this 17th century astounding house known as the Skaill House which has been kept open as a visiting spot for tourists and local visitors.
The Click Mill
It was a planar water mill used to grind grain during the 19th century. The name comes from the wooden bit which clears the grain among the stones: it clicks each time it goes around, and lets some grain through the hopper. This age old mill is an interesting place to have a look around.
The Tomb of the Eagle
It represents life during the Stone Age and the Bronze Age in Orkney. It is actually a family-run museum which was established on the island of South Ronaldsay. It is called as the Tomb of the Eagle.
It is a 200-foot drop straight down into the foaming sea from the top. It features The Kitchener Memorial which was erected in memory of the 600 men who lost their lives when HMS Hampshire struck a German mine and sank in World War II.
The Stromness Museum of Orkney
This museum was established in 1837 and is run by a group of trustees for the Orkney community. It is known as The Stromness Museum and is of course a nice place to visit.
The Kirbister & Corrigal Farm Museum
This place displays old farm houses and equipments of Orkney which are really rare to be found anywhere around Europe.
This majestic building is Scotland’s only circular medieval church which almost dates back to 12th century. And near to it is the remains of the drinking hall known as the Earl’s Bu. Both these places are really interesting to visit.
The Covenanters Memorial of Orkney
The Covenanters Memorial on Orkney was built following the death of two hundred souls in 1679 that were found guilty of religious dissent by King Charles II.
The Old Man of Hoy
The Old Man of Hoy on Orkney is a sandstone sea stack 137 meters high standing on a basalt base. It is an interesting landmark standing in Orkney and is popular among climbers who often visit here for adventure.
The Mine Howe of Orkney is an architecture that is unique in terms of its design and scale. It is enclosed by a massive earthen ditch, which may have been considered sacred since the Neolithic period.
Skara Brae is 30km west of Kirkwall and is a very large preserved stone-built village that is already over 5000 years old.
Festivals in Orkney
Celebrated since 1982, the Orkney Folk Festival celebrates musical and cultural life of Orkney. The festival manages to satisfy continuously packed audiences all over Orkney in schools, community centers, theatres, concert halls and pub sessions. Visitors from all over the world come to Orkney and enjoy this grand celebration.
The St. Magnus Festival
The St. Magnus Festival is Orkney’s esteemed midsummer celebration of the arts featuring celebrities, premieres, and community practices and isles excursions on Orkney and also offering various programmes of music, theatre, literature and the visual arts.
The Orkney Jazz Festival is celebrated during a weekend featuring mostly traditional jazz, based at the Stromness Hotel on Orkney.