The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Exploring the countryside

Looking across to Graemsay and Stromness from Hoy

Orkney is beautiful, with its coastline, rolling farmland and moorland, framed by the hills of Hoy. This beautiful scenery contains a huge variety of wildlife, many historic sites and a wealth of local character, under a vast sky.

Visitors have no shortage of places to go to. There are a number of easy walks and plenty more opportunities to wander for those who enjoy covering rougher ground. There are lots of wonderful beaches which are good for rock-pooling and swimming, and a lot of excellent opportunities for fascinating snorkelling and diving. Fishing is catered for in many of the lochs and no permit is required to fish in Orkney.

It is often said there are no trees in Orkney but that is not the case. True, there are no large forests, but there are a number of small woods, full of plants and animals. The open countryside also teems with wildlife, with moorland and wetlands being particularly rich in species.

The majority of Orkney's countryside is farmland grazed by cattle and sheep, so walkers should follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Respect the environment by taking litter home and not disturbing wildlife. Leave gates as found and keep dogs under control, especially near livestock or where there may be ground-nesting birds.