James Kay

Five thousand years of history in Orkney, Scotland

10 places · Public

Ring of Brodgar

Archaeological Site

Mysterious circle of standing stones sandwiched between two lochs that puts Stonehenge to shame in my honest opinion.

Ness of Brodgar

Archaeological Site

Archaeological site that gets bigger each year as the annual summer dig uncovers more evidence of a major neolithic community.

Maeshowe

Archaeological Site

Atmospheric 5000-year-old Stone Age tomb with an accessible central chamber. A group of passing Vikings ransacked it in the 12th century and you can still see their graffiti scrawled on the ancient blocks.

Tomb of the Eagles

Archaeological Site

Two sites for the price of one: the remains of a Bronze Age building and, better still, a neolithic clifftop tomb that you can slide inside on a trolley.

St Magnus Cathedral

Cathedral in Kirkwall

Imposing sandstone structure in the centre of Kirkwall that contains the remains of the eponymous saint and some elaborate stained-glass windows.

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Museum

Museum

Sprawling museum in Hoy dedicated to the history of the former naval base at Lyness, which played an important role in both world wars.

Italian Chapel

Church

Constructed out of two Nissen huts, scrap metal and limitless devotion, this ornate chapel was built by Italian POWs during WWII.

Stromness Museum

Museum in Stromness

Absorbing small museum with a focus firmly on the archipelago’s maritime and natural history.

Standing Stones of Stenness

Archaeological Site

Four humongous monoliths (all that remains of a circle, say archaeologists) that once formed the heart of a Stone Age settlement.

Skara Brae

Archaeological Site

Older than the pyramids of Giza, this is the best-preserved prehistoric village in Europe. Lovely beach just yards away, too!