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Churchill Barriers Scapa Flow Visitor Guide

Churchill Barriers Sign

Churchill Barriers The consisting of thousands of large concrete blocks. were built on the orders of Winston Churchill early in the Second World War by Italian prisoners of war. shortly after HMS Royal Oak had been sunk by a German L7-boat in the great naval anchorage of Scapa Flow.

  • Scapa Flow Latitude Geolocation 58.9000° N Longitude -3.0500° W
  • Scapa Flow Postcode KW16
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These impregnable defences linked the mainland through the tiny islands of Glims Holm and Lamb Holm with Burray and South Ronaldsay, and shortly after the war a road was constructed on top of them giving easy access from the mainland to the southernmost point in the archipelago at Burwick, near Brough Ness. On Lamb Holm there is the remarkable little Italian Chapel built by the same prisoners of war out of waste materials inside a nissen hut. The interior is extremely beautiful and contains some remarkable freehand painting. The chapel has been carefully preserved and is well worth a visit.

Kirkwall Hospitality Accommodation

Kirkwall Town

You will find that the Viking spirit still runs through the town of Kirkwall, which is full of history and is home to the majestic St. Magnus Cathedral. Orkney is an archipelago located to the north of the mainland of Scotland.

This is a cosmopolitan town centre, with a vast selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as a variety of accommodation options for guests coming from the mainland and other parts of the world.

The island provides visitors with a wide variety of places to stay, from contemporary hotels and cosy bed and breakfasts to opulent self-catering villas, guest houses, hostels, and campgrounds; there is bound to be something that is suitable for visitors of all tastes and budgets.

There are school buses that travel to both St. Andrew's Primary School and Kirkwall Grammar School. In addition, there are buses that travel to both Kirkwall and St. Margaret's Hope. All of these services are located near to the First Churchill Barrier.

The village is a popular destination for vacationers because it offers a diverse selection of self-catering cabins, overnight lodges, and bed and breakfasts at prices to accommodate a variety of budgets.

On the Islands, there are many archaeological sites, several tourist hotspots, fishing and sea angling, whisky tours, and a wide range of visitor attractions, as well as several golf courses on offer; all of these are ideally situated to allow guests to explore the Island, and they all offer spectacular views overlooking the Scapa Flow.

Orkney possesses a comprehensive set of social and welfare facilities for such a tiny island, including a primary school, post office, grocery, pharmacy, and hotel, among other establishments.

Local students have access to both primary and secondary levels of education.

This location is where you'll find the Highland Park Distillery.

You may find a primary school, a post office, the local pub, and a builders merchant at Finstown, which is roughly 6 miles away from Kirkwall. Dounby village also contains a primary school, a post office, a supermarket, a pharmacy, and a hotel.

Herston is a community that may be found on the island of South Ronaldsay. This island is connected to the Orkney Mainland by the Churchill Barriers, which pass through Burray, Glimps Holm, and Lamb Holm.

One of the Orkney North Isles, Westray is linked to the rest of Orkney both via a ferry service that operates on a roll-on, roll-off basis as well as by a scheduled air service.

There are several local shops in Westray, including a butcher and fishmonger, a baker, a post office, a swimming pool, a golf course, a hotel, a Bed and Breakfast, restaurants and bars, a chip shop, a campsite, and a café. There is also a Junior High School in Westray, which serves students from the age of two years old all the way up to the age of sixteen.
the town of Stromness, which is ideally located within close proximity to all of the local amenities located in the town of Stromness.

Orkney Islands can be reached from the Scottish mainland through the Stromness to Scrabster ferry route, which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Kirkwall Geolocation Latitude 58.984674 Longitude: -2.962249
  • Kirkwall Postcode KW15
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Kirkwall stands on the northern end of the Kirkwall-Scapa isthmus which divides Mainland into eastern and western parts. 
The town dominated by its splendid 800 year old cathedral spreads up the hillside from the harbour. 
Historically Kirkwall has been the main island centre since it was a Norse trading centre and today it combines its role of capital with that of shopping and business centre. When visiting the island B&B is one of the best solutions for your holiday base with its flexibility travelling from one B&B to another, but Kirkwall also offers Hotels, Guest Houses and Self Catering as well as B&B accommodation.

Notable events include the Christmas and New Years Day Ba' Games when the Uppies play the Downies, symbolizing the ancient rivalry between the bishop's ecclesiastical town and the secular authority represented by the now vanished castle.

Kirkwall capital of Orkney for many centuries and indeed a cathedral city, has become increasingly worthy of that title with the advent of North Sea oil to the island of Flotta, lt was the main seat of the Norsemen throughout their six centuries of occupation up to the mid l5th century and it was the natural choice of site when Earl Rognvald decided to build a great cathedral as a monument to his saintly uncle Magnus, who had been martyred some twenty years earlier.

The Cathedral is of fiagstone and red and yellow sandstone and in massive Romanesque style, It measures 234 ft in length and 101 ft across the transepts.

The ravages of Croinwellian troops, common throughout Scotland, have long since been repaired, and there is an interesting series of tombstones marking Kirkwall’s eminent men from the 16th century to the present day, a plaque commemorates the 833 men lost in the Royal Oak in 1939 at Scapa Flow. There is a l9th century rose window at the south end, but the ‘keeled’ shafts of the clustered piers supporting the tower and the mouldings of the tower arches are ofthe 12th century.

St Magnus Cathedral would be impressive in any mainland site, but its setting on the island mainland of Orkney makes it the most outstanding building anywhere in the Scottish islands. It

also has the oddity that, while it is ‘the Parish Church of Kirkwall and St Ola’ and the services are those of the Church of Scotland, it does not belong to any denomination but is the property of the town, and its people through a Royal Charter of James111 in 1486, when he directed the Burgh Council of Kirkwall to be responsible for its maintenance.

In the Cathedral are preserved the remains of St Magnus and his nephew, which were found almost accidentally during repairs between 1919 and 1926.

The excellent state ofthe Cathedral interior was mainly attributable to repairs completed in 1916 with a handsome bequest by George Hunter Thoms, Sheriff of Orkney and Shetland 1870 to 1899, but some years ago it became apparent that all was not well with the fabric, cracking and distortion appeared, and the west Gable was being pushed outwards, it was thought that an earthquake in 1927 was the root of the trouble.

An appeal was immediately launched for £50,000 to cover vital and urgent repairs, and for a further £250,000 to ensure a more extensive preservation.

In 1974 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was able to attend a service of thanksgiving in the Cathedral when the first target had been reached and some  repairs done. Much activity continues towards the second target, including the revival of the Old Lammas Market now termed St Magnus Fair, on the third Wednesday of August each year.

The old town of Kirkwall clusters round the Cathedral and is notable for its handsome Scandinavian type buildings and streets without pavements, Near the Cathedral are the ruins of the

12th century Bishop’s Palace with its massive tower and the Earl’s Palace, built about 1600 for the hated Earl Patrick Stewart but described as the ‘most mature and accomplished piece of Renaissance architecture in Scotland‘.

Opposite is the interesting museum of Tankerness House, with its fine collection of Orkney relics and beautiful gardens, forming a welcome oasis in this bustling town, now humming with the polyglot tongues of sailor men and oilmen.

Kirkwall Visitor Reviews

Dunnet Head

If you want to get the most out of your time in Kirkwall, Orkney, you need put some thought into the schedule you follow while you're there. The amount of preparation and research you put in before going there will determine how much you get out of your time there. One of the most prosperous cities in Scotland is Kirkwall, which may be found there. It is possible for you to make the most of your travel options and have an amazing adventure by doing so. It's possible that it's in the city of Kirkwall, which is in Scotland.

Kirkwall is an excellent option for visitors who are interested in seeing the most popular sites that Orkney has to offer.

While soaking in the freshest air and taking in the spectacular surroundings, you may watch wild animals such as deer in the hills and seagulls in the coastal preserves.

The findings are extremely disparate from one another. There is a very wide variety of choice accessible. In a nutshell, you have a vast variety of choices available to you that you can select from. If you give the idea that you are familiar with the surrounding area, you will be more likely to win over potential hosts if you do some research on Kirkwall Attractions in advance. This will make it possible for you to check out all of the city's most famous landmarks. You will be able to make the most of your stay now that you have this additional information. Please provide us with a concise summary of Kirkwall and the areas surrounding it, focusing on the most notable attractions and activities. It would be helpful if you could provide a synopsis of some of the possible points of interest in the area. Please let me know if you have any ideas for entertaining activities to do in Kirkwall and the surrounding area. I would greatly appreciate it. You have the option of either adding to the reviews that have already been made or getting in direct contact with a member of the staff.

  • Kirkwall Geolocation Latitude 58.984674 Longitude: -2.962249
  • Kirkwall Postcode KW15
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North Ronaldsay Hospitality Accommodation

North Ronaldsay The most northerly of the Orkneys only 4 miles long is low lying and fertile. It is noted for the high stone dyke which entirely surrounds it and outside which its famous native sheep live mainly on rich red seaweed, giving their mutton a peculiarly delicate flavour.

There are many prehistoric sites, notably the iron Age Broch of Burrian where an ox-bone incised with Pictish symbols, an Ogham inscription and a small Celtic cross have been found.

  • North Ronaldsay Geolocation Latitude 59.3720° N Longitude -2.4189° W
  • North Ronaldsay Postcode KW17
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Seals abound among the rocks and beaches lochs and shores are much used as nesting places by migratory birds. and there are many rare wild flowers. The island has the highest lighthouse built on land in Britain, first lit in 1854. and an old light-beacon of 1790.

Ring of Brodgar Orkney Guide

Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar Orkney, On Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, you'll find the Neolithic henge and stone circle known as the Ring of Brodgar. It is a section of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, which is recognised by UNESCO.

27 of the original 60 stones are still there, and they're protected from the elements by a ditch and a natural amphitheatre of surrounding hills. It has been suggested that the ring was constructed for the purpose of astronomical observation of the equinox and solstice, while others maintain that it served as a religious shrine and perhaps as a place of ritual. Truthfully, we don't know for sure, which simply adds to the mystery.

The nearby Comet Stone acts as a sentinel, while the Standing Stones of Stenness, located about a mile away, are powerfully enchanted. It is one of the oldest stone circles in Britain, with four megaliths measuring six metres in height and dating back to 3100 BC. Barnhouse settlement, located nearby, has a cluster of houses dating back to 3300-2600 BC, as shown by excavations.

  • Ring of Brodgar Geolocation Latitude 59.0015° N Longitude: -3.2298° W
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Scapa Distillery Visitor Information Guide


Scapa distillery is on Orkney on the shore of Scapa Flow near the town of Kirkwall. It is the second most northern whisky distillery in Scotland, half a mile south of the Highland Park Distillery.

Once boasting the longest fermentation time in the industry at 120 hours. Scapa's fruitiness remains prominent in the wash, and is further refined by distillation in a Lomond-style still.

  • Scapa Distillery Geolocation Latitude 58.963486 Longitude -2.985213
  • Scapa Distillery Postcode KW15 1SE
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These stills were designed in the late 1950s in an attempt to create multiple different flavours from a single pot. The barrel-like necks contained moveable copper baffle plates which could be manipulated to create different levels of reflux.

Today the plates have been removed, but the amount of copper in the necks is still massive. A purifier pipe increases reflux even further, and adds its usual oiliness.

The result is a character that is enhanced by maturation in American oak and refill casks.

Scapa Flow Visitor Information Guide

This is an almost land locked area of deep water, up to 10 m. wide, which the British Government decided in 1912 should be adapted as the main base of the Grand Fleet in case of a European War, and substantial Royal Navy establishments were for many years subsequently an important aspect of Orkney‘s economy.

But the defences were penetrated by a German submarine in 1914, and they did not become virtually impregnable until, after another German U-boat had sunk H.M.S. Royal Oak on 14 October 1939, only five Weeks after the outbreak of the Second World War, Winston Churchill ordered the construction of the Churchill Barriers Here also, at the end of the First World War, the German Navy having surrendered to the Allies, sailed in their fleet and scuttled or beached the ships before they could be taken over. Now the main traffic on this beautiful stretch of sheltered water consists of ships and ferries plying between Kirkwall, Stromness and the other islands and Scotland, and the variegated fleet engaged on oil business.

  • Scapa Flow Latitude Geolocation 58.9000° N Longitude -3.0500° W
  • Scapa Flow Postcode KW16
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Scapa Flow is a large protected sea area that has earned its name in British history as an important naval base in both world wars.

It contains Flotta, now an oil tanker terminal and landfall for undersea pipelines from the oilfields of the North Sea to the east. Scapa saw some 74 warships, the greater part of the German fleet, brought here and either beached by their crews or scuttled in June 1919 on the orders of Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter.

Many of the ships have since been salvaged. Others remain as an attractive underwater prey for divers on the hunt for souvenirs or just to satisfy curiosity. In the Second world war, huge convoys of ships gathered here before being escorted across the seas to Russia and to America.

In an attempt to close off the eastern approaches to Scapa Flow, the massive Churchill Barriers were erected in the 1940s, mainly by Italian prisoners of war. A reminder of their stay in Orkney is seen on the little island of Lamb Holm where, inside two Nissen huts, the Italians constructed a beautiful chapel, using scrap materials with a high degree of ingenuity. The chapel was rededicated in 1960 when the designer, Domenico Chiocchcui, a gifted artist, returned to restore some of his paintings.

Scapa Flow and Loch of Ayre, St Mary's Walk in the Orkney Islands, Starting From the car park area near to Loch of Ayre, Stromness.

This is a circular route over a coastal path and overgrown, minor roads, this is an ideal walking country for people of all abilities and ages, moderate walking around sites of significant historic interest, walk along the shores of Scapa Flow, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy.

 The sheltered waters are a natural harbour which has been used over many centuries, from the Viking fleet of King Haokon in the 13th Century, to the present day.

The same geographical features that provide sheltered anchorage and habitable shores also support a distinctive range of wildlife, with dramatic coast, the scatter of islands and the sloping farmland with lush grass land.

 This landscape is framed by the ever-present high Hills of Hoy, and the heather covered slopes of the hills of the West Mainland, near where HMS Royal Oak was sunk in 1939 and other wrecks, along with the fascinating stories behind them, make Scapa Flow a world-renowned location for all those interested in maritime history.

Orkney has a unique underwater environment, from vast battleships resting in the heart of Scapa Flow, to smaller blockships dotted along the rugged coastline.

The area from Stromness to the heights of Hoy is designated as a National Scenic Area in recognition of its dramatic beauty, but a diversity of wonderful views are found throughout the area.

The walk then passes Howequoy Head, a Coastal Headland here you will find a single light anti-aircraft gun-emplacement probably for a light calibre gun.

Ready-use ammunition lockers survive in turf banks, a more challenging trek among dramatic coastal features.

Past the Loch Of Ayre, you then continuing inland to return and finish at the car park.

 St Mary’s about two thirds of the way up Church Road in the centre of Stromness.

Access is straight off the street and there are very few steps in the church.

 Coffee and refreshments follow the Sunday morning service and visitors are always especially made welcome.

South Ronaldsay Hospitality Accommodation

Yesnaby Orkney

The island of South Ronaldsay is the one that is located closest to the Scottish mainland. It is located about 6 miles away from John O'Groats, which is located across the Pentland Firth.

You should expect the weather to change quickly here, and it can get rather windy at times. Additionally, the tides can be quite powerful in certain areas.

St. Margaret's Hope is the largest settlement on the island of South Ronaldsay.

It takes around two and a half hours to get to Gills Bay from Inverness by automobile. Stagecoach is the company that operates the bus connections between Gills Bay and Inverness.

If you are travelling by car, bike, or campervan, take the A9 northbound route out of Inverness; if you are travelling by train, the nearest train station is in Inverness; from here, you can travel south to all of the major destinations in the United Kingdom and north to the highland towns of Wick and Thurso. For those travelling by car, bike, or campervan, take the A9 northbound route out of Inverness.

Once you have arrived in Latheron, turn onto the A99 road and continue on to Wick and John O'Groats.

Continue on the A99 all the way to John O'Groats, passing through Wick along the way.

After travelling for approximately 15 miles, take a left turn just past Freswick. Continue along this road for approximately one and a half miles before turning left onto the A836. After travelling along the A836 for roughly two miles, take a right turn to reach the ferry port.

South Ronaldsay is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, including heathland, beaches, lochs, cliffs, and rocks. There are also many species of marine birds, grey seals, and otters, although the latter is more difficult to spot.

It is said that Scapa Flow, which is located to the northwest of South Ronaldsay, is one of the best places to go diving in Europe. The clean, pollution-free water provides for clear vision underwater, enabling divers to get good views of the wrecks. Divers can explore the remains of the scuttled German fleet as well as the sunken "blockships," which are located off the four Churchill barriers, as well as a variety of marine life.

Visitors can fish off the barriers, and local boats are available for lease if they would like to explore the area further. Make a reservation at a luxurious five-bedroom lodge that was built gazing down over the breathtaking scenery of Scapa Flow.

People who are interested in strolling, seeing archaeological sites, looking for treasure on beaches, and observing wildlife may find the location quite desirable. The beach at Waukmill Bay, which has won numerous awards, is known for both its wonderful scenery and its rich variety of native animals.

There are also a number of lochs that are suitable for trout fishing, or you can take the ferry from the terminal at Houton and visit the South Isles of Flotta and Hoy, where you can find the world-famous "Old Man of Hoy" rock stack. Alternatively, there are a number of lochs that are suitable for salmon fishing. Find self-catering lodges that have been designed and furnished to the highest standards, where you and your family or friends can stay.Take your motorcycle, car, or caravan on a tour that travels through stunning scenery and crosses vast causeways from island to island; along the way, you can expect to see impressive mountains, beautiful coastlines, and nice villages. stop and have lunch or a picnic; Gas stations are scarce on some of the islands, and not all of them are open on Sundays;

Camping in the wild is permitted on some of the islands, particularly in areas where there are no established campgrounds. Bring a flashlight and extra batteries with you, as you may suddenly notice that it is getting dark while you are riding your bike; always be ready for any unexpected circumstance.

Island-hopping by touring bike across the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, or Shetland is truly unlike anything else in Britain. Stunning beaches, plentiful wildlife, and breathtaking scenery cannot be found anywhere else, and there is proof of its inhabitants having lived there for many thousands of years.

A wonderful place to travel can be found that is accessible by ferry. This place is especially good for independent cyclists.

Cycling between Kirkwall and Stromness will take you south, across some incredible causeways, and will provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

Make a reservation at a hotel and begin your day with a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner for residing guests, locals, and tourists alike. Book bar meals from an a la carte menu or home-cooked food prepared with fresh local ingredients wherever feasible.

You can find restaurants that are open for lunch, snack bars, and coffee shops that all provide prices that are suitable for any budget.

  • South Ronaldsay Geolocation Latitude 58.8068° N Longitude 2.9473° W
  • South Ronaldsay Postcode KW17
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South Ronaldsay Visitor Reviews

Dunnet Head

You should plan your itinerary in advance if you want to make the most of your stay in South Ronaldsay, Orkney. Making the most of your stay there will depend on how much research you have done beforehand. South Ronaldsay is the home of a flourishing city in Scotland. You may maximise your travel opportunities and have a fantastic experience in this way. It might be found in South Ronaldsay, an Orkney town.

Observe wild animals such as deer in the hills and seagulls in coastal preserves while you breathe in the cleanest air and take in breathtaking sights.
Getting to South Ronaldsay by boat from the mainland is simple, which is fantastic because the town and its surroundings are home to a broad variety of interesting locations to explore, like excellent beaches, historical sites, and
If you use this as a starting point for further investigation of potential solutions, it will save you time.

Results differ greatly from one another. There are numerous options available. In a nutshell, you have a wide range of options to pick from. By giving the impression that you are knowledgeable with the area, you can win over potential hosts by looking at South Ronaldsay Attractions beforehand. This will enable you to see all the notable attractions in the city. With this newfound information, you can maximise your stay. Please provide us with a summary of South Ronaldsay and its surroundings, emphasising the greatest sights and things to do. It would be nice if you could provide a summary of some of the potential attractions. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for fun things to do in South Ronaldsay and the neighbourhood. You may either add to the already written reviews or get in touch with a team member directly.

  • South Ronaldsay Geolocation Latitude 58.8068° N Longitude 2.9473° W
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Stenness Holiday Accommodation Guide

Ring of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney Islands

Stenness, Orkney has around 70 smaller islands surrounding it, with only 17 of them having permanent human habitation. Stenness is a town in Orkney, which is located immediately to the north of mainland Scotland. On the island, you may discover a wide variety of shops and restaurants selling a variety of goods, including food and drink, jewellery, arts and crafts, fashion, and holiday accommodations that are priced to accommodate a variety of budgets. This is a parish located on the main island of Orkney, and it has a primary and secondary school, in addition to a variety of cultural and athletic pursuits. Discover prehistoric structures and Neolithic graves in this area, including the massive Stones of Stenness, which are the remnants of a large stone circle on an old ceremonial site. Checkout and search Stenness Holiday Accommodation for a great vacation.

The Brough of Birdsay is a tidal island located in the northwestern part of the island. It is the location of both Pictish and Viking villages, as well as the ruins of an Earl's Palace that dates back to the 16th century.

Find a vacation rental that suits your needs, whether you're looking for a place for a couple's weekend away or a place for the whole family to spend the holidays together. You have the option of attending either Stenness Primary School or Stromness Academy for your education.

The community of Finstown can be found approximately 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the south of Kirkwall. In addition to having convenient access to public transportation in the form of a frequently operating bus service, the settlement also features a local store, a post office, and a gas station. Both Firth Primary School and Stromness Academy are considered to be part of the catchment area.

Orkney is accessible via cruise ship, with berthing options at either Hatston Pier, Orkney's major cruise ship port, or at Kirkwall Pier, Orkney's second cruise ship terminal. Ships can also dock within Kirkwall Bay, and tenders will provide transportation between your ship and Kirkwall Harbour. After that, you can either book a tour to take you around the Island, or you can go and explore Kirkwall and the Island on your own. You will notice that the Kirkwall Travel Centre serves as the terminal where shuttle buses beginning and ending their journeys at Hatston Pier arrive and depart.

Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar are only two of the many prehistoric structures that can be seen on the island.

The West Mainland of Orkney provides access to loch sides as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding lochs. You may visit places like Skara Brae and Maeshowe, as well as the Brough of Birsay and various RSPB reserves.
Find a hotel that is in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of the Harray loch shoreline, full of wildlife along with the nearby villages of Kirkwall and Stromness, and located close to many archaeological sites with stunning views over the town towards the Bay and overlooking Highland Park Distillery.

There is a wide variety of amenities within a short driving distance, including several golf courses, several popular tourist destinations, fishing and sea angling, whisky tours, excellent shops selling groceries, toys, arts and crafts hardware and fishing equipment, busy cafes, hotels to suit all budgets, and restaurants serving local cuisine.

These include a Junior High School that serves students from the age of Nursery up to the age of 16, as well as a number of local shops, including a local butcher and fishmonger, baker, post office, swimming pool, golf course, hotel, Bed and Breakfast restaurant and bars, chip shop, campsite, and café. Additionally, there is a golf course.

Find a bed & breakfast or a guest home that is ideally located so that guests may begin the day with a hearty breakfast before setting out for the day across the Island to visit the diverse collection of tourist sites. Participate in a tour led by a driver that is tailored specifically to the needs of the guests on this trip. An outstanding opportunity to see many of Orkney's most famous attractions in a manner that is both pleasant and convenient. who can narrate the tale and take you to some off-the-beaten-path spots that were truly unique and that only a local would be able to find, and who can do both of these things for you. Find everything from the Standing Stones of Stennes to the Yesnaby cliffs, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brea, a 5,000-year-old settlement where residences were unearthed with stone furniture still intact, and Skaill House, in addition to the stunning Italian Chapel, which is an absolute must-see.

Logan air operates numerous daily flights to airports on the mainland, which include those located in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness.

There is a ferry that travels from Kirkwall to Lerwick in Shetland and to Aberdeen on the mainland. In addition, there is a port at Stromness that connects to Thurso on the north mainland.

There is an additional ferry that departs from Gills Bay and goes to St. Margaret's Hope. One of the Orkney North Isles, Westray is linked to the rest of Orkney both via a ferry service that operates on a roll-on, roll-off basis as well as by a scheduled air service.

One of the Orkney Islands, Westray is a paradise for people who enjoy watching animals. An spectacular length of the island's coastline, boasting enormous cliffs and breathtaking views, can be found on the western side of the island.

The rural area of Burray offers breathtaking vistas of Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers, and it is a popular tourist destination. You can find the villages of Herston and South Ronaldsay here, as well as the charming village of St. Margaret's Hope, which has shops, bed and breakfasts that can accommodate families or groups of friends on a budget that suits them, and hotels that are either conveniently located in the town centre or are just a short drive from Kirkwall Airport. This is an excellent location for a weekend escape, as well as a relaxing or exciting excursion around the region's natural beauty and historical sites, which you and your family or friends may enjoy together.

transport links with routes that pass near Burwick, this is the closest Orkney harbour to the Scottish mainland via the Orkney Ferry Terminal, which is located in South Ronaldsay, and the St Margaret's Hope ferry port connects The Orkney's with Gills Bay in mainland Scotland. Both of these ports are located in South Ronaldsay.

Discover Stenness Holiday Accommodation

  • Stenness Latitude: 58.9879° N Longitude -3.2070° W
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Stenness is a parish and loch just to the north of Stromness, but it has gained fame through the Standing Stones of Stenness, a henge or group of prehistoric stones dated at about 1800 B.C. and the even more notable Ring of Brodgar.

This Bronze Age relic consists of twenty seven stones, but originally there were probably sixty, the tallest is 15 ft high. This is claimed to be, after Stonehenge the most splendid megalithic henge monument in Britain. The loch is also noted for its exceptionally large brown trout.

Touring The Orkney Islands Guide

Touring Orkney

The central situation of Kirkwall makes it an ideal touring centre with easy access to all parts of Mainland. In the summer season bus tours take in all the major sites. Bicycle hire is also popular for those with more time. 

The founder, Earl Rognvald, started to build his new cathedral in 1137 with the intention of dedicating it to his murdered kinsman, Earl Magnus. Building operations supervised by the earl's father Kol were terminated rapidly in 1152. Two years later Orkney became part of the Norwegian diocese centred on Trond- Heim,
The cathedral is Norman in character and contemporary with two other masterpieces of this style, Durham and the nave of Dunfermline Abbey. The exterior, severe and quite plain, is dominated by the tower and steeple, the three west front doorways added later, are very beautiful, although much weathered, and show originality in the alternate use of red and yellow sandstone, the initial impression is one of vastness although the dimensions of this cruciform church are relatively small.

Allthough massive and somewhat severe, the admirable proportions, strong sense of unity, and warm tones of the red stone make for a most pleasing result. 
The view is best from the west end, the design of the nave elevation moves eastwards in seven bays as slowly as its moves upwards through the triforium and clerestory, where there is no quickening of the rhythm. Ornamental detail is confined to decorative mouldings on the recessed arches of the main nave arcade, the interlaced wall arcading of the nave aisles and transepts and the grotesque heads of the choir consoles.

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The square pillars on either side of the organ screen enshrine the relics of St Magnus  slain in 1115, and his nephew Earl Rognvald, The palace, built between 1600-7, is an early example of the Renaissance style, details of interest on the exterior include the corbelling - ornate and varied - of the windows, chimney breast and corbel course, the sculptured panel above the main entrance and the oriel windows. Inside a splendidly spacious staircase with straight flights rises to the Great Hall and the other principal apartments.
The vaulted chambers on the ground floor have exhibits on Orkney's other notable historic monuments and prehistoric sites.

Bishop's Palace
A new episcopal palace was built in the 12C alongside the new cathedral, the original seat having been at Birsay. It was in the original palace that the Norwegian King Haakon died in December 1263 after the Battle of Largs. His death and the palace are described in one of the Sagas. Two re-buildings followed in the 16 and 17C, the latter by Earl Patrick as part of his scheme to create a vast lordly residence incorporating his new palace across the road, the round tower on the corner is part of Bishop Held's 16C remodelling, the yellow sandstone figure of a bishop in a red niche is 13C.

Tankerness House Museum
This rather fine 16C town mansion houses a well-presented museum portraying life in Orkney from its prehistoric beginnings to the present day.
The island's many outstanding prehistoric sites are described chronologically and accompanied by arti-facts. This makes an ideal introduction prior to exploring the islands.
Do not miss the St Magnus Reliquary, a simple wooden casket, upstairs the exhibits portraying domestic life include an example of the straw backed Orkney chairs, excellent draught excluders.
A stroll along the town's main thorough fare, a narrow stone flagged way which incorporates, 
Albert and Bridge Streets, and ends at the harbour. 
The  town houses of country lairds, now occupied by shops today still  provide the main points of interest, along with the pends leading to attractive paved courtyards.

Eastern Mainland
23 miles to Burwick, this excursion is an excellent opportunity to visit some of the Orkney Islands (Lamb Holm, Glims Holm, Burray and South Ronaldsay) without taking a boat or plane.
The road passes through some of Orkney's finest agricultural land, take the airport road out of Kirkwall then fork right to the A961, South Ronaldsay road.

The early stretch has a good view of Scapa Flow, the naval base where on 21 June 1919 the entrapped German Grand Fleet was scuttled, activity has returned with the Island of Flotta being used as a pipeline landfall and tanker terminal for gas and oil from the Piper and Claymore Fields.
Lyness on Hoy serves as a supply base, after St Mary's follow signposts to St Margaret's Hope, beyond is the first of the Churchill Barriers linking Mainland to three outlying islands.

These concrete causeways were built during World War 2 after the  battle ship HMS Royal Oak was sent to protect the eastern entrances to Scapa Flow, the work was undertaken by Italian prisoners who completed the four sections totalling one and a half miles in length.

Turn left immediately after crossing the first causeway, to the Italian Chapel Lamb Holm were two nissan huts were converted into a chapel with the materials to hand by the prisoners working on the construction of the causeways between 1943-5 with its rood screen and fresco paintings, it stands 40 years later as a testimony of faith in adversity.

On either side of the following two causeways there are rusting hulks esteemed as scallop breeding grounds.

On the island of South Ronaldsay a roadside viewpoint with indicator offers views* across the Pentland Firth of Dunnet Head and John o'Groats on the Scottish mainland. Burwick, in the summer a passenger ferry operates between Burwick and John O Groats.

Western Mainland

53 miles, Allow a day for this tour which combines important prehistoric sites with the tranquil agricultural landscape of the interior and the more dramatic coastal scenery, the tour may be taken in either direction and started from either Kirkwall or Stromness.
Leave Kirkwall by the Stromness road, the A965, Rennibister Earth House,
Leave the car on the road up to the farm, the site is behind the farmhouse, access by a trap door and ladder down into the chamber, this earth-house or souterrain consists of an oval chamber with five wall recesses and an entrance passage, human bones were found in the chamber, but its original purpose is uncertain.
Souterrains are Iron Age in date some belong to the period of the brochs, but both earlier and later examples are known. They are usually found under or by round houses of stone or timber.
Turn left twice following the HBM signposts to Wide ford Cairn.
One mile on foot from the road, the site is on the flank of the hill follow the path with another access by a trap door and ladder dating from between 3500 and 2500 BC this is a chambered tomb, within its cairn, it has a main chamber with side cells.

From the hillside there is a lovely view northwards over the Bay of Firth. Return to the main road, and at Finstown turn right onto in the direction of Georth (Evie).
Gumess Broch, a carworthy is a sandy track which continues beyond the first car park round the shore to the beach, the Sands of Evie. 
 At the point of Akerness you will find the remains of a broch altered by subsequent phases of occupation the result being a cluttered complex of later settlements inside and beyond the broch.

The A966 has good views across the Eynhallow Sound of Rousay and the smaller island of Eynhallow, Continue round the north coast to the village of Birsay, turn right.
There are good views of Marwick Head Brough of Birsay· Earl's Palace in the village of Birsay are the ruins of a residence built, around three sides of a courtyard, by the late 16C earls of Orkney, this once sumptuous building is another example of the outstanding architectural heritage

Take the A967 then turn right onto the 89056 to the bay of Skal The prominent headland pinpointed by the Kitchener Memorial is Marwick Head, known for its sea bird colony.

Village Smithy St Margaret's Hope Hospitality Accommodation


Village Smithy St Margaret's 

The primary feature at the museum in the little village of St. Margaret's Hope is a rehabilitated blacksmith's smiddy that has been given a new lease of life as a museum.
The Smiddy Museum can be found in St. Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay. This building was formerly used as the community's blacksmith shop, and it now houses an impressive collection of artefacts and tools that were utilised by the blacksmith who worked there in the past. There are horse harnesses hooked up on the walls, and there are other equipment positioned about on the floor.
The documents and photographs record the life and events of past life's on the island on a day-to-day basis as well as other intriguing artefacts that can be utilised for genealogical and historical research are complementary to the blacksmith's tools.

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