Local Information

Car Hire - Local firm W R Tullock have a rental desk located in the Kirkwall Airport terminal. Cars can also be hired from their main offices on Castle Street, Kirkwall.

Isles Travel - If you wish to make a trip to one of the north or south isles during your stay Orkney Ferries provides sailings between the mainland and 13 of the smaller islands. If you would rather fly Loganair operates the inter-island air service.

For those who enjoy fishing, there are plenty of good trout fishing lochs to try – for more information please see www.orkneytroutfishing.co.uk, under FISHING you will find more information about individual lochs.  There is also sea fishing for those that prefer it.

Orkney is a bird watchers paradise with many species visiting, or living on, our Islands, including puffins and waxwings.  Hen harriers are also a fairly common sight!  There are several RSPB reserves and the RSPB office in Stromness is a mine of information for the latest sightings – (01856) 850176.

There is plenty of other wildlife in Orkney – plenty of seals always seem to be around and there is the chance you may even see whales!  We also have otters, but it is a very lucky person who manages to spot one of them.

Because Orkney is quite flat, cycling and walking can be an enjoyable way of getting about. Cycle hire is easily available from www.cycleorkney.com.  We have garage space at Straigona where bikes can be kept when not in use.

Amongst our books is one that will tell you all you need to know about various walks, from the level of difficulty and length, to what birds and wildflowers you might see along the way.

Orkney has many archeological sites, some of them older than the pyramids!  More details can be found on the Visit Orkney site.

We also have some very interesting traditions which you may experience depending on the time of year you visit. You may experience a ‘blackening’ before a wedding, the agricultural and County Shows or The Ba’ at Christmas and New Year.

In summer you will experience the long days where it never seems to get dark!  If conditions are right, at certain times of the year, you may also see ‘The Merry Dancers’ or Northern Lights.

‘Orkney Uncovered’ is a unique tour company offering guided tours in Orkney. They also specialise in 19th and 20th Century War Defences in the Orkney Islands and on Scapa Flow, visiting both familiar and unfamiliar key sites and structures during the Napoleonic Era, WWI and WWII.

We can highly recommend Island Tours of Hoy (www.islandtourshoy.com) and Westray Wildlife (www.westraywildlife.co.uk)

Dawn Star Boat Trips www.orkneyboattrips.co.uk – many guests from Straigona have enjoyed trips round Scapa Flow with Laurence.

In Orkney there is a large and varied range of locally produced crafts, art works and food for sale.  From traditional Orkney chairs to pottery, tapestry, felt work and many more.  Jewellery is another craft which is popular in Orkney with a number of businesses selling their products direct from their workshops or available in shops in Kirkwall and Stromness. Many of their designs are inspired from the shells, birds and ancient monuments seen in Orkney, giving a lasting memento from your visit.  Like many of the artists, most jewellers can be visited in their own workshops, which many visitors enjoy.

Golf - Visitors are welcome at the Kirkwall and Stromness Golf Clubs.

There are so many things to do in Orkney, the above are just a few!  Further information on what you can do during your visit can be found on the Visit Orkney website and we also have personal knowledge of many of the above and are happy to recommend attractions and eating places that we feel you would enjoy.

Thinking of moving to Orkney? Have look at this interesting blog about one couples experience in making the move to Orkney.

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