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Wondering if you should go all the way north to Orkney?

Did you know that the archaeological sites in Orkney are "almost on the scale of some of the great classical sites in the Mediterranean, like the Acropolis in Greece, except these structures are 2,500 years older."

Did you know that "like the Acropolis, this was built to dominate the landscape—to impress, awe, inspire, perhaps even intimidate anyone who saw it?"

I think Orkney is wonderful. But, I'll admit, I'm biased as my grandfather was born there and I love history. I also love a place that is different. But, when I got my new National Geographic yesterday, I knew that I should never stop encouraging people to visit these islands. Here's the link to the article. They have found a new archaeological site between the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brogdar.

Here's a link to a video of the lead scientist talking about a recent find--oh and some beautiful Orkney scenery.

If you're going to Orkney this summer--check this link.

If you want to follow this in more detail, here's a link to the blog. This blog is hosted by Sigurd Towrie who has one of the best websites on Orkney and in general, Orkneyjar.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to visit for they first time? Or set to go back if you been in the past? I am!


Posted by
48 posts

Shoot, we won't be able to make it on our trip this year. But thanks for the info; I'll keep it in mind for next time! You're always such a helpful source on the Scotland board. :)

Posted by
1538 posts

Pam we love Orkney! We went to please our friend who loves Highland Park whisky and it was one of the best parts of our trip! The archeological sites were fascinating and the landscape so beautiful.

Incidentally our whisky enthusiast friend is also an archaeologist by education so this trip really was a dream come true for her.

Posted by
1616 posts

I love Orkney for all the points Pamela has made. One I like is near the Tomb of the Eagles, may be more interesting if you are British, is standing and looking south, towards the most northern part of the island of Great Britain.

Posted by
7176 posts

Pam-thanks for the extra information, in addition to all your past contributions which have been so helpful. We're really excited about our trip in 3 weeks. We did find accommodation in Kirkwall, but it took some effort, as the Orkney Agricultural Show (which doesn't seem to be mentioned in any guidebooks) will be going on, and it attracts a lot of exhibitors and onlookers and fills up all the rooms. Anyone going in mid-August should book early!

Posted by
5678 posts

MC, my family has a farm, the Bu at Longhope. Sadly, the old house sank into the bog, but there is new house. When my sister and I visited Orkney and then the Bu, we were made extraordinarily welcome by our relatives. They fed us every hour with some different marvelous food. They showed us pictures, that demonstrated that our brother had a "Tait" nose. They showed us the very bed in which our grandparents had honeymooned. And lastly, they took us up the hill behind the house and said, "Wave to the Queen Mum! She's just over the Pentland Firth!"

On a sadder note, we were there in the late 70's which was not long after the truly tragic lifeboat disaster. Hearts were still bleeding over the tragedy. Here's a link to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Posted by
1616 posts

The castle is Charles and Camilla's now.

The RNLI is probably one of the most respected charities in the UK and Ireland. Overwhelmingly volunteers so that when there are tragedies, local communities get hit hard. If people have a few coins and see an RNLI collection tin, go on, drop them in. They cover the UK and Ireland, and it is that respect that leaves the 'Royal' in the organisaton's name in the Republic.

Posted by
515 posts

I admit to knowing very little about Orkney until we booked a British Isles cruise. Since booking, I have studied and learned so much! What a fascinating place. We will stop in Kirkwall next month on our cruise. We have booked a tour to see all the sights. Can't wait. And I've already read the Nat Geo article online, but plan to pick up a copy of the magazine. What a great cheerleader you are for your grandfather's homeland!