Orkney, as it’s called by the locals, is an archipelago of 70 islands off the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. At one point or another, Vikings, Norwegians and Scots all listed the Old Red Sandstone outcrops as their home. The Neolithic monuments of these ancient inhabitants are one of Orkney’s biggest draws; another, of course, is Single Malt whisky. Then there’s the Scapa Flow, a 120-square-mile body of protected water nestled between the islands that’s a bucket list destination for historians and wreck divers. At the close of WWI, the German High Seas Fleet, which was held captive here, was purposefully sunk by the German high command to prevent the navy from falling into the hands of the allies. The sunken remains of warships, many of which are visible from the shore, still rest at the bottom of the natural harbor.
This Scotish archipelago has no shortage of history
Photo Essay: The Orkney Islands
Subscribe to Gear Patrol
A free, daily dose of adventure at 5pm sharp.