Orkney and Shetland Islands

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

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  • 1. Clickimin Broch

    Military Sight

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

  • 2. Highland Park Distillery


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

  • 3. Italian Chapel

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    During World War II, 550 Italian prisoners of war were captured in North Africa and sent to Orkney to assist with the building of the Churchill...Read More

  • 4. Jarlshof


    In 1897 a huge storm blew away 4,000 years of sand to expose the multilayered remains of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Pictish, and Viking buildings...Read More

  • 5. Mareel

    Arts/Performance Venue

    Next to the Shetland Museum, the bold and beautiful—although somewhat brutal around the back—Mareel is Shetland's adventurous and ambitious...Read More

  • 6. Mousa Broch


    Sandsayre Pier in Sandwick is the departure point for the passenger ferry to the tiny isle of Mousa, where you can see Mousa Broch, a fortified...Read More

  • 7. Pier Arts Centre


    At the striking Pier Arts Centre, a gallery in a former merchant's house and adjoining buildings, huge sheets of glass offer tranquil harborside...Read More

  • 8. Ring of Brodgar


    About 5 miles northeast of Stromness, the Ring of Brodgar is a magnificent circle of 36 Neolithic standing stones (originally 60) surrounded...Read More

  • 9. Shetland Crofthouse Museum


    Nine miles south of Sandwick this 19th-century thatched house reveals the way of life of rural Shetlanders, which the traditionally attired...Read More

  • 10. Shetland Museum


    On the last remaining stretch of the old waterfront at the restored Hay's Dock, the striking Shetland Museum, with its sail-like tower, is the...Read More

  • 11. Skara Brae and Skaill House


    After a fierce storm in 1850, the laird of Breckness, William Graham Watt, discovered this cluster of Neolithic houses at the bottom of his...Read More

  • 12. St. Ninian's Isle


    It was on St. Ninian's Isle that a schoolboy helping archaeologists excavate the ruins of a 12th-century church discovered the St. Ninian treasure...Read More

  • 13. Stromness Museum


    The enchanting Stromness Museum has the feel of some grand Victorian's private collection but has, in fact, been community owned since it opened...Read More

  • 14. Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    Perhaps one of northern Europe's most stunning locations, this Robert Stevenson—grandfather of the writer Robert Louis—designed lighthouse,...Read More

  • 15. Tangwick Haa Museum


    After viewing the cliffs at Eshaness, call in at Tangwick Haa Museum, the 17th-century home of the Cheynes, now packed full with photographs...Read More

  • 16. Bishop's and Earl's Palaces


    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 death...Read More

  • 17. Bonhoga Gallery


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

  • 18. Broch of Gurness (Aikerness Broch)


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

  • 19. Brough of Birsay


    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. ( Brough...Read More

  • 20. Eshaness and Ronas Hill


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

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