Thousands of historical sites, hundreds of miles of coastline and huge skies as far as the eye can see. Finding your own space isn’t a problem in Orkney.
If you’re visiting the islands and want to find your own space at a special viewpoint, here are some of our favourite locations that are well worth seeking out.
There aren’t many hills in Orkney, but because of our relatively flat landscape, the ones you do find offer some stunning scenery. Wideford Hill overlooks Kirkwall but a climb to the top also provides 360-degree views toward the North Isles, Scapa Flow and the West and East Mainland. Walk up from the town, or take your car to the top if you want to save your legs.
This beautiful viewpoint overlooks the Stenness Loch and its abundant wildlife. Wildflowers, birds and even otters make this place their home. It’s a lovely spot to sit and soak up the sights and sounds of an Orkney summer.
This part of a local nature reserve is the perfect place to be if you’re looking for a stunning sunrise scene or a coastal walk. Head just about as far east as you can go on the Orkney mainland and you’ll find yourself here. There’s lots to see in the area, including plenty of wildlife, and the sea views are very special.
The highest point in Orkney, the hike up Hoy’s Ward Hill isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s all part of an island adventure though – think an early morning ferry and trek to the top of this rugged peak, with the chance to spot sea eagles, mountain hares and great skuas as you go. If you arrive on a clear day, the views over Orkney are quite incredible.
Scapa Flow is a place that many visitors to Orkney always try to seek out. It’s such a vast expanse of water and it can be hard to know where to find a spot to take it all in. We’d recommend the RSPB’s reserve at Hobbister, which features pathways along the coast and a couple of places to stop and take it all in – as well as some fantastic bird and orca-spotting opportunities too.
Find these spaces
1 - Wideford Hill, Kirkwall; 2 - Lochside, West Mainland; 3 - Mull Head, East Mainland; 4 - Ward Hill, Hoy; 5 - Hobbister, West Mainland