Activities in Orkney

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View the official guide to adventure activities in Scotland

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Orkney is one big adventure playground. From teeing off on a coastal green and navigating the challenging cliffs and sea stacks, to diving to world-famous ship wrecks, it's the ideal spot to make the most of the great outdoors while enjoying fascinating wildlife along the way.

Walking and cycling are great ways to explore these magnificent islands and a game on one of Orkney’s excellent 18 and 9-hole golf courses offers a real challenge with stunning coastal backdrop.

For those looking to get the adrenaline pumping, climbing is an adventurous alternative. Orkney’s challenging cliffs and sea stacks are for experienced climbers only, but offer a unique perspective of the islands. A climbing highlight is the famous Old Man of Hoy, a 137 m sandstone stack which was first climbed in 1966. Could you be the next person to conquer it?  Or you could put yourself forward for the annual Hoy Half Marathon, or simply lend the athletes your support.

For many people, the best way to discover Orkney is by sea. Due to the famous Orcadian winds, the islands are a haven for fishing, sailing, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and kite surfing. Diving in Orkney is another watersport not to be missed, as there is more to see here than on your typical dive. Exploring the wrecks around the Orkney coast is an unforgettable experience, especially the remainder of the German naval fleet which was scuttled in Scapa Flow in 1919.

Make your trip to Orkney one to remember by immersing yourself in the wide range of fun and thrilling activities available throughout the year. 

  • Golfers tee-off on the picturesque 18-hole course at Stromness on Orkney Mainland
    Stromness golf course, Mainland, Orkney
  • Divers on the surface of the water under instruction from the Scapa Scuba Dive Centre prepare to dive to a blockship
    Scapa Scuba divers at Churchill Barrier number 2, Scapa Flow, Orkney
  • Fishing for trout on Loch Harray, Orkney
    Fishing for trout on Loch Harray, Orkney
  • Man overlooking Old Man of Hoy
    Old Man of Hoy
  • A group of cyclists in Birsay
    Cycling around Birsay
Family on charter yacht 'Valhalla' in the marina at Kirkwall

Watersports

Try your hand at watersports on Orkney, a hotspot for surfing and sailing thanks to the mighty Atlantic waves.

Divers under instruction from the Scapa Scuba Dive Centre

Diving

Discover a graveyard of ships around the shores of Orkney on a diving exploration.

Boat fishing for trout in Loch of Harray on Mainland, Orkney

Fishing

Enjoy the ultimate fishing experience in Orkney. Try your hand at catching an array of fish amid stunning coastal scenery.

Golfers tee off on one of the holes of the 18-hole course at Stromness Golf Club, Orkney

Golf

Play your way around the golf courses of Orkney which promise to challenge all abilities.

Yesnaby cliffs

Climbing

Go climbing in Orkney and get to grips with the region’s dramatic coastal landscapes. Conquer huge sea cliffs and stacks on an Orkney adventure.

A group of cyclists in Birsay

Cycling

Find information about cycling in Orkney, including details of cycle routes and bike hire shops.

A footpath sign to view seals and otters, Rousay, Orkney

Walking

Discover an archipelago of 70 different islands on foot, one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Orkney and charm of each island.