Orkney top for quality of life

Orkney has the best quality of life in any rural area in the UK according to a new study.

The report from the Bank of Scotland shows the islands topping the table nationally for the first time, and for the fourth year running in Scotland.

So what is it about life in Orkney that consistently puts us at the top of the tree? The Quality of Life Survey highlights our high employment rate, our positive happiness levels, our low level of anxiety and the low crime rates.

We have our own ideas too – take a look at some of the reasons we think the islands are the best place to live…well, anywhere!

Fresh air…

One thing you’re guaranteed to experience in Orkney is fresh sea air. Sure, sometimes the breeze is a bit stronger than normal, and often it’s accompanied by a salty sea spray, but what better way is there to clear the senses than a walk on one of our beaches or along our craggy and captivating coastline?

Clear the cobwebs with a walk on an Orkney beach, like this one at Dingieshowe - image by Premysl Fojtu

…and wide open spaces

With views like this is it any wonder people who live here are happy? Much of Orkney is low-lying with green, fertile farmland rolling gently to the coast. That means there is plenty of big blue sky to enjoy, creating that feeling of openness, and peace and quiet. There are no traffic jams, train delays or replacement bus services to endure here. Just big sky country at its best.

Views as far as the eye can see. Scapa Flow and the hills of Hoy - image by Iain Sarjeant

A welcome with open arms

One of the reasons people feel so happy here is the strong sense of community you can find across our parishes and islands. Not much happens here without community involvement, and that ‘can do’ spirit helps run events, activities, charity fundraisers and more. It’s also evident when new faces arrive, with a friendly welcome guaranteed. If you can bake then even better!

Community spirit is alive and well in Orkney - image by Colin Keldie

Vibrant and innovative industry

There’s no doubt that Orkney has been at the forefront of creative thinking over generations. Look at the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, with its five thousand year old stone dressers and sophisticated drainage system. That level of innovation continues to this day. Orkney leads the way in the revolutionary marine energy sector, and our food, drink and crafts industries continue to create new products, reaching markets around the world.

Orkney is a world leader in wave and tidal energy development - image by Colin Keldie

If you want to experience life in Orkney for yourself use the links at the top of the page to explore what we have to offer.

You can search for jobs in the islands and find your dream home with our property search function. Sign up to our newsletter for a regular slice of island life in your inbox every month too.

If you’re interested in dipping your toe into island life first then take a look at the Visit Orkney website for holiday ideas and inspiration.

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