The Orkney Islands are situated 10km off the North coast of mainland Scotland. The Orkneys are made up of 70 beautiful islands of which 17 are populated.  Famous for its Prehistoric sites including the Brodgar Standing Stones as well as for its role in both World Wars, the population of the Orkneys are today live from farming, local oil fields in the North Sea and tourism.

Kirkwall, the proud capital, displaying one of the best examples of an ancient Norse town layout including the buildings of Bishops and Earl Palaces.

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Kirkwall is home of St Magnus Cathedral, started in the 11th Century and built in distinctive red sandstone and yellow Eday stone.

St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney Islands, Scotland

The town also hosts the Orkney Museum and the Highland Park Whisky Distillery. Highland Park is the most northerly whisky distillery in the world and is known to produce some of the best whisky known to man.

Highland Park Whisky Distilery, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

To the south of Kirkwall and on the small island of Lamb Holm one can find the Italian Chapel which is the only building left standing from the former POW camp for Italian soldiers working on the Churchill Barriers. The Italian Chapel was built out of two Nissen Huts and is stunningly decorated inside.

Italian Chapel, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Stromness is the second town of the islands with its charming winding streets close to the seafront and harbour which are perfect for window shopping. There are a number of pubs and restaurants here, the most famous of which is the Hamnavoe specialising in seafood.

Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Within a ten kilometre radius of Stromness is a collection of Prehistoric sites dating back over 5000 years. These sites include Skara Brae, Maes Howe as well as Stenness and Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones.

Brodgar Standing Stones, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Of the smaller islands to visit I would recommend Hoy with its fantastic trekking and Sanday with its amazing beaches especially Whitemill Bay and Lopness beaches. For more images go to

Whitemill Beach, Sanday, Orkney Islands