Thousands of historical sites, hundreds of miles of coastline and wide-open spaces as far as the eye can see. Physical distancing isn’t a problem in Orkney.
If you’re visiting the islands and want to find your own space at an archaeological attraction, here are some of our favourite locations that are well worth seeking out.
Rousay is an island full of history, and this Iron Age structure is one of its finest sites. Surrounded by the sea, you can get a real sense of how important this defensive building was thousands of years ago. Take time to soak up the scenery too, with views across Eynhallow Sound back towards the Orkney mainland.
A beautiful coastal walk leads you to the Brough of Deerness, a rocky outcrop reached only by descending rock-cut steps and clambering up a thin path. If you make the trek, you’ll find the remains of an 11th century Norse chapel and remains of other buildings dating as far back as 600BC. But it’s the natural environment that will stay with you.
This sprawling Bronze Age site was the location of one of the finest archaeological discoveries ever made in Orkney. Nowadays they look like small hillocks, but the Knowes of Trotty is actually one of the largest Bronze Age cemeteries in the UK. It’s a special part of Orkney's landscape with a rich history that's well worth a walk.
Shapinsay is a short ferry hop away and is a lovely, peaceful island to explore. The Iron Age Burroughston broch is a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away above the shoreline on the island’s north eastern coast. There’s a good chance you’ll have this ancient site all to yourself.
Find these spaces
1 - Midhowe Broch, Rousay; 2 - Stone of Setter, Eday; 3 - Brough of Deerness, East Mainland; 4 - Knowes of Trotty, West Mainland; 5 - Burroughston Broch, Shapinsay
Help us help you to enjoy the best of Orkney. View our COVID-19 section for more information on staying safe during your visit, as well as advice on travel, health and things to see and do.
The Promoting Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020