Orkney Islands, Scotland
The Orkney islands is an archipelago of 70 or so scattered islands 16 km’s north of mainland Scotland. The Mainland is the largest island of Orkney. Both of Orkney's burghs, Kirkwall and Stromness, are on this island, which is also the heart of Orkney's transportation system.
Orkney offers a rich variety of activities on land, loch and sea to suit all abilities and interests, from golfing to walking, and from sailing to cycling. With almost 600 miles of coast and some great unspoilt areas, the islands are superb for wildlife watching and for rich and varied angling. Divers love it too, particularly around Scapa Flow where the German fleet was scuttled at the end of the First World War.
Orkney is also the amateur archaeologist's ideal destination. Part of mainland Orkney has been declared a World Heritage Site because of the richness of its prehistoric sites. Maeshowe, Skara Brae and the eerie stone circles at Stenness and Brodgar are great examples.
Orkney is also well known for its jewellery manufacturers and many professional craftspeople who work in the islands. Studios and workshops are often open to the public, and there are Craft and Artists' Trails to follow.
Things to See and Do
* Skara Brae – Historic House
* Highland Park Distillery And Visitor Centre
* Broch of Guerness
* Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces
Cruise Season – March - Nov
Currency – Pound Sterling (£)
Language – English
Land Area – 523 sq km’s - Mainland
Population – 20,000
Electricity – 2 vertical square pins and one perpendicular below British style
Time – GMT plus zero hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 44
Port Location – Ferry terminals are located in downtown Kirkwall and Stromness.
Transport Links – British Airways flies from Edinburgh to Kirkwall. RO/RO ferries travel to and from the Scrabster and Gill's Bay harbours in the far north of Scotland to Stromness and St. Margaret's Hope respectively. The ferries take between 1 to 2 hours to make the crossing.
A RO/RO ferry also travels from Aberdeen , North West Scotland calling at Kirkwall on the way to Shetland. There is also a passenger only ferry that operates during the Summer Season that goes from John O'Groats to Burwick with connecting buses to Kirkwall. This is the quickest way to get from the mainland to the Southern tip of the Orkney Islands but the crossing may be affected by weather conditions.
Frequent Orkney Buses (part of Rapsons) link Kirkwall with Stromness, passing the neolithic sights at Stenness. Buses