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Orkney Islands

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Just 10 miles off the northern coast of Caithness in Scotland sits the Orkney Islands, compromising of approximately 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited, and is separated from the mainland of Scotland by the Pentland Firth. The largest island is known as the Mainland, while the other islands are separated into the North and South Isles, and most of the islands have lochs.

Orkney Islands
The main town and capital of the islands is Kirkwell, it is a charming town with narrow streets lined with gift shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels, and makes the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding islands. It is dominated by the breathtaking St Magnus Cathedral and is a must visit for any tourist. 

Holidays on the Orkney Islands are all about enjoying the great outdoors, with the low-lying, rolling green fields, lochs and moorlands, while families will love spending days on the beaches like Scapa Beach, Skaill Beach and Waulkmill Beach. 

If you want to sample the history of the Orkney Islands then you’ll find numerous Neolithic and Viking constructions on the Mainland. The North Isles are known for the ancient monuments like the Quoyness chambered cairn and the ruins of the only round-towered church in Orkney in Egilsay, while in the south east at Wyre is the Cubbie Roo’s Castle. There’s also history on the South Isles that surround the Scapa Flow like the 19th century Martello tower at South Walls. 

The Mainland has stunning surroundings with coastal cliffs in the north and west and two large lochs –  the Loch of Harray and the Loch of Stenness. These make for the most breathtaking exploration, whether on foot or by bike. Nature lovers will also want to get out and about exploring, as the Orkney Islands have an abundance of wildlife including gray and common seals, and seabirds like puffins, and even otters, whales and dolphins.

Orkney Islands hotels selected by eGuide

Sands Hotel

Four star recently upgraded character building situated along the shore of Scapa Flow in Burray village. All rooms are en suite overlooking the beach and pier where local fishermen work. Our busy restaurant is open daily serving lunches, bar meals and a la carte. Fresh local produce is used whenever possible. The rooms, restaurant, garden room and lounge bar are all non-smoking; smokers are allowed to smoke in the Sands Bar. The Sands Hotel, originally built as a fish store in 1860, has been recently refurbished and upgraded to provide a high standard of both bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation in Burray village.
Houton Bay Lodge

With great views of Scapa Flow and the southern Orkney Islands, this charming inn offers generous and tasty fresh home-cooked food and clean, comfortable accommodation at attractive rates. With a fantastic rural setting, the Houton Bay Lodge has a great location for exploring the area. Situated next to the ferry terminal at Houton, the inn offers easy access to the Orkney Islands of Hoy and Flotta. The lodge is just off the A964 road, just 10 miles (16 km) from Kirkwall and Stromnes is only 8 miles (13 km) away. Both towns are well served by public transport.








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