A short ferry crossing off the North coast gets you to magical islands of the Orkneys - a fertile and spirtual place that contains over 12,000 neolithic ruins, standing stones and burial chambers. The Old Man of Hoy is one of climbing's great landmarks. Scapa Flow was also a huge seabase in the Second World War and the site of the scuttling of the First World War German High Seas Fleet and a great sports diving location. Whether island hopping by ferry or plane, visiting Skara Brae or the Ring of Brodgar, there is much to do in Orkney and its remote location stops too many tourists.
There is hardly a spot on any of Orkneys huge area of coastline that could not be called a beauty spot, but the most famous identifiable spots are: Hobbister near Kirkwall, Noup Cliffs on Westray, The Churchill Barriers on Scapa Flow, Knap of Howar on Papa Westray, Mull Head Nature Reserve in Deerness, Old Beacon of North Ronaldsay, The Gloup in the Mull Head nature reserve, The Vat of Kirbuster and Lamb Head in Stronsay and The Yesnaby Sea Stacks near Stromness
There are a number of small museums throughout the Orkneys, all that have their merit. A few are linked below, the others are: Click Mill in Dounby - a surviving horizontal water mill in working order, Orkney Maritime and Natural History Museum, Orkney Wireless Museum, Tankerness House Museum in Kirkwall and The Library and Orkney Room in Kirkwall
The birdwatching locations throughout the Orkneys are everywhere, but the most famously identifiable are: The Brough Of Birsay, Marwick Head about 11 miles north of Stromness, Copinsay Nature Reserve, Cottascarth and Rendall Moss Reserve in the North-East of the mainland, Trumland in Rousay, Harray road end near Finstown, (for Hen harrier, short-eared owl, curlew, oystercatcher, lapwing and snipe), Hill of White Hamars - an island area off the South coast of Hoy (for Shag, rock dove, eider, Arctic shua, common gull, snipe, redshank, curlew, oystercatcher and black guillemot), Holm of Burghlee on Shapinsay (for breeding gulls, terns, skuas and waders), and Linga Holm an island off Stronsay (especially famous as a seal colony), as well as The Old Man of Hoy, Noup Cliffs and Hobbister listed as beauty spots above.
There are neolithic, Pictish, Norse and iron and bronze age settlement remains all over the Orkneys, some are linked below, other of the the more famous are: The Brough Of Birsay, Broch of Burrian, Brough of Deerness, Cuween Hill, Gurness Broch, Knowe of Onston, Midhowe Broch, Quoyness Chambered Tomb, Rennibister Earth House, Wideford Hill Chambered Tomb, The Dwarfie Stane and The Stones of Stenness
The Italian Chapel and St Magnus Cathedral are the two most significantly visited religious sites in Orkney, but there are also a number of ruined sites that are identified: The Crosskirk Medieval Church, Eynhallow Church, Orphir Round Church, Pierowall Medieval Church on Westray, St Olafs Church, St Marys Chapel, Wyre and St Tredwells Chapel
The main tourist attractions identified by Private House Stays on Orkney are linked below but there is also Noltland Castle, Tankerness House Gardens, The Orkney Arts Theatre in Kirkwall and Logins Well on the harbour front in Stromness.
Lynnfield Hotel & Restaurant
The Lynnfield is a small country-house hotel, looking northwards over Orkney’s capital, to Kirkwall Bay and the north isles beyond. - Find out more
Braeswick Bed & Breakfast
Braeswick B&B is on the beautiful island of Sanday just 2 miles from the ferry terminal. The accommodation is new, warm, comfortable and friendly with panoramic views - Find out more
The Creel is under new ownership and is being re-invented as a nice, cosy hotel B&B in a superb location - Find out more