Contact Us Orkney Aspects personal guided tours of the Orkney Islands (photo by Rob Vasey)

Places to visit in Orkney

Orkney has a huge range of sites and attractions to visit so whatever you are interested in let us know. We have history and archaeology, wildlife and scenery, amazing local food and produce, skilled crafts men and women, wild oceans, spectacular cliffs - whatever you want you'll find it in Orkney!

 

If you're here between the 14th of July and the 22nd of August you'll probably want to include a visit to the world famous  excavation of the Neolithic site of the Ness of Brodgar (better known as ‘Orkney’s Stone Age Temple’) - as seen on TV on Neil Oliver's programmes, soon to star in a National Geographic feature.

 

The sites below are just a few of the places you might like to visit whilst you're on tour with us - we don't have space to list everything so get in touch with us now to start planning your Orkney Experience with Orkney Aspects!

 

Barony Mill, Birsay: the last working water mill in Orkney, grinding traditional bere meal.

 

Broch of Gurness: a 2000-year-old Iron Age settlement, the central tower still surrounded by its village.

 

Brough of Birsay: a tidal island with a Norse settlement and monastery

 

Churchill Barriers: part of Scapa Flow’s Second World War defences, four barriers now with roads linking Mainland Orkney to Burray and South Ronaldsay.

 

Corrigall Farm Museum: a traditional 18th century Orcadian farmstead.

 

Earl’s Palace, Birsay: the 16th century palace built by Earl Robert Stewart.

 

Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces, Kirkwall: the 12th century Bishop’s palace, built for the cathedral’s first bishop, and the 17th century Earl’s Palace.

 

Earl’s Bu  & Round Kirk: remains of a 12th century Norse farmstead & church mentioned in the Orkneyinga Saga as the scene of a great Christmas feast and notorious murder.

 

Italian Chapel: the world famous ‘miracle of camp 60’, built with remarkable dedication from scavenged materials by Italian prisoners of war.

 

Kirbister Farm Museum: the last surviving farmstead in Orkney to retain the traditional ‘firehoose’ with central hearth and fireback.

 

Maeshowe: the finest example of a Neolithic chambered tomb in Britain

 

St. Magnus’ Cathedral: a magnificent 12th century sandstone cathedral, a legacy of Orkney’s days as a Norse Earldom.

 

Skaill House: an early 17th century laird’s house, the home of William Watt, the discoverer of Skara Brae.

 

Skara Brae: the world famous 5000-year-old Neolithic village on the shores of the Atlantic, uncovered after a great storm, part of Orkney’s World Heritage Site.

 

St. Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay: picturesque fishing village reached by crossing all four of the Churchill Barriers.

 

Scapa Flow: the best natural harbour in Britain and the main base of the Royal Navy in both World Wars.

 

Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar: two magnificent 5000-year-old henge monuments, part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

 

Stromness: charming small town with winding stone flagged streets, home to the Pier Arts Centre, renowned for its modern art collection, several other art galleries and a museum, together with shops selling a range of local crafts.

 

Lyness Naval Museum & Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Hoy: housed in the former Royal Naval pumping station with all the original equipment, this museum houses a fine collection of relics of Orkney’s naval past.

 

Martello Tower & Hackness Battery, Hoy: built during the Napoleonic Wars to protect convoys assembling in Longhope Sound from attack by American and French privateers.

 

We knew we wanted to go to Orkney. We also knew we didn't have a clue how we would get around, where we should go, or what we might want to do. We had only two days, and we wanted to spend it wisely and well. We needed a tour guide.

 

Just like you're doing right now, I went online and read reviews about different tour guides. It’s a bit overwhelming isn’t it? You read some reviews from people you don't know, you send some emails to some other people you don't know, you make a choice, and then you send your deposit in advance. All operating on blind faith.

 

In our case, it wasn't blind faith because everything I read about Pat Stone convinced me she was the right person for us. We made arrangements, sent our deposit, and hoped it would turn out.

 

From the moment Pat picked us up at the airport, it was like finding a long lost friend. Clearly we were in capable hands. And clearly we were in for a grand time. Pat took charge so we could relax and just experience that amazing, unforgettable place.

 

Pat customized a 2-day tour based on our desire to see the neolithic sites as well as local artists, a bit of an unusual request. What a jam-packed and amazing two days it was! Apparently not only is she a master of all things archaeological, but she also seems to know everyone on Orkney! We met so many gifted local artists and their workshops and artistic process; quite an experience.

 

And oh yes, the reason for the trip: the amazing ancient sites, completely enriched by Pat’s in-depth lectures of the history and peoples. Pat is a *wonderful* teacher with a brilliant mind and she made it all come alive. As long as I live, I’ll never forget standing near the Ring of Brodgar, imagining people from millenniums past touching them as I was touching them. The magnificent Maeshow tomb and its amazing craftsmanship and history. Skara Brae, still a welcoming, warm structure. So rich with history and sheer beauty.

 

You couldn’t ask for a better tour guide or ambassador for all things Orcadian than Pat Stone. She was worth every penny! -- HIGHLY recommend.