Though just ten miles from the northern coast, the islands of Orkney feel like a world apart. Most of the isles are low lying, with a soft, rolling landscape of fields and heather moorland, always fringed by the sea. The exception is Hoy - meaning High in Old Norse - is rugged and steep, fringed by the spectacular cliffs of St John's Head and the famed Old Man of Hoy.
The islands are justly famed for their archaeological remains, with the stone age village of Skara Brae and the neolithic chambered cairn of Maes Howe each being the finest examples anywhere. These are joined by the spectacular Ring of Brodgar stone circle, tombs, brochs and the oldest dwelling house in the UK, the Knap of Howar on Papa Westray.