Autumn in Orkney

Autumn has arrived and there is still plenty to see and do in Orkney. If you’re heading here, have a look at our five favourite things to do in the islands over the coming months for inspiration.

Eat, drink and be merry!

Orkney’s food and drink delights are worth enjoying all year round, and the autumn months are no different. Come and sample the very best local ingredients, from beef and cheese to fresh fish, bread and buns, at one of our highly rated restaurants or cafes. See some of our products being made for yourself with excellent tours of the Orkney Brewery or the distilleries at Highland Park and Scapa. Be inspired and download your own copy of the Orkney Foodies Guide 2015/16. And, if you’re here at the end of September, watch our talented amateur culinary kings and queens take on the Orkney Master Chef 2015 challenge! Visit the Orkney Food and Drink website for more information.

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Keep a close watch on wildlife

One thing remains constant despite the changing of the seasons. Orkney’s spectacular and abundant wildlife continues to surprise and delight visitors from around the world. Autumn brings the grey seal pupping season, which lasts from late September until mid December. Orkney’s north isles have some of the best seal watching sites – but remember not to get too close to the pups and their mothers. Windwick in South Ronaldsay provides a safe watching site where you can see the pups from the cliffs above without disturbing them. The fantastic Sanday Sealcam will also be up and running this year once again from late October, letting you see the pupping season from the comfort of your own home.

Orkney is a real hot spot for bird watchers during the autumn months too. You can see a wide range of migrating birds and you never know what might turn up – from redwings to siskins and bramblings. You can also see – and hear – barnacle and pink-footed geese flying in formation overhead, and large flocks of waders filling out fields and shorelines. Why not experience it for yourself with a trip to the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory – visit the website for more details.

Island Hopping

Orkney’s islands hold a magical quality. With the autumn light, dramatic skies and unpredictable weather, days spent exploring them can be well worth the flight or ferry. How about a bracing walk to the summit of Orkney’s highest point, Ward Hill in Hoy? You could take a trip to the beautiful beaches of Sanday, Stronsay and Eday, or revisit relics of Orkney’s wartime past in Flotta. Each island has its own attractions and charm, but the same approach to life - friendly, welcoming and peaceful. Plan your island hopping adventure with Orkney Ferries, Loganair, Visit Orkney and

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Get wrapped up in storytelling

The Orkney Storytelling Festival runs every October
The Orkney Storytelling Festival runs every October

Autumn brings shorter days and darker nights to the islands, and October is certainly a month to shut the curtains, grab a cup of something hot and get a seat in front of the fire. The perfect conditions for the Orkney Storytelling Festival then! A packed programme of performers will bring folk tales and stories to life at events across the islands between the 22nd and 25th of October. The organisers always try to take their tall tales to different locations too, so keep your eye on the Orkney Storytelling Festival website for all the latest programme information.

Refresh your senses

Autumn in Orkney can bring you long, golden sunsets one day and bracing winds and storm filled skies the next. Where better to take in these dramatic days and nights than some of Orkney’s best viewpoints? Marwick Head in Birsay has beautiful cliffs and stunning views out to the Atlantic. Yesnaby in Sandwick features sea stacks and wild waves, and Mull Head in Deerness offers sunrise views over the island of Copinsay. Clear your head and experience life on the edge in Orkney!

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Remember to explore our website for more information about Orkney and browse accommodation and travel options via You can also sign up to our newsletter for regular updates about life in Orkney so you don’t miss a thing. Newsletter

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