Over seventy islands make up the archipelago of the Orkney Islands. They fall naturally into the North Isles which are rugged and inhospitable and the more welcoming South Isles with their productive agricultural lands. Mainland is the largest and accommodates Kirkwall, the administrative centre. The archipelago is some sixteen miles north of Scotland. Twenty or so of the group is inhabited.
Numerous prehistoric remains are to be found in the area. There are over 5,000 archaeological sites on Shetland alone, four of which form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Knap of Howar is the remains of a house erected in 3700 BC. The walls stand to eaves height and the stone furniture is still intact. There are numerous brochs or round towers.
There are some connecting causeways. These were constructed during World War II by Italian prisoners of war. The idea was to block access to enemy shipping. A major attraction on the uninhabited Lamb Holm is the ‘Italian chapel’. This was also built by the Italians. A highly ornate facade hides the Nissan huts which form the body of the chapel.
Thanks to the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream, the climate is listed as cool temperate. Strong winds are common. The soils are fertile. The main industry is agriculture. The days are very long and there is never a period of complete darkness. The aurora borealis is often witnessed.
The people have a distinctive dialect. The region is of increasing interest to tourists. Other areas of growth include food and beverage production. Beef, beer, fish, cheese and whisky are exported. Modern fishing techniques supply herring, lobsters and crabs. Salmon is farmed on some of the islands.
There is a choice of accommodation in Orkney. There are a number of very comfortable hotels. Bed and breakfast facilities also offer excellent facilities. Another option is self catered accommodation in Orkney. You can choose to be near some very old Neolithic sites, the ancient village of Skara Brae or the Standing Stones of Stenness. The area is also home to a sea stack, the tallest in Europe. This goes by the name of Old Man of Hoy. For bird enthusiasts, there is the chance of watching wild pheasant, puffins, hen harriers or corncrakes.
Self catered accommodation is ideal for families. With underfloor heating and en suites, your comfort is assured. The atmosphere is fresh and clean. Beaches are white and pristine. Whether the view is out to sea, over grazing animals or woodlands, you will find peace and tranquillity. Trout fishing, golfing and hiking will fill your days. Explore the cobbled streets of pretty villages and pick up some local pottery, tapestry, knitwear or artwork. Don’t forget to buy some fresh produce for your dinner.
To get there you can travel by car, train or coach. These all connect with ferry services. Orkney Islands Council operates extensive ferry services. You can also fly to Orkney. Mainland Scottish airports have excellent connections to all parts of the world. For your next holiday, indulge yourself and travel to the Orkney Islands.
sebaymill offer luxury four & five star holiday apartments orkney, all units are finished to a high standard with double and king size beds, bathrooms and kitchens