Discover the best things to do in Orkney in our essential guide about what to see, where to go and practical tips to ensure you make the most of your visit.
If you’re planning a trip to the Orkney archipelago, well done you! Many Brits and even Scots haven’t ever ventured this far north, but a treasure trove of natural and historic Orkney attractions means there’s always plenty to see and do there.
The Orkneys lie to the north of John O’Groats, which is seen as the most northerly point on the British mainland. Occupying a total area of almost 1,000 square kilometres, the Orkney Islands have a human history that dates back for around 5,000 years.
Other key Orkney points of interest focus on nature, and there is all sorts of native wildlife to see including colonies of seals and various sea birds including puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes. Off the coast, it’s not uncommon to spot dolphins, otters or even whales.
Orkney’s biggest island is called the Mainland, while the others are divided into the South Isles and the North Isles. In fact there are 70 islands altogether, though only 20 are inhabited by humans. Most of the things to do in the Orkney islands can be found on Mainland.
If you want to explore all Orkney has to offer, read on so you can plan your itinerary to suit your timescale, budget and interests. From the best things to do in Orkney to the mustn’t-miss things to see on Orkney, this guide will point you in the right direction! Let’s get started.