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  • View towards Hoy, Orkney

2020 - a year in images

It has been a year like no other for all of us.

And while the Orkney landscape has been a little quieter than it would usually have been over the past twelve months, the sun has still shone, stormy weather has battered our coasts and nature has continued its wondrous ways.

We've picked a single image taken during each month of 2020 that, for us, sums up the sense of the Orkney outdoors.


A New Year, and the light of a new day on a January morning at Dingieshowe. Blowing away the festive cobwebs in a stiff southeasterly.



February brings snow to the Hoy hills, well seen on a walk around the outskirts of Stromness.



As the first inklings of spring begin to be felt in March, it's time to head to Orkney's west coast, where a bright sky and a cool, fresh wind revitalise the senses.



April was a time for staying home and counting blessings.


May was largely spent within the confines of home, but essential COVID-related filming brought a rare foray to the coast and a near-deserted Yesnaby.



June brought a little more freedom, and the chance to stretch cramped legs on the wonderful South Ronaldsay coastal path.



Orkney's great stone monoliths at the Standing Stones of Stenness bask in warm July sunshine, as thundery clouds move in over the Orphir hills.



High up the gentle slopes of Russadale, there's a fine view back across Stenness, with the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site heading off between the distant lochs towards the hazy horizon.



A rainbow over the Brough of Birsay, and the first gale of the autumn gives a taste of what's to come in September, during a walk around Marwick Head.


The warm sandstone of St Magnus Cathedral takes the edge off the October chill, as trees are laid bare for the onset of winter.



There's an unmistakable clarity of winter light, as a small fishing boat returns from a morning's work in Stromness.



Mid-afternoon and the light is already fading in our darkest month. There's frost in the air too in this December image of St Margaret's Hope.


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

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