A busy November for Orkney

We've picked up this post from Buxa Farm Chalets. Thanks for all your hard work pulling together everything that Orkney has to offer in November.
There's a lot going on!

On Sunday 2nd November, there’ll be the Kirkwall BID ‘Girls Day out’ event. Ladies can enjoy a day of shopping with the girls (or boys) in Kirkwall Town Centre from 1200 to 1700, with free parking all day.

It’ll be a super way to kick-start your Christmas shopping and there are plenty of treats and offers available from your local traders! Another great start for your Christmas shopping, the annual Charities Christmas Bazaar will take place from 1000 to 1500 at Kirkwall Town Hall on Saturday 8th November. Come along to choose your Christmas cards (and more) and support your favourite charity too!

We can’t mention events in November without including Bonfire night. In Orkney, the biggest public bonfire and fireworks display takes place at The Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall on Saturday 8th November at 1900. It’s a spectacular happy affair with music supplied by the Kirkwall City Pipe Band. Make sure you wrap up warm as it can be a cold night!

During November, there are two Orkney Arts and Crafts Fairs where you’ll find unique gifts and keepsakes made by local crafts men and women to browse and buy – ideal for Christmas presents These fairs take place between 1000 and 1600 at the Kirkwall Town Hall on Saturday 15th November and Saturday 29th November.

On Saturday 22nd November, the annual Maeshowe Winter Solstice will begin to be broadcast live from the Neolithic tomb. The tomb is aligned so that during midwinter the setting sun shines a shaft of light which streaks down the narrow entrance tunnel and hits the back wall. It’s quite a sight to behold – if you can’t make it there in person – you can watch a webcam.

Another annual treat in the lead-up to Christmas are the open exhibitions that take place in Orkney galleries. All Orkney artists are invited to submit a piece or work and The Pier Arts Centre Christmas Open Exhibition is a highlight. This exhibition really is a showcase of Orkney’s many diverse and talented artists! The Pier Art Centre (pictured) Christmas Open Exhibition takes place in Stromness from Saturday 22nd November until Wednesday 24th December. The For Arts Sake Festive Open Exhibition (in Bridge Street, Kirkwall) takes place between Thursday 27th November 2014 and Saturday 10th January 2015. Both galleries are great places to visit and relax in when the weather is poor!

Orkney will be celebrating Book Week Scotland with three superb events at the Orkney Library & Archive in Kirkwall. On Wednesday 26th November at 1930, Tom Muir will give a fascinating talk entitled ‘From the fireside to the bookshelf; the changing fortunes of Orkney’s folk tales‘. On Thursday 27th November at 1930, Angus Konstam will discuss ‘Pirates: the myth and the reality‘. Finally at 1920 on Friday 28th November there will be ‘Murder at the Ravenswick Hotel – by Ann Cleeves‘ – a Murder Mystery Evening where you must work out who killed Hannah Bayford! To reserve a seat for these great events, please contact the library by telephone 01856 873166 or by e-mail – general.enquiries@orkneylibrary.org.uk

Orkney Field Club will be holding a talk on Friday 28th November at 1930 at the St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall. Entitled ‘Wildlife on the Wrecks of Scapa Flow‘, Dr Joanne Porter of Herriot Watt University will tell us about the many species that have made their homes on the wrecks in the Flow and the conservation value of these sites. For more information, please visit the Field Club's website.

Finally, we hope you’ll enjoy watching the NorthLink sponsored Sanday Seal Cam in November. The winter months are when grey seals come ashore to give birth, and the Sanday Seal Cam has a great view of one of the secluded pupping beaches on the remote island of Sanday. You can see the webcam here – and there's also an interview with the man who set it up – Sanday Ranger, Roderick Thorne.

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