• Marwick Head, Orkney - image by Marc Pickering

My Orkney highlights

Landscape photographer Marc Pickering recently visited Orkney for a short break and has shared some of his stunning shots with us.

Orkney has been on my travel bucket list for years and I couldn't wait to explore all of the history, seascapes and landscapes during my visit.

I am a keen landscape photographer and a VisitScotland iKnow Community Ambassador, and I travelled to the islands to help promote Destination Orkney's 'See You at the Weekend' campaign.

Needless to say, I was blown away by all of the amazing views and scenery in Orkney and I thought I would share some of my favourite photographs and moments from my trip with you! Orkney certainly is a paradise for photographers.

This stretch of coastline is a must-see when in Orkney. The impressive jagged cliffs of Yesnaby certainly don't disappoint, and at sunset looked even more spectacular.

These standing stones were one of my favourite spots in Orkney. They're around 5000-years-old and part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site. Watching the sun go down here as people have for thousands of years was an awe-inspiring experience.

One of the things I loved about Orkney was its relatively flat landscape, compared to the west coast of Scotland where I live. It gives a great impression of an even bigger sky than normal, and with an impressive sunrise over the rolling fields, it was certainly worth an early start to see this sky.

After a visit to Skara Brae, just along the shore from here, I took a walk along this picturesque beach. It's an incredibly beautiful setting and so peaceful - the perfect spot to unwind, don't you think?

Apart from the impressive cliffs and coastline, this spot is perfect for watching seabirds fight the elements or roost quietly in their nests. The view out to the
ocean also gives such a great sense of scale and isolation.

High on my photo bucket list for my See You at the Weekend trip was to capture the Northern Lights whilst in Orkney. A very bright moon and strong winds made for tricky conditions but I was elated when the aurora started to show late in the night.

A great coastal walk with an abundance of seabirds, Windwick Bay provided some stunning views. With its sea stacks and views out into the North Sea, sitting on the cliffs photographing the inquisitive fulmars was an amazing experience.

The Italian Chapel was somewhere I had seen many images of and heard a lot about. On arrival it was amazing to finally see it for myself and to study the intricate painting in its interior. It's definitely somewhere that should be high on your list of places to visit in Orkney.

To get a beautiful sunset like this at the Watchstone, overlooking the Stenness Loch, on my last night in Orkney was the perfect way to round off an amazing and memorable short break!

I hope you have enjoyed some of my highlights from my time in Orkney, I can't wait to get back one day soon! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Facebook if you'd like to see more of my images.

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