Holiday rentals in Orkney
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Top-rated holiday rentals in Orkney
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- Entire rental unit
10-15min. walk from the centre of Kirkwall Town Centre on a quiet residential street. The Flat is joined to our family home but has its own private entrance with parking space. We aim to make your stay in Orkney as enjoyable and comfortable as possible giving advice on where to go and how to get there. We can be contacted in advance to help you get the most from your visit to Orkney. Basic provisions are included for your first night/morning, there are numerous local shops and supermarkets.
- Entire holiday home
A spacious self catering property with 2 en-suite bedrooms. Both bedrooms can be either super king or twin beds. A fully equipped kitchen gives you everything you need for your stay whether eating in or going out for a takeaway. Centrally situated in Kirkwall means only a 3 minute walk to the marina, harbour and the main street where you will find shops, cafe, restaurants and bars. All bed linen, towels, electricity and wifi included in the price. Short stays welcome.
Other great holiday rentals in Orkney
Your guide to Orkney
Welcome to Orkney
Orkney, an archipelago of 70 islands above Scotland’s North Coast, is one of the most enchanting and otherworldly parts of the country, with gorgeous beaches and incredible history. It can be hard to comprehend that it’s part of the United Kingdom, so distinct is its culture, so far-flung its geography. Closer to Scandinavia than London in distance — and perhaps in spirit too — the islands’ Norse heritage lives on in place names and traditions, and in the magnificence of St Magnus Cathedral. Orkney comprises 15 major islands and regions; the largest, Mainland, is home to the capital, Kirkwall, and Stromness, a focal point for culture. Even before the foundation stones of Ancient Egypt’s pyramids were laid, thriving villages and complex temples existed here, and remain some of the world’s most impressive Neolithic sites.
The past feels always at hand here, yet it doesn’t hold the islands back. Orkney thunders ahead in the realms of food localism, arts, and sustainability. Craft distilleries, smart field-to-fork dining, vintage tearooms, and artisanal producers of cheese and vinegar add to the joy of a visit.
How do I get around Orkney?
Unless you live here, you’ll need to travel overseas to reach your accommodation on these remote islands. Kirkwall on Mainland is the main hub, where ferries arrive from Aberdeen on the Scottish mainland after a six-hour journey, and connect to other islands. Alternative ferries run from Gills Bay near John o’ Groats to St Margaret’s Hope on South Ronaldsay (1 hour), or Scrabster and Stromness (90 minutes). Kirkwall Airport (KOI) sits just outside Kirkwall, with buses and taxis running to the centre, and car hire. Flights from Glasgow (GLA) and Edinburgh (EDI) take an hour; others arrive from London (3 to 4 hours) and elsewhere. An affordable inter-island air service includes the world’s shortest flight, of 90 seconds, between Westray and Papa Westray. Buses, taxis, boat trips, and cycle hire can help you explore further.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Orkney?
You might expect Nordic weather in Orkney, but the Gulf Stream keeps the islands relatively temperate, though frequently windy, wet, and foggy. Winters are mild, but with short days and strong gales. Summer is chilly, but days so long the sun never properly sets. In autumn and winter there’s a chance of seeing the Northern Lights, while summer brings the spectacle of nesting seabirds. Standout events include games of Kirkwall Ba’, when two teams (Uppies and Doonies) compete to kick a football to either end of Kirkwall’s main street, every Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Orkney Folk Festival in May features superlative live music, including pub gigs, in Stromness, while the St Magnus International Festival in June is a major cultural event across all the islands, featuring arts, dance, and folk music. Orkney International Science Festival in September has a wide-ranging programme of activities, themed walks, and workshops.
What are the top things to do in Orkney?
Among the extraordinary ruins constituting the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site are the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the incomparable Ness of Brodgar temple complex, Maeshowe’s ancient burial chamber with carved Viking runes, and the evocative megalithic stones of the Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stenness. All are absolute must-sees.
Creative Orkney Trail
Get to know some of the islands’ finest artistic talents by touring the shops, studios, and workshops of local painters, furniture makers, potters, jewellers, and textile designers on the Creative Orkney Trail. These art forms are touchstones of Orcadian, and indeed British, cultural history (the first grooved pottery in Britain was developed here 5,000 years ago). Don’t miss the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, which houses a highly regarded collection of 20th-century modern art.
West Mainland is not only renowned for its ancient sites, but for the incredible bird-watching for migrating seabirds around its sea stacks and beaches. The Brough of Birsay, a tidal island, is one of the best places to see puffins in summer, alongside Pictish settlements and Viking ruins.