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Hello and welcome to the May newsletter from

We’ll be bringing you our usual range of features and photos from the islands as spring gets into full flow. Keep reading for a look at our monthly events calendar, a focus on wildlife and a visit to another hidden Orkney attraction, plus much more.

You can always find out more about Orkney via the Visit Orkney website, and remember to follow us on social media too.

Aerial view of the Cairns archaeological dig


New visitor centre for Orkney jewellery firm


The new Sheila Fleet Visitor Centre and CafeSheila Fleet Jewellery has opened the doors to its brand new visitor centre and cafe in Orkney's east mainland. The former St Andrew's Kirk has been restored to house a new gallery and jewellery showroom with a large and bright cafe next door, serving delicious lunches, light bites and teas and coffees. Work began on the project in 2015 and marks a huge step forward for the 25-year-old business. Find out more on the Visit Orkney website.

Come and dig Orkney!


Archaeologists at work in OrkneyWith the summer on the horizon Orkney’s archaeological community begins to stir – it’s nearly time for another dig season! Archaeologists will soon be out at locations around the islands, excavating fascinating structures and hoping to unearth more incredible insights into life in Orkney thousands of years ago. You can visit all the digs, including the Ness of Brodgar, the Cairns in South Ronaldsay, beach excavations in Sanday and at Swandro in Rousay. There will be open days, activities and workshops throughout the summer too – find out more from our special blog.

Festival fever in the islands


Performers at the Orkney Folk FestivalMay is the month Orkney’s events calendar really begins to come alive. The Orkney Nature Festivalstarts on the 14th and features a packed programme, including wildlife walks, a snorkelling safari and the always popular Nature Festival cruise with NorthLink Ferries. Then the last weekend of the month sees the return of the Orkney Folk Festival, one of the finest events of its kind in Scotland. Stromness is the hub with concerts and informal pub sessions taking place throughout the town. May really is a month where you’ll always find something to keep you entertained. Find out more about these fantastic festivals and our other annual events on the Visit Orkney website.

Get on the Craft Trail


Orkney craftsman at workIf you’re looking for a different way to see Orkney then a trip on the Orkney Craft Trail could be the perfect thing for you. With 21 stops at the workshops and galleries of our talented makers, spread from South Ronaldsay to Sanday, you’ll be able to see our fantastic scenery and watch artists, textile and furniture makers, potters and jewellers at work. The trail gives a fascinating insight into Orkney’s craft heritage - take a look at the Orkney Crafts Association website for more information and download your own copy of the 2018 Craft Trail brochure.

Join us on Instagram


Instagram logoFollow Visit Orkney on Instagramto see some beautiful images of the islands. We publish shots from around Orkney every week and you can join in too. Tag your own images so we can share your Orkney journey on social media. Use #VisitOrkney and #LoveOrkney to keep in touch.
The Hall of Clestrain in Orkney


This is the month when the Orkney events calendar really begins to get busy. Come and find out what's happening across the islands in May!
Read More
Orcas swimming in Orkney waters


Join local expert Alison Nimmo to uncover more hints and tips on Orkney's nature and wildlife highlights.
Read More
Sunset at the Bay of Skaill


Our featured photographer for May is Graham Duffin, a Shetland resident who makes regular trips to Orkney with his camera.
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Fossil at the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre


Our uncovered Orkney attraction for May takes us across three Churchill Barriers to the island of Burray, and a trip back through millions of years of Orcadian history.
Read More

And finally…


Thank you for taking the time to read our latest newsletter – hopefully there has been something to inspire you to make a visit to Orkney, for a short trip or a more permanent stay.

We’re always keen to hear from you too - share your news, views and comments on the newsletter, and your Orkney experiences with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram or E-mail.

In the meantime, it's cheerio from Orkney, for now.

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