Day trip to Hoy with the Vikings, the moon is coming to Stromness, and other things to do in Orkney in late August and early September

What to do in Orkney in August/September? It’s late in the summer, but many visitors find that Orkney is just as beautiful in the shoulder season – This is also when the community wakes up again after the summer holidays, and things start getting busy with festivals, concerts and other happenings. So here is a quick guide to what you can do if you are in Orkney in the last week of August or the first two weeks of September 2018.

Dr Ragnhild Ljosland Orkey Time Travel

Viking Hiking day trip to the island of Hoy

When: Wednesday 29th August, 9.30 am – 5 pm

What: A Viking themed day on the island of Hoy! This is Orkney’s wild island, home of many legends. Viking Hiking is for the able-bodied adventure-seeker, and involves a hike through a roadless valley to the dramatic bay of Rackwick, followed by a Viking feast on the beach! You also get to learn Viking crafts and skills such as nettle rope making, tablet weaving and rune writing, and play an axe throwing game. The trip is led by experts in Viking culture and outdoor survival, who are also qualified Scottish Tourist Guides Association guides.

Where: Starts from Stromness for the Hoy ferry. You can easily get to Stromness on the X1 public bus service.

Cost: Special offer of £4o for adults and £30 concession. £100 family ticket. This covers the day trip to Hoy led by two specialist guides, and includes the ferry, minibus transport back to ferry after the hike, and a Viking meal cooked on the beach.

How to book: Get your ticket from here, by Tuesday 28th.

St Magnus Church, Egilsay. This is the small island where Saint Magnus was martyred at Easter, 1117.

Pilgrimage to the island of Egilsay

When: 26 August

What: Pilgrimage to Egilsay! Everyone is welcome to the launch the Egilsay leg of the St Magnus Way.
The ferry from Tingwall departs at 11.55, giving an hour for lunch in Rousay (bring your own or buy at the Pier) before departing 13.15 for Egilsay. The walk is 3.5 miles, those not wishing to walk to the Bay at the Back can wait at the community centre for us to return towards St Magnus Kirk for a short service of worship in the ruined Kirk, followed by refreshments back at the community centre. The return ferr is 16.55 from Egilsay, arriving Rousay 17.30 and Tingwall 18.00. Passenger tickets for the ferry cannot be booked in advance but Orkney Ferries know to expect us! To assist us with catering and ferries it would be a great help if you could confirm your intention to join us by Wednesday 22nd August.

Cost: Ferry ticket £8.50 return for adults

How to book: email, or phone 01856 771599

Saint Magnus church, Birsay

Orkney Rock Festival

When: 31 August – 3rd September

What: Orkney rock festival! A busy weekend showcasing local and visiting talent in various local bars throughout Kirkwall.  See programme at

Where: Kirkwall

Cost: £20 / £10

How to book: Tickets available  from

Orkney International Science Festival

When: 6-12 September

What: Orkney International Science Festival! One of the absolute highlights on the Orkney festival calendar. There are more than 70 events, from black holes to boatbuilding, bubbles to Bach, the physics of mountain rescue to the science of gin.  See the full programme for more information.

Where: Various locations throughout Orkney, mainly in Kirkwall.

Cost: Typically £3 – £5 per event. Lecture pass £40

How to book: Tickets at and at the door for most events.

Part of the Ring of Brodgar

Literature & environment conference

When: 5-7 September

What: The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE-UKI) Postgraduate Conference, run in collaboration with the Science Festival.

Where: The programme promises events that are “out and about”: excursions and outings which can be joined by anyone, not just the conference delegates.

Cost and how to book: See science festival programme (above)


When: 6-16 September

What: SkyranMOON. The moon is coming to Stromness!

Centred on Museum of the Moon, an artwork by Luke Jerram, #skyranMOON is a one-off volunteer-run event taking place 6–16th September 2018 in Stromness Academy theatre, alongside the Orkney International Science Festival 6–12 September 2018. It’s only a few weeks away!

Please share the information on Facebook/skyranMOON and gather as many folk as you can to come and see it – wouldn’t it be great if everyone in Orkney came to the MOON?!

Where: Stromness Academy and other locations in Stromness.

Cost: Some free, some tickets for individual events. See programme here

How to book: See programme and events here

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