A group of islands off the coast of Scotland, the Orkney Islands are made up of around 70 islands of which only about 20 are inhabited. Remote and wild, the Orkney Islands have a long history which dates back to ancient Neolithic tribes. Invaded and settled by the Norse in 870, the islands are now part of the country of Scotland. Home to ancient historic sites recognized for their global significance by the UNESCO World Heritage committee, Orkney is also renowned for its natural beauty, arts and crafts trail and distinct unique characteristics. From the bustle of the big island to the tranquility of the smaller, come with us as we continue our divine island search in the beautiful Orkney Islands.
Situated just off the north coast of Scotland, the Orkney Islands or just Orkney, represents a growing destination for travel today. From its stunning white sand beaches to its historic sites and cultural activities, Orkney has even been named as one of the best islands in Europe. Each island offers its own distinct feel and charm. For example, the Mainland of Orkney is renowned for its scenery and wildlife in addition to its variety of other attractions and destinations which including its UNESCO sites as well as its historic towns including the town of Kirkwall, capital and home to great food, popular sites and plenty of craft shops as well.
The South Isles including Lamb Holm, Glimps Holm, Burray and south Ronaldsay are all accessible by bridges called the Churchill Barriers. These islands are home to many birds and animals and popular for outdoor activities including water activities as well as hiking and biking.
The Outer Isles of the Orkneys may take a bit more planning to get to however, the treasures and opportunities on these islands for visitors make them worth the trouble. The closest of the Outer Islands of the Orkneys is the island of Shapinsay. Fertile and green, it is home to the most northerly castle hotel in the world, the Balfour Castle, one of the islands most infamous destinations.
The island of North Ronaldsay is the furthest in the group and is home to fewer than 100 residents. Its remoteness makes it a great day trip from one of the other islands. From seal and bird watching to the lighthouse museum, there is plenty to do for the day on this lovely and ancient island.
Not quite so far out, the island of Eday is one of the best for just spending the day roaming around and exploring. Home to a number of historic sites including the Stone of Setter, the Carrick House and the Vinquoy Chambered Cairn, it is also home to stunning views and thousands of birds including nesting Red throated divers.
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