orkney accommodation guide

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Official Scottish tourist board accommodation guide to Orkney in the Shetlands of Scotland


  • www.visitorkney.com

    Orkney IslandsWhere to Stay &

    What to See & Do 2012

  • For information and to book accommodation go to www.visitscotland.com

    Welcome to...

    OrkneyJust off the north coast of Scotland, an archipelago of around 70 islands and skerries creates a glittering array of shapes set against clear blue waters. Uninhabited isles offer a world of serenity while the Orkney Mainland houses the majority of the population. Beautiful beaches combine with heritage, culture and wonderful wildlife to make any trip to Orkney distinct and magical.

    Disclaimer VisitScotland has published this guide in good faith to reflect information submitted to it by the proprietors/managers of the premises listed who have paid for their entries to be included. Although VisitScotland has taken reasonable steps to confirm the information contained in the guide at the time of going to press, it cannot guarantee that the information published is and remains accurate. Accordingly, VisitScotland recommends that all information is checked with the proprietor/manager of the premises prior to booking to ensure that the accommodation, facilities, its price and all other aspects of the premises are satisfactory. VisitScotland accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation contained in the guide and excludes all liability for loss or damage caused by any reliance placed on the information contained in the guide. VisitScotland also cannot accept any liability for loss caused by the bankruptcy, or liquidation, or insolvency, or cessation of trade of any company, firm or individual contained in this guide. Quality Assurance awards are correct as of October 2011.


  • To find out more about the Orkney Islands go to www.visitorkney.com 01

    02 Exploring the Mainland and South Isles04 Exploring the North Isles06 A journey through history08 Inspirational Orkney10 Get close to nature12 Get active outdoors14 Flavours of the isles16 Fun for all the family17 The Energy Islands18 Whats on20 Travel tips22 Quality Assurance24 VisitScotland Information Centres25 How to read the listings

    26 Hotels and Inns29 Guest Houses and B&Bs34 Self Catering51 Camping and Caravan Parks52 Hostels/Activity Accommodation

    57 Great days out Places to visit60 Great days out Leisure activities61 Great days out Shopping, arts & crafts63 Great days out Food & drink65 Great days out Transport66 Great days out Tours

    76 Shop at VisitOrkney79 Stromness street map80 Kirkwall street map81 Orkney Islands area map

    CreditsPhotography: Paul Tomkins/VisitScotland/Scottish Viewpoint, Iain Sarjeant, Daniel J Allen, Chris Jex, John Hinckley, OpenHydro, Aquamarine Power, Kenny Ritch, Orkney Folk Festival, Leonard Bain, Alamy and NorthLink Ferries.

    Design: APS Group | www.apsgroup.co.uk, Stand | www.stand-united.co.uk andTHK Design | www.thkdesign.com

    This brochure is printed on recycled content paper. VisitScotland is committed to ensuring that our environment, upon which our tourism is so dependent, is safe guarded for future generations to enjoy.

    Cover Sands of Mussetter, Eday.01 Clouds over the hills of Hoy, as seen from Mainland Orkney.02 Young musicians busking on Broad Street, Kirkwall.03 Some of the stones that make up the Ring of Brodgar in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.




  • 02 For information and to book accommodation go to www.visitscotland.com

    A voyage of discovery awaits in Orkney where island hopping is a way of life. A short flight or ferry crossing will transport you into a world of tranquility. Even if you only have time to visit one of the isles, make sure you take the opportunity to explore the coastline either on foot or by road to experience history, wildlife andbeautiful scenery.KirkwallOrkneys capital is a bustling market town and Royal Burgh, founded by Vikings around 1035. Kirkwall has a sense of magic, having stood for hundreds of years, and today you will discover a wonderful selection of craft shops, restaurants and cafs. The distinctive red sandstone of St Magnus Cathedral provides a focal point in the centre, a welcoming place of worship and serenity. A true reflection of the isles, the stone was quarried here and has weathered over time so that it is now an iconic part of what makes Kirkwall so very special.

    West MainlandWith a variety of attractions, wonderful wildlife and some amazing scenery, the West Mainland is difficult to rival. It also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site Heart of Neolithic Orkney where

    you can see the Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe and Skara Brae. Here you will find the parishes of Sandwick, Birsay, Evie, Harray, Rendall, Firth, Stenness and Orphir. Spectacular cliff scenery contrasts with beautiful sandy beaches while the rich farmland and moorland provide habitats for numerous birds, plants and mammals. Visit Orphir, connected by ferry to Lyness and Flotta, and discover the unique Round Kirk which is just one part of the extensive Viking remains.

    To the north, the Brough of Birsay is an uninhabited tidal island which you can reach on foot via a largely natural causeway. Explore the remains of both Pictish and Norse settlements and look out for puffins during the summer months. Birsay itself is home to the remains of the Earls Palace, constructed around a courtyard in the late 16th century.

    East MainlandTo the east and south of Kirkwall lies the East Mainland. Relatively low-lying, this area is characterised by the two peninsulas of Tankerness and Deerness which provide beautiful views towards the North Isles. To the south, the Scottish mainland is easily visible from the parish of Holm on a clear day.

    Copinsay is a dramatic isle lying off the coast where a lighthouse looms out of the landscape, perched on sheer cliffs. The north eastern rectangular sea stack is known as the Horse of Copinsay, separated from Copinsay by Horse Sound. Copinsay is also home to a vast seabird colony, including puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes, not to mention migrant birds, seals and rare flowers.

    Exploring the Mainlandand South Isles


  • To find out more about the Orkney Islands go to www.visitorkney.com 03

    South IslesHistory is everywhere in Orkney and the Churchill Barriers are a prime example of this. Concrete block barriers were created with the assistance of Italian prisoners of war after the sinking of the battleship HMS Royal Oak in 1939, today providing a road connecting a series of isles. Look out for the remains of blockships as you drive across these striking barriers.

    South Ronaldsay lies just 10 km from John o Groats making it the closest of Orkneys islands to the mainland. Catch a ferry to St Margarets Hope, the picturesque town which grew around this sheltered bay, to begin your journey of discovery, or start even further south with a ferry crossing into Burwick.

    Head across the fourth Churchill Barrier to reach Burray, a popular spot for watersports including diving in the world-famous Scapa Flow, canoeing, sailing and water skiing. While you are there explore uninhabited Hunda in the west, which is a haven for wildlife and perfect for admiring birds and seals as you take a stroll.

    Lamb Holm makes the perfect final stop, boasting a beautiful Italian Chapel, built by the same prisoners of war who built the barriers.

    The South Isles afford some of the best panoramic views of Orkney, with vantage points in all directions. Hoy literally translates as High Island and it owes its distinctive character to the hilly scenery in the north and west, while the south and east are more low-lying and fertile. Excellent hillwalking is on offer and there is a rich heritage to be uncovered, including the only rock-cut chambered tomb in Britain, known as the Dwarfie Stane. Flotta, from the Norse for Flat Isle, sits at the gateway to Scapa Flow, and is the only place in Orkney where the towns of Stromness and Kirkwall can be seen at the same time. With a charm all of its own, Graemsay is also worth a visit, a place where wild flowers carpet the

    landscape and there is almost no traffic to disturb the tranquility. The peaceful atmosphere continues at Fara and Cava, both uninhabited isles in this beautiful archipelago.

    StromnessWinding streets follow the shoreline in Stromness, which stretches out both into the sea along private piers and up into the hillside. Explore the quaint alleyways and absorb the atmosphere in this 18th century settlement, which boasts an array of shops and cafs, as well as Stromness Museum and the acclaimed Pier Arts Centre. The town has been a safe haven for mariners for centuries and still has a strong connection with the sea.

    01 Inside the beautiful, ornate Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm.02 Taking in the views around the coastline at Yesnaby, West Mainland.03 Boats moored at the waterfront in Stromness.

    Did you know?Q The islands of Orkney are situated about 10 km from the north

    eastern tip of the Scottish mainland.Q Stromness grew around a sheltered harbour as the fishing

    industry developed and trade routes opened with Canada.Q Finstown on the West Mainland was named after an Irish soldier

    called David Phin who came to Orkney after the Napoleonic Wars.

    Q The parish of Holm on the East Mainland is pronounced locally as ham.


  • 04 For information and to book accommodation go to www.visitscotland.com

    Exploring the North Isles


    02 03

  • To find out more about the Orkney Islands go to www.visitorkney.com 05

    The northern group of islands is the most extensive with each having its own distinctive character and amazing beaches, archaeological treasures, crafts shops and restaurants.

    North RonaldsayFurther north t