Orkney Islands

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

The Orkney Islands are a group of about 200 small islands 10 miles north of Caithness in northern Scotland. The largest island in the group is known as "Mainland"; about 20 are inhabited in total.

The most significant islands in the group are:

  • Mainland, which is connected by causeway to:
    • South Ronaldsay
    • Burray
  • /Hoy (which is also the highest)
  • Flotta (a large oil processing centre is located here)
  • Eday
  • /Rousay
  • Westray
  • Stronsay

Orkney's administrative capital is Kirkwall on Mainland, a small city (due to the Saint Magnus Cathedral) with a large port. The only other sizeable town is Stromness at the western end of Mainland.


Frequent ferry services operate on the following routes:

  • Aberdeen to Stromness
  • Scrabster to Stromness
  • John o' Groats to St Mary's

A locally owned cargo service also takes passengers on its services from Kirkwall to Invergordon.


The famous Neolithic sites of Skara Brae and Maes Howe are located on the Mainland.