Orkney Crofts

Orkney is an incredible place to take a holiday, no matter where your interests lie, just make sure you give yourself enough time! You will want to explore this part of the world, over and over again, so it’s imperative that you have somewhere comfortable to relax after long days of discovery. The owner of Orkney Crofts, Simon Treasure, gave us his unique insight into the Orkney Isles.

Orkney Croft

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about Orkney Crofts?
Orkney Crofts is a STB five star graded and Green Tourism Gold award-winning self catering business based at Heddle in the center of the West Mainland of Orkney. We offer 4 different crofts with accommodation varying from 2-6 people. We have been trading for 10 seasons now and are well established.

Dining table, Orkney CroftPeople come to Orkney for all kinds of reasons. Have you got a few things that you particularly recommend for visitors to the islands to see or do?
The archaeology is of course world famous and most folk will visit the World Heritage Site “The Heart of Neolithic Orkney,” comprising Maeshowe, Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae. But these sites barely scratch the surface of the extraordinary archaeological heritage we have for visitors to discover.

Is there anything a little bit more off the wall or unusual that you could suggest to potential visitors?
A visit to Rackwick on Hoy. Probably one of the seven natural wonders of the UK this amazing place is also the starting point to the spectacular walk to view the Old Man of Hoy from the land.

a cosy fire and comfortable chairs, OrkneyWhat would you think of as the perfect exploration day for visitors to Orkney?
A mixture of visiting the archaeological sites and also enjoying the extraordinary natural heritage we have, a walk from Black Craig in outer town to Skaill Beach would be a true adventure. From the powerful Bonxie to the graceful Arctic Terns, Puffins and the full majesty of Britain’s seabird colonies to exquisite wild flowers such as Primula Scotica and Grass of Parnassus and the sheer splendor of the panoramic sea cliffs interspersed with incredible archeology, an unforgettable way to spend the day with stout walking boots and a well packed lunch to keep you going !

For those with a more active inclination, what can you suggest in terms of sports or outdoor activities?
Walking and cycling are very popular activities in Orkney which can be graded according to your abilities. For the truly active and properly qualified sea-kayaking, cliff climbing, surfing and coasteering are all popular pastimes.

Grass roofed croftOrkney seafood is world renowned. What other Orkney produce deserves global recognition? 
We have great whisky in our world-renowned Highland Park and Scapa, we have world class ale in Swannay and Sinclair Breweries; we have some of the best beef in Scotland; and of course the world famous ancient breed North Ronaldsay seaweed fed lamb. We have first class Ice Cream from Crantit Dairy and also multiple award-winning Orkney Cheddar.

Finally, what about the weather? It’s completely different in different parts of the islands, isn’t it?
There is an old Orkney phrase  “the Wather Mooth”, “the Mouth of the Weather”, and nowhere is it more true that you can see the weather you have had, are having and are about to have all at the same time! It is also true that you should make your plans for the day with some respect given to the wind direction. Not a good idea to spend the day on the west coast if the winds are westerly, go down south to the east side and the difference can be dramatic.

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