Spectacular Orkney coast line (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/owenhr/9410222478)

Spectacular Orkney coast line

The Orkney Islands are a group of islands to the North of the Scottish mainland and the Pentland Firth. They are amongst the most Northerly parts of the UK (the Shetlands are even more so!).

What are the Orkneys like?

Consisting of Mainland (a large island diagonally placed in the centre of the island group); Hoy (a lesser-inhabited island just to its South West of it); and a series of smaller islands - South Ronaldsay, Stronsay, Rousay, Westray, Papa Westray, North Ronaldsay, Sanday, Shapinsay, Gairsay, Egilsay, Wyre, Copinsay, North Taing, Damsay, Graemsay, Swona and Eynhallow - this group of islands is remote from the mainland, and yet is full of energy and life. Visitors flock here year after year for the culture, the peace and quiet, the fun, and the fabulously friendly people.

Ring of Brodgar (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregw66/3720949225)

Ring of Brodgar

A bit about the Orkneys

Whatever you're looking for, whether it be wildlife-rich RSPB reserves, prehistoric monuments (including the incredible Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae), glimpses into wartime history, fascinating local museums, incredible walking, steep coastlines, cliff faces and beaches - Orkney can provide.

And you might not think it, but the Orkneys are home to some fabulous places for entertainment, nightlife, and fun. From its regular festivals (science, shopping, jazz, folk, maritime, and many more) to its bars, clubs and pubs, life on the Orkneys will relax and inspire you.

With quirky treats like the Wireless Museum, Highland Park distillery and local beer breweries, ancient cathedrals and many sites of scientific interest, the Orkneys won't leave you bored or culture-starved. Try the Farm Museum in West Mainland to discover the challenges of island crofting and take a glimpse at a typical nineteenth century croft home, or take in the islands' military history in the village of Lyness.

Brough Head, Brough of Birsay (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotodispalle/6197072807/in/photostream/)

Brough Head, Brough of Birsay

How to get there and where to stay

Ferries run from many locations on mainland Scotland to a good selection of locations on Mainland and other islands. Take a look at our Ferries page for more information.

There is no train service anywhere on the islands, but buses do run and care hire is available. Check at the ferry ports, airports or tourist information offices for more information.

Orkney's main airport is on Mainland just outside of Kirkwall. There are also plenty of flights from Kirkwall to most of the larger inhabited Orkney Islands - and for those who are nervous in the air - take the flight from Papa Westray to Westray - you'll be off the ground for only around three minutes.

We are proud to offer you some great properties in the Orkney islands, whether peace and quiet in a remote location is your aim, or you prefer a holiday in the centre of one of the population hubs. Do take a look through our lists and book with us today.

Accommodation in the Orkney Islands

  • Prices from
    Per Week (Seasonal) Short breaks also available in winter.
    Special Offer
    25% off West Shaird self- catering
    Beautiful farmhouse offering self-catering accommodation on Orkney, with exceptional views and nearby beaches. Ideal for a family. Large lawn and picnic area.
    no star
    no star
    Self Catering
  • Westray, Orkney Islands
    Sleeps 8
    Prices from
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 8
    All on ground floor: Living room/conservatory with beams and wooden floor. Dining room/kitchen with slate floor. 3 bedrooms: 1 double (5ft) with additional bunk and en-suite wet...
  • Westray, Orkney Islands
    Sleeps 2
    Prices from
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 2
    All on ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. 1 double (5ft box bed) bedroom. Shower room with toilet.