Orkney has everything for the hopelessly romantic side in you.
From beautiful beaches perfect for windswept walks, to talented jewellery makers who can craft the perfect ring if you're ready to pop the question, the islands have it all.
Maybe that's why publishers Mills & Boon named Orkney as the most romantic destination in the UK back in 2015. It might not be a title you'd immediately associate with islands at the north of Scotland, but here are five reasons why you definitely should listen to the experts.
Life's a beach
Sometimes all you want to do is get away from it all with someone special. If that sounds like you, then Orkney has an abundance of breathtakingly beautiful, pristine and secluded beaches, just perfect for romantic walks. There's a good chance you'll see a selkie (seal) too, though with many local folklore legends about selkies shedding their skin and taking human form to woo shore-bound lovers, who knows where your wildlife-spotting might end up. Some of our best beaches can be found in Sanday, and if it's windswept you're looking for, Orkney's west coast is the perfect destination with its spectacular stretch of coastline.
The food of love
If music is indeed the food of love then Orkney is sure to satisfy the healthiest of romantic appetites. We're a community that likes a good tune, with writing, performing and listening to music a huge part of island life. Throughout the year you'll hear traditional music, blues, jazz, rock and classical played in pubs and venues all over the islands. There are always concerts, ceilidhs and gigs to enjoy, along with our high profile events like the Orkney Folk Festival and the St Magnus International Festival.
Give something unique to someone special
Did you know that Orkney has the highest proportion of craft jewellers in the UK? Our talented makers mean you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to seeking a beautiful handmade gift for a loved one. From traditional designs inspired by Orkney's rich history and culture to more contemporary creations, quality is the thread that connects it all. Our makers will also be happy to work with you to design the perfect ring that will be cherish forever. If you're seeking gold and silver island treasures, take a trip on our Creative Trail for inspiration.
The Italian Job
Orkney's iconic Italian Chapel is one of the enduring symbols of peace, faith and love to emerge from World War Two. It was created from two army Nissen huts by Italian prisoners of war, held on the tiny island of Lamb Holm during the 1940s. Visit the chapel to discover exquisite religious artwork and the story of a passionate and enduring connection between Italy and Orkney. You might also hear the odd whispered tale of forbidden amore between Italian prisoners and local women.
Hungry for love?
We can't say for certain whether shellfish really is an aphrodisiac or not, but if you like yours fresh, locally-sourced and expertly-cooked, Orkney's skilled chefs certainly know their way around a plate of scallops. They'll also cook you up sustainably hand-caught lobster, crab and prawns too. If shellfish isn't your thing, there's Orkney gin, wine, beer and rum to savour over a romantic meal of local beef, cheese, ice cream, oatcakes, fudge and so much more. Why not visit some of our Orkney Food and Drink producers and outlets to sample our edible delights for yourself?