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Orkney Islands Holiday Guide

Discover a slice of island life by travelling to Orkney, where you can explore the archipelago's 70 islands. Hop across the Orkneys and get a taste of each island’s unique personality, history, food and people, and marvel at the unspoilt nature of the beaches, coves and bays.

Explore the charms of the Mainland on the Orkney Isles; see Kirkwall’s picturesque flagstone streets and medieval palaces and churches, or the charming seaside harbour town of Stromness, where the fishing and boating community’s influence is showcased. There are plenty of luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and boutique guest houses in these main ports, and as a result the towns have flourished. You can find independent and unique shops, excellent restaurants, intimate bars and a varied and vibrant nightlife.

Step Back in Time in the Orkney Isles

Kirkwall is the capital of these beautiful islands and the place where the Norse influence meets the Pictish. The fantastic St. Magnus Cathedral oversees this union, towering up above the town. See the Bishop's Palace, a masterpiece of medieval Scottish architecture that has survived for more than eight centuries.

Churchill Barriers, built in WW2 to prevent German invasion from the north, and engage in some of the best outdoor activities to be had in Scotland. Feel like a PGA star on some of the most picturesque golf courses in the country, or drive around the island in a rental car you can book through Expedia’s search tool, and give yourself the time and the ability to access all parts of the Mainland, and its outlying islands.

See the UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’, where the pre-historic people of Scotland built mystical monuments out of stone. This protected heritage area includes Maes Howe, a chambered tomb, the ancient settlement of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. The Orkneys have no shortage of prehistoric architecture to show off either: visit the Broch of Gurness, an ancient village settlement, and the Brough of Birsay, to see the former seat of political and religious power in the Orkney Islands.

Spot Orkney Wildlife

Keen ornithologists and bird watchers will have a whale of a time spotting some of the world’s most fascinating sea birds. Visit the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory on the northern tip of the Orkneys, one of the best places in the UK to indulge in this hobby. Or watch out for the marine life that thrives beneath the ocean; whales, dolphins and seals are known to frequent the North Sea, and visitors can see these magnificent animals in high relief when on a trip to the Orkney Isles.

Find peace, relaxation, excitement, romance, adventure and joy with a trip to the Orkney archipelago and discover a side of Scotland you may not have known existed. Expedia can help you organise a holiday to the Orkneys where you can journey into the pagan past of the islands, and experience the magic of a raw and natural Scotland.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 45 Hotels in Orkney Islands
The Inn Guest House £67
The Inn Guest House

The Inn Guest House

St. Marys, Holm
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 116 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Holm, this guesthouse is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Churchill Barriers and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Italian Chapel. Mine Howe and Earl's Palace are also within 9 miles (15 km).

    St Ola Hotel £80
    St Ola Hotel

    St Ola Hotel

    Harbour Street, Kirkwall
       
      3.8
      of 5, from 36 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated by the ocean, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney Museum and Bishop's Palace. Earl's Palace is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

      HammerSmith £71
      HammerSmith

      HammerSmith

      Hammersmith, Harray
         
        5.0
        of 5, from 21 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Harray, this hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Standing Stones of Stenness, Maes Howe and Ring of Brogdar. Skara Brae and Piers Art Centre are also within 9 miles (15 km).

        West End Hotel £100
        West End Hotel

        West End Hotel

        14 Main Street, Kirkwall
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 3 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Kirkwall, this hotel is close to Bishop's Palace, Earl's Palace and Orkney Museum. Nearby attractions also include St. Magnus Cathedral.

          Murray Arms Hotel £83
          Murray Arms Hotel

          Murray Arms Hotel

          Back Road, South Ronaldsay
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 31 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Orkney, this inn is within 9 miles (15 km) of Italian Chapel, Churchill Barriers and Tomb of the Eagles. Mine Howe and Earl's Palace are also within 16 miles (25 km).

            The Shore £107
            The Shore

            The Shore

            Shore Street, Kirkwall
               
              3.0 out of 5.0
              Albert Hotel £118
              Albert Hotel

              Albert Hotel

              Mounthoolie Lane, Kirkwall
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 103 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney Museum and Bishop's Palace. Earl's Palace is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

                Orkneylodge
                Orkneylodge

                Orkneylodge

                Houton Bay, Orphir
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 26 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated by the sea, this inn is within 9 miles (15 km) of Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Standing Stones of Stenness and Maes Howe. Piers Art Centre and Ring of Brogdar are also within 9 miles (15 km).

                  Top Deals on Flights

                  These prices were available within the past 7 days. Prices quoted are per person, return, for the period specified. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms apply.