• Bay of Skaill, Orkney

Fabulous festivals go online

Get ready to log on and explore Orkney in September.

Normally, the organisers of the Orkney International Science Festival would just be putting the finishing touches to another eclectic programme of events, ready to mark the move towards autumn in September.

But, as we’re all too aware, this is the new normal, and things are going to be different in 2020.

Ever the innovators, the Festival this year is moving online, bringing an exciting series of walks, talks and other island experiences to the wider world. It’s also joining forces with Foraging Fortnight once again, helping send even more Orkney-related inspiration into the comfort of your own home.

The Orkney International Science Festival marks its 30th anniversary this year and it’s doing it in style with a real mix of innovative events. You’ll be able to hear about shipwrecks and North Ronaldsay sheep, the science of the Ness of Brodgar and the story of Orkney’s renewable energy expertise.

There will be virtual visits to the likes of Rackwick, Graemsay and Sanday in the company of local experts, and the chance to take part in a wide selection of workshops too.

Pay a virtual visit to Rackwick this year

Community and camaraderie are at the heart of every Science Festival and the organisers aren’t about to let a pandemic put paid to that. The popular Peedie Kirk lunches will continue, with online recipes and buying guides available for anyone keen to tuck into the local larder from home. You’ll also be able to pull up a seat at a digital table to chat with other festival-goers.

The Festival itself runs between the 3rd and 9th of September, but there are even more opportunities to get your Orkney fix. Thanks to Foraging Fortnight, the islands will be taking centre stage from the 29th of August, with events running alongside the Science Festival until the 13th of September.

A walk through Binscarth Woods will form part of Foraging Fortnight

Expect shore, hillside and wildlife walks, workshops and a fantastic range of talks showcasing Orkney’s relationship with the natural world. The programme will be streamed live on YouTube and can be accessed from anywhere, with plenty of chances for interaction too.

In these strange times, it’s reassuring to know that one of Orkney’s favourite festivals will be here, filling our phones, laptops and tablets with island life, and plenty of fun, too.

Visit the Orkney International Science Festival website to view the full programme and find out how you can take part.

The Foraging Fortnight website has full details of its Orkney-related events too.

The Promoting Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020

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