People People

Orcadian People

When local residents leave the islands, whether for a short business trip, a longer holiday or for a permanent move, the chances are they will always run into another Orcadian at some point on their journey. People from Orkney have travelled and settled across the globe for thousands of years, and it's a practice that continues to this day.

Orcadian writer Edwin Muir

Orcadian writer Edwin Muir

This John Rae sculpture rests in St Magnus Cathedral

This John Rae sculpture rests in St Magnus Cathedral

The Hall of Clestrain, birthplace of John Rae

The Hall of Clestrain, birthplace of John Rae

John Rae exhibits in Stromness Museum

John Rae exhibits in Stromness Museum

Adventurers, explorers, pirates, writers and artists are among the Orcadians who have made their names around the world.

Many travelled from their native islands to make their mark on history including Arctic explorer Dr John Rae, Africa pioneer William Balfour Baikie and the more infamous pirate John Gow, immortalised by Daniel Defoe. An Orkney literary tradition was written by George Mackay Brown, Eric Linklater and others.

Orkney has punched way above its weight in inspirational people who have influenced the wider world.