ORKNEY

 
 

 
Bishop's & Earl's PalaceKirkwallPalace
Located near the spectacular St Magnus Cathedral, these palaces are regarded as two of the finest examples of architecture in Scotland and highlight Orkney’s close Norse and ecclesiastical links. A particular attraction is the magnificent monumental fireplace in the great hall of the Earl’s Palace, built about 1600.

Blackhammer Chambered CairnRousayPrehistoric Site
Neolithic burial cairn, similar in general shape and subdivisions to the contemporary Neolithic houses at Knap of Howar. Access to chamber.

Brock of GurnessEviePrehistoric Site
A noted icon of Orkney’s rich archaeological heritage, the broch is one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric (Iron-Age) settlement that is unique to northern Scotland.

Brough of BirsayDounbyPrehistoric Site
The remains of a busy complex of Pictish, Norse and later settlement around scenic Birsay Bay. A small visitor centre on the island contains some important early sculptures and interesting Viking artefacts.

Click MillDounbyMill
The last surviving horizontal water mill in Orkney, of a type well represented in Shetland and Lewis. In working order.

Corrigall Farm MuseumHarrayFarm Museum
19th century Orkney farmhouse and steading, with barn, kiln and parish weaver's loom. Peat fire, box beds, traditional crafts, horse-drawn farm machinery. Open March - October.

Cuween Hill Chambered CairnFinstownPrehistoric Site
A low mound covering a Neolithic chambered tomb with four cells. Contained the bones of men, dogs and oxen when discovered.

Dwarfie StaneHoyPrehistoric Site
A huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.

Earl's Bu And Church, OrphirOrphirChurch
The Earl’s Bu is the name for the foundations of ancient buildings, which may be an Earl’s residence of the Viking period. The church is of the 12th-century, and consists of the chancel and part of the nave of the only medieval round church in Scotland.

Earl's Palace, BirsayBirsayRuin
The gaunt remains of the residence of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, was constructed in the late 16th-century round a courtyard.

Eynhallow ChurchEnyhallowChurch Ruin
Ruined 12th-century monastic church and post-medieval domestic buildings.

Grain Earth HouseKirkwallPrehistoric Site
A well-built Iron Age earth house of underground chamber supported on stone pillars.

Hackness Martello Tower And BatteryHoyMartello Tower
Part of the extensive military remains on the island of Hoy. The battery and martello tower were built between 1813 and 1815 to provide defence against French and American privateers. Evidence of life at the barracks can be viewed on site including examples of barrack room furniture and other military memorabilia.

Highland Park DistilleryKirkwallDistillery
Founded in 1798 by notorious smuggler Magnus Eunson. The distillery is one of only six remaining in Scotland which malts its own barley. Visitors have the opportunity to see the entire process at the distillery from malting to distillation.

Holm Of Papa Westray Chambered CairnHolm of Papa WestrayPrehistoric Site
A massive tomb with a long, narrow chamber divided into three, with 14 beehive cells opening into the walls. There are engravings on the walls. Access to chamber.

Kirbuster MuseumBirsayFarm Museum
Peat fire burns a traditional "firehoose" with central hearth and stone bed - unique survival in Northern Europe. Farming memorabilia, Victorian garden, putting green, picnic area.

Knap Of HowarHolm of Papa WestrayPrehistoric Site
Probably the oldest standing stone houses in north-west Europe, dating from the early Neolithic period. Two houses, approximately rectangular, with stone cupboards and stalls. Contemporary with the chambered tombs of Orkney.

Knowe Of Yarso Chambered CairnRousayPrehistoric Site
An oval cairn with concentric walls enclosing a Neolithic chambered tomb divided into three compartments.

Links Of NoltlandWestrayPrehistoric Site
Sand dunes seal and protect these significant prehistoric remains in a fragile environment requiring careful management.

Maeshowe Chambered CairnStennessPrehistoric Site
Maeshowe is the finest chambered tomb in north-west Europe and more than 5000 years old. It was broken into in the mid-twelfth century by Viking crusaders who carved graffiti runes on the walls of the main chamber. In 1999, Maeshowe was designated part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, along with Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness.

Midhowe BrochRousayPrehistoric Site
A well-preserved broch, with remains of later buildings round it. Impressive evidence for the internal appearance of houses survives. Very steep access, follow the black and white poles.

Midhowe Chambered CairnRousayPrehistoric Site
A huge and impressive megalithic chambered tomb of Neolithic date in an oval mound, with 25 stalls. Now protected by a modern building. Very steep access, follow the black and white poles.

Notland CastleWestrayCastle
A fine, ruined Z-plan tower, built between 1560 and 1573 but never completed. Remarkable for its large number of gun loops and impressive staircase.

Orkney MuseumKirkwallMuseum
The principal museum of Orkney life with extensive archaeological & social history collections in a town house dating from the 16th Century with fine gardens.

Pierowall ChurchWestrayChurch Ruin
The ruins of a medieval church with some finely lettered tombstones.

Quoyness Chambered CairnEls Ness, SandhayPrehistoric Site
A megalithic tomb with triple retaining walls, containing a passage and main chamber, with six subsidiary cells. Of Neolithic date.

Rennibister Earth HouseNr KirkwallPrehistoric Site
A good example of an Orkney earth house, like that of Grain Earth House.

Ring of Brogar Stone Circle & HengeNr StromnessStone Circle
The Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle And Henge, which is part of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, is a spectacular stone circle. The ring is surrounded by a large circular ditch or henge. The truly circular layout of the ring is an unusual attribute that singles it out as one of the largest and finest stone circles in the British Isles. The Ring of Brodgar (alternative spelling Brogar) comprises a massive ceremonial enclosure and stone circle probably dating from between 2500 and 2000 BC. Around it are at least 13 prehistoric burial mounds and a stone setting (2500-1500 BC). The erecting of the stones, along with the massive rock cut ditch was an activity that required considerable manpower and organisation.

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and MuseumLynessMuseum
Former World War II naval base includes photographic and audio-visual displays, artefacts and exhibits including scuttling the German Fleet and sinking of HMS Royal Oak.

Skara Brae Prehistoric VillageStromnessPrehistoric Site
The neolithic settlement of Skara Brae lies near the dramatic white beach of the Bay of Skaill. Skara Brae is the best preserved groups of prehistoric houses in Western Europe. Uncovered by a storm in 1850, the attraction presents a remarkable picture of life around 5,000 years ago. Visitors can experience a vivid impression of the realities of a prehistoric village and see ancient homes fitted with stone beds, dressers and seats. A replica construction allows visitors to fully understand the interior of a prehistoric house.

St Magnus CathedralKirkwallCathedral - Abbey
Founded in 1137 by Norse Earl Rognvald in memory of Earl Magnus. Remains of both within this superb example of Romanesque/early Gothic architecture.

St Magnus ChurchEgilsayChurch
The complete but roofless ruin of a 12th-century church with a round tower, dramatically sited.

Stones Of Stenness Circle And HengeStennessStone Circle
The Stones of Stenness may be the earliest henge monument in the British Isles, built around 5,400 years ago. The site now lacks its encircling ditch and bank, though excavation has shown the ditch to be 4m wide and 2.3m deep. The four surviving standing stones, stone stumps and concrete markers outline an oval that was around 30m in diameter. The focus of the interior was a large hearth; it is still visible. That the hearth was significant can be seen from the line of features that marked the approach to it – a paved path, two stone settings, another setting that was apparently a second hearth, and finally the uprights of a three-stone ‘dolmen’. Pottery and animal bones recovered during excavation tell us that Neolithic visitors cooked and ate plenty of food at the site.

Taversöe Tuick Chambered CairnRousayPrehistoric Site
A Neolithic chambered cairn with unusual arrangement of two burial chambers, one above the other.

Tormiston MillNr KirkwallMill
An excellent late example of a Scottish watermill. It was probably built in the 1880s. The waterwheel and most of the machinery have been retained.

Unstan Chambered CairnNr StromnessPrehistoric Site
A mound covering a stone burial chamber divided by slabs into five compartments. Of Neolithic date.

Westside Church, TuquoyWestrayChurch
A small and elegant 12th-century nave-and-chancel church, later the parish church, now roofless. Built by a wealthy Norse chieftain, the remains of whose farm can be seen in the adjacent cliff section.

Wideford Hill Chambered CairnNr KirkwallPrehistoric Site
A fine Neolithic chambered cairn with three concentric walls and a burial chamber with three large cells.


 
Balfour CastleShapinsay Island
Carrick HouseEday
Hoxa Tapestry GallerySt Margaret's Hope
Kirkwall AirportKirkwall
Kirkwall Tourist Information CentreKirkwall
Old Man of HoyHoy
Orkney Fossil & Vintage CentreBurray
Orkney Marine Life AquariumGrimness
Orkney Wireless MuseumKirkwall
Ortak Visitor CentreKirkwall
Pier Arts CentreStromness
Sanday AirportSandhay
Skaill HouseSandwick
Stromness Golf ClubStromness
Stromness MuseumStromness
Sui Generis GalleryEday
Tankerness House MuseumKirkwall
Tomb of the EaglesSouth Ronaldsay
Westray AirportWestray
Westray Heritage CentreWestray

© UK Tourist Attractions 2008