2016 orkney insiders guide interactive
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Please leave this guide behind for other visitors to enjoy.
The Insiders Guide 2016
Beyond your expectations
Please leave this guide behind for other visitors to enjoy. www.visitorkney.com
We hope you enjoy your stay, for more information on Orkney, please visit: www.visitorkney.com
Our top ten things to do...
Earls & Bishops PalaceThe palaces are two of the finest examples of French Renaissance architecture to be found in Scotland and a powerful reminder of Orkneys often turbulent past.
Heart of Neolithic OrkneyThis UNESCO World Heritage Site is a magical prehistoric landscape. Discover ancient civilisations at; Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Standing Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe.
Broch of GurnessReputed to be the finest preserved broch village in Scotland, this outstanding Iron Age settlement paints a fascinating picture of life in Orkney over 2,000 years ago.
Pier Arts CentreThe Pier Arts Centre in Stromness is home to a permanent collection, housed in this award winning building. It has a year round programme of exhibitions and events. Admission is free.
The Italian ChapelThis beautiful chapel on Lamb Holm, built by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War, draws visitors from around the world.
St Magnus CathedralDominating the Kirkwall skyline, this magnificent example of medieval architecture took over 300 years to complete and is the most northerly cathedral in the British Isles.
Scapa Flow CentreThe visitor centres fascinating archive tells the remarkable story of Scapa Flow, the Royal Navys main anchorage during both World Wars of the 20th century.
Tomb of the EaglesA chance discovery by a local farmer in the 1950s uncovered a stunning Stone Age tomb, together with its remarkable collection of ancient artefacts.
Marwick HeadEnjoy breathtaking coastal walks on the spectacular cliff tops which are home to the largest seabird colony in Orkneys Mainland. Visit the recently restored Kitchener Memorial that commemorates the sinking of HMS Hampshire.
Noltland CastleThis imposing 16th Century fortress overlooking Pierowall Bay in Westray was built by Gilbert Balfour, brother-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots.
2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Scotland has been changing the world as we know it for centuries all this was possible thanks to Scottish ingenuity. In the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, we celebrate awe inspiring innovation, breathtaking architecture and brave, bold designs through new and exciting experiences and events. We have highlighted a few of our own craft innovators throughout this brochure, come and meet our:
3Contents4 Kirkwall Discover Orkneys largest town, with its colourful
history and vibrant shopping
8 East Mainland Head East for sandy beaches, historical sites and much more
12 West Mainland To explore the archaeological delights that Orkney has to offer, head to the West Mainland
16 Stromness A town full of charm and history, with an internationally acclaimed Arts Centre
32 Inner Isles Perfect moments on: Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre and Shapinsay
34 South Isles Explore the islands of: Graemsay, Hoy and Flotta
35 Outer Isles Take an adventure to the islands of: Westray, Papa Westray, North Ronaldsay, Eday, Stronsay and Sanday
44 Eating Out and Shopping Meet Orkneys Food and Drink producers and discover our fantastic independent shops
82 Orkneys Environment & Outdoors Our community and ongoing environmental commitments
86 Autumn & Winter in Orkney Theres still so much to do
88 Whats On Theres something for everyone!
90 Best to Book / Visitor Information A range of activities that we recommend you book
We would like to thank:Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Viewpoint, Orkney Food and Drink, Orkney Islands Council,Orkney Tourism Group Members, Orkney Zero Waste, Orkney.com, The Ness Battery, Getty Images, Peter Lennon, Kay Anderson, Premysl Fojtu, Archie Dundas, Max Fletcher, David Drever, Iain Sarjeant, Neil Goodwin, Colin Keldie, Glen Mcnaughton and all of our Meet the makers for their contribution and support with this project.
DESIGNED AND PRODUCED BY: EW:DM www.ericwitham.co.uk Printed on a FSC accredited stock.
COVER IMAGE: Skara Brae overlooking the Bay of Skaill. Image: Victoria Dixon
MAPS: Collins Bartholomew Ltd 2016. The contents of the maps are believed correct at the time of printing. Nevertheless, the publisher can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions, changes in the detail given, or for any expense or loss thereby caused. The representation of a road, track or footpath is no evidence of a right of way.
We are delighted to welcome you to Orkney. If its your first visit to our islands, youre assured a wonderful time. However with so much to see and do, a bit of planning is recommended to help you make the most of your time with us. Our indispensable guide to all things Orkney will keep you right, so lets begin by giving you a taste of what you can expect.
Orkney is breathtakingly beautiful. There are wide open spaces, with the islands wildlife often your only companions - its the perfect place to relax and unwind, or indulge in your favourite outdoor sport. Orkney will also surprise you, its a land of myths, legends and ancient civilisations, with a proud island culture and traditions that have survived through generations. It boasts a vibrant arts scene and hosts a busy year-round calendar of events and festivals. And when its time to let your hair down at the end of the day, youll discover theres always an excuse for a celebration with music and song! Its time to experience Orkney for yourself.
Orkney - beyond your expectations.
Our top ten things to do...
Our Survey:Take part in our 2016 survey to be in with a chance to win this beautiful Glide necklace by Aurora Jewellery. The closing date is 31st October 2016, to enter please visit:
KIRKWALL - Open all year roundThe Travel Centre, West Castle Street, Kirkwall, KW15 1GU T: 01856 872856 STROMNESS - SeasonalFerry Terminal Building, Pier Head, Stromness, KW16 1BH T: 01856 850716
For more visitor information please see page 91
ORKNEY TOURISM GROUP1st Floor, The Travel Centre, West Castle Street, Kirkwall KW15 1GU T: 01856 230300
BISHOPS AND EARLS PALACES WatergateT: 01856 871918 www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERY Holm Road T: 01856 874619 www.highlandpark.co.uk
ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL AND ST MAGNUS CENTRE Broad Street/Palace Road T: 01856 878326 www.stmagnus.org
ORKNEY LIBRARY & ARCHIVE Junction Road T: 01856 873166 www.orkneylibrary.org.uk
ORKNEY MUSEUM AND TANKERNESS HOUSE GARDENS Broad Street T: 01856 873191 www.orkney.gov.uk
ORKNEY WIRELESS MUSEUM Kiln Corner T: 01856 871400
Out & About
THE PICKAQUOY CENTRE Muddisdale Road T: 01856 879900 www.pickaquoy.co.uk
SCAPA DISTILLERY VISITOR CENTRE St Ola T: 01856 873269 www.scapamalt.com
Our main AttractionsDating from the 11th century, the Royal Burgh of Kirkwall is Orkneys proud capital. The largest of the islands towns, Kirkwall has great shops, restaurants and bars, and in the centre of the town is the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral.
St Magnus Cathedral The scale of the cathedral, founded in 1137, will take your breath away and it
should come as no surprise to learn that it took over 300 years to build. It cuts an
imposing presence in the heart of Kirkwall, dominating the town centre and the
skyline. Inside its doors, the cathedral is no less impressive and visitors can enjoy
guided tours of this magnificent example of medieval architecture, known to many
as The Light of the North.
Meet the makers: Craft/gift Orkney Soap Orkney soap is made in our shop on Albert Street - pop in past and see how we make it! We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and take inspiration from local environment, names, scenery and plants. #orkneymakers
The ancient Royal Burgh of Kirkwall dates back to the 11th century and from its commanding position on the northern shore of the Mainland, it looks out across the bay to Shapinsay and beyond.
St Magnus Cathedral
ST CATHERINES PLACE
W CASTLE ST
V IC TORIA RD
TON S T
M A I N S
ST MAGNUS LANE
Ways to spend your day in Kirkwall
ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL Step in and enjoy one of the best preserved medieval Cathedrals in Scotland
ORKNEY MUSEUM AND TANKERNESS HOUSE GARDENS Delight in Orkneys History