Orkney Islands & Skara Brae

Orkney Islands & Skara Brae, photo by Colin Smith
Orkney Islands & Skara Brae (photo by Colin Smith)
 

The Orkney Islands are an archipelago of roughly 70 islands located 10 miles (16 km) off the northern coast of Scotland, of which 20 are inhabited.

The islands are mainly low-lying, and many have small lochs in their interior, with some rugged cliffs, primarily on the western coasts.

The coastlines are indented, and the islands themselves are divided from each other by straits (locally called “sounds” or “firths”).

Orkney’s main island is home to Skara Brae, considered Europe’s most complete and well-preserved Neolithic village. This is one of four archeological sites that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as “The Heart of Neolithic Orkney.”

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Overall Atmosphere: Combination
Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.
Featuring both cultural and natural attractions.
 

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Stromness Apartments

Situated in Stromness, Stromness Apartments is 5 km from Ring of Brogdar. Standing Stones of Stenness is 6 km away. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 22 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$75

 
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Castaway Guesthouse

Castaway Guesthouse is set in Kirkwall, 2.2 km from Highland Park Distillery. Free private parking is available on site. The rooms are fitted with a TV. You will find a kettle in the room. Average score from 55 guest reviews: 9.3/10.

$104

 
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Burnside Farm Bed and Breakfast

Located in Stromness, 5 km from Ring of Brogdar, Burnside Farm Bed and Breakfast features free WiFi access and free private parking. The rooms are equipped with a TV. You will find a kettle in the room. There is a shared lounge at the property. Average score from 22 guest reviews: 9.6/10.

$104

 
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Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast

Featuring free WiFi, Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast offers accommodation in Navershaw. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this bed and breakfast is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Average score from 95 guest reviews: 9.4/10.

$67

 
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Albert Hotel

Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Albert Hotel offers accommodation in Kirkwall. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms include a seating area for your convenience. Average score from 35 guest reviews: 8.9/10.

$116

 
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See all hotels in Orkney Islands & Skara Brae.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Orkney Island Memories

Orkney Island Memories

Featuring free WiFi, Orkney Island Memories offers accommodation in Orkney. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. Some units include a seating area where you can relax. Average score from 116 guest reviews: 9.8/10.

$86

 
$869.8
HammerSmith

HammerSmith

HammerSmith offers comfortable bed and breakfast on the Orkney mainland. Within a short drive of the lochs of Harray and Stenness, it has a wide choice of breakfast, free parking and Wi-Fi. Average score from 109 guest reviews: 9.7/10.

$79

 
$799.7
Karrawa Guest House

Karrawa Guest House

Karrawa Guest House is set in the centre of Kirkwall and within 2.5 miles of the airport and ferry terminal. This family-run property offers pleasant rooms with free Wi-Fi. Average score from 148 guest reviews: 9.3/10.

$85

 
$859.3
Stromness Apartments

Stromness Apartments

Situated in Stromness, Stromness Apartments is 5 km from Ring of Brogdar. Standing Stones of Stenness is 6 km away. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 22 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$75

 
$759.1
Scapa Breakwater Apartment

Scapa Breakwater Apartment

Set 6 km from Ring of Brogdar in Stromness, this apartment features free WiFi. The apartment is 6 km from Standing Stones of Stenness. The kitchen is fitted with an oven and a microwave, as well as a kettle. A flat-screen TV is provided. Average score from 8 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$86

$869.1
Howe Holiday homes

Howe Holiday homes

Howe Holiday homes is a holiday home less than 2 km from Stromness and the ferry links to Scrabster. Guests benefit from free WiFi and private parking available on site. The kitchen comes with a dishwasher and an oven, as well as a microwave. Average score from 167 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$75

$758.7
Orkney Self Catering 4U

Orkney Self Catering 4U

Orkney Self Catering 4U offers modern accommodation in Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Average score from 167 guest reviews: 8.6/10.

$73

$738.6
Merkister Hotel

Merkister Hotel

Located on the shore of Harray Loch and family-run for over 30 years, the Merkister Hotel is a 15-minute drive from the main towns of Kirkwall and Stromness. It features impressive views over the famous loch and its surroundings. Average score from 87 guest reviews: 8.6/10.

$84

 
$848.6
Lindisfarne Self Catering

Lindisfarne Self Catering

Located in Navershaw, this apartment features free WiFi. Lindisfarne Self Catering boasts views of the sea and is 45 km from Thurso. Free private parking is available on site. Average score from 31 guest reviews: 8.5/10.

$73

$738.5
Glenduron

Glenduron

Glenduron offers accommodation in Saint Marys in Orkney Islands. The property features views of the sea, Italian Chapel and the Churchill Barriers. Free private parking is available on site. Average score from 158 guest reviews: 8.4/10.

$86

$868.4
The Kirkwall Hotel

The Kirkwall Hotel

Looking out across the harbour of the Orkney Islands’ largest town, The Kirkwall Hotel features a high-quality restaurant and bar along with stylish en suite rooms. Average score from 384 guest reviews: 7.8/10.

$83

 
$837.8

Highlights:

Click highlighted activity to see details.
Combination
Archeological Sites
Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement, located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, the largest island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. It consists of eight clustered houses, and was occupied from roughly 3180 BCE–2500 BCE. Europe's most complete Neolithic village, Skara Brae is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids and has been called the "Scottish Pompeii" because of its excellent preservation.
Natural
Hiking and Trekking
The Mainland is the heart of Orkney's transportation system, with ferry and air connections to the other islands. There is hiking on many islands, with the Mainland being more densely populated (75% of Orkney's population) and filled with farmland. Some recommended hikes include:

Hoy, the High Island. Hike through R.S.P.B. Nature Reserve to cliffs overlooking the Old Man of Hoy seastack.

Eday, the Isthmus Island with excellent walks.
Also of Interest:
Natural
Beaches
Diving
Wildlife and Plants

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Daily Chance of Precipitation90% 81% 75% 75% 81% 73% 69% 80% 82% 85% 83% 98%
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