Taryn's escape to theORKNEY ISLANDS

Taryn

The Orkney Isles are often overlooked by people looking for a holiday - but after my recent, whistle-stop two-day tour there, I honestly think there's nowhere else quite like it. Here’s the time-saver's guide to Orkney's best-bits!

Day 1

Grain Earth House

Not far from Kirkwall's centre, this is certainly not for the claustrophobic! Squeeze your way into this Iron Age souterrain and imagine what it was once used for...

Stones of Stenness

These impressive stones date back over 5000 years. Originally the stone circle, made up of 12 huge standing stones, was used for ceremonial purposes by Neolithic settlers, and they have since had a controversial place in the community.

Top tip

If you're on the lookout for that perfect snap for Instagram, the Standing Stones of Stenness are always a winner no matter what time of day, or year, you visit!

Barnhouse Village

A large settlement barely a five-minute walk from the Stones of Stenness was discovered in 1984. With at least 15 houses, the impressive remains are a flash to the ancient past of 3000BC!

Day 2

Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge

Made up of 34 stones of an original 60 this huge site is definitely worth a visit. With guided tours and additional sites, such as burial mounds, there is plenty to see!

Maeshowe Chambered Cairn

One of the best preserved tombs in Europe, Maeshowe is a worthy visit for any tourist. Originally a Neolithic tomb, it was built with impressive heavy stones quarried 5 miles away! In the following centuries, the Vikings broke in, and to this day their graffiti can be seen on the walls!

Skara Brae

A coastal settlement from around 5000 years ago, Skara Brae is a great place for families to visit! With a museum, a model home built in exactly the style as they were in the past, and a walk around the ruins themselves, there's plenty to see and do! It has been so well-preserved that we can gain amazing insight into the lives of the people from that time.

Top Tips

Biggest costs

Item Cost
Return bus from Inverness to Scrabster £17
Ferry to Stromness £20
Return ferry £20
3 nights campsite £32

Transport

You can get a ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, and there are busses on Orkney to get around. Alternatively, you can get a bus from Inverness to Scrabster and get the ferry to Stromness.