Orkney and Shetland Islands Sights

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Orkney and Shetland Islands - browse our top choices for the top things to see during your stay.

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Fodor's Choice


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Kirkwall 8

The South Mainland 6

Lerwick 5

Stromness and the Neolithic Sites 5

Unst 3

Birsay 3

Brae 2

Scalloway 2

Yell 1

Weisdale 1

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre 1

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 9

Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Beach–Sight 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 3

Information Center 1

Island 1

Military Site 2

Museum/ Gallery 10

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 4

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 3

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

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Family 6

Orkney and Shetland Islands Sights

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Bishop's and Earl's Palaces

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

The Bishop's Palace dates to the 12th century when St. Magnus Cathedral was built. In 1253 this was the site of King Hakon IV of Norway's...

Bonhoga Gallery

  • Museum/Gallery

Built in 1855 using stones from the Kergord estate's "cleared" (forcibly evicted) crofts, Weisdale Mill is now the Bonhoga Gallery, a...

Broch of Gurness

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Gurness Broch, an Iron Age tower built between 500 BC and 200 BC, stands more than 10 feet high and is surrounded by stone huts, indicating...

Brough of Birsay

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

A Romanesque church can be seen at the Brough of Birsay, a tidal island with the remains of an early Pictish and then Norse settlement.

Clickimin Broch

  • Military Site

A stone tower on the site of what was originally an Iron Age fortification, Clickimin Broch makes a good introduction to these mysterious...

Eshaness and Ronas Hill

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

About 15 miles north of Brae are the rugged, forbidding cliffs around Eshaness ; drive north and then turn left onto B9078. On the way,...

Fort Charlotte

  • Military Site

This artillery fort was built in 1665 to protect the Sound of Bressay from the invading Dutch. They seized it in 1673 and razed the fort...

Hermaness National Nature Reserve

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

The Hermaness National Nature Reserve, a bleak moorland ending in rocky cliffs, is prime bird-watching territory. About half the world's...

Highland Park Distillery

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Having come this far, you'll have earned a dram of the local single malt at Scotland's northernmost distillery. It was founded around...

Hoswick Visitor Centre

  • Museum/Gallery

This museum with a small but impressive collection of knitting, spinning, and fishing paraphernania has an excellent café with cakes...


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