Places to visit

In Birsay

  • Marwick Bay : head down to the sea to skim stones and explore rock pools
  • Marwick Head and Kitchener’s Memorial : breathtaking views, bird colony
  • The Brough of Birsay : a small island with remains of a Viking settlement, reached by a tidal causeway
  • Ruins of Earl’s Palace : free entry
  • Birsay pools : deep natural rock pools, where the hardy can take a dip!
  • Palace Stores: freshly baked pastries, icecream & other provisions
  • Birsay Bay Tearooms : great views as you enjoy lunch or a cup of tea with cake
  • Orkney Brewery : try some local ales and enjoy excellent food, five minutes away

Further away

  • Ness of Brodgar : Britain’s ‘ancient capital’, as seen on TV, 20 mins. drive
  • Skara Brae : ruins of 5000 year old houses, 10 mins. drive
  • Broch of Gurness : Iron age settlement by the sea, 30 mins. drive
  • Ring of Brodgar : Neolithic stone circle, 20 mins. drive
  • Standing Stones of Stenness : Neolithic stone circle, 20 mins. drive
  • Barnhouse Settlement : Neolithic settlement, 20 mins. drive
  • Maeshowe : Neolithic Chambered Cairn, 20 mins. drive
  • Italian Chapel : ornate chapel built by Italian POWs in WWII, 45 mins. drive
  • Stromness : Pier Arts Centre, restaurants, museum, art galleries, live music, craft shops
  • Kirkwall : St Magnus Cathedral, Bishop’s & Earl’s Palace, museum, cafes, restaurants, live music
  • Other islands accessible by boat as day trips: Hoy, Rousay


  • Jewellers in several locations on Mainland – look out for the signs
  • The Harray Potter
  • The Woolshed, Evie – felt & knitwear
  • Castaway Crafts, Dounby
  • Hoxa Tapestry Gallery, St Margaret’s Hope
  • Michael Sinclair, Woodturner

Annual Events

  • Orkney Folk Festival
  • St Magnus Festival
  • Jazz Festival
  • County Shows
  • Science Festival
  • The Ba