"In Orkney, they tell stories."
- George Mackay Brown

Tom Muir, Orkney storyteller

Hello, I’m Tom Muir. I'm an Orcadian storyteller and historian.

I was born on a farm in Orkney called Valdigar, Old Norse for “farm of Valdis” - named for the Viking who first broke the soil. 

My wife, Rhonda, has lately joined me from America. Together we have a unique perspective, and we’d love to show you around our island home.

Rackwick Beach, HoyOn Rackwick Beach, Hoy - one of our favorite places
John Muir of ValdigarTom's dad, John Muir of Valdigar, Tankerness

"What should I see while I'm in Orkney?"

We hear this question a lot. The answer depends on what kind of experience you're after.

Most people want to visit the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness, Maeshowe, Skara Brae and a few of the other most notable sites - who wouldn't? These islands boast some of the most important and beautiful archaeology in the world. 

But if you want a deeper experience of this remarkable place, we invite you to explore with us. We'll show you our favorite hidden spaces on the Mainland and outer islands.

Broch of Gurness, Orkney

Some are just a wee bit off the well-trodden paths, and some are so secluded that you might find yourself completely alone.

Not a bad thing in a place like this.

And since I’m a traditional Orcadian storyteller ...

Tom Muir, Orcadian storyteller

I might be tempted to share a few tales with you along the way. 

For instance, do you know the place where the last faeries gathered before they left the Mainland ... 

... or why they never returned?

No? Well, I’ll tell you the story and you can go and see the place for yourself. Who knows? There might be a trowie or two hanging about there, yet. 

Black Craig, StromnessView from the Black Craig, Stromness - site of the trowies' departure.

Listen to the story of the death of the Mainland faeries.

Our Viking ancestors would agree - Orkney is not for the faint-hearted.

The weather can be glorious, but in a place where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, you're likely to get dreich days, too. That's a word we use for dreary weather. We use it quite often. 

It pays to be prepared. We'll give you our best advice so you can enjoy your experience - no matter what surprises our delightfully changeable climate might hold.

There’s no denying that it takes a bit of planning just to get hereBut I assure you ...

The Ring of Brodgar, Stenness

… it’s worth the effort. 

Now then, come in out of the cold and take a seat by the fire. Pour yourself a cup of tea - or a good dram, if you prefer - and let’s have a peedie blether. We’ll do our best to help you to discover the mystery and magic of Orkney. 


Mermaid image (Rhonda's pages) and storyteller image (Tom's pages) courtesy of our dear friend - Stromness author, artist and historian, Bryce Wilson MBE - Thanks, Bryce!


Recent Content

  1. George Mackay Brown - Orkney's Beloved Bard

    George Mackay Brown breathed life into Orkney's people, history and lore through his gorgeous writing. Find out why this man is still so loved in Orkney.

    The story ...

  2. Orkney Renewable Energy Pioneers - Still at it!

    Take a look at this short Financial Times video showcasing another aspect of Orkney's pioneering alternative energy research. Hydrogen-powered passenger and car ferries are hoped to be in use by 2021…

    The story ...

  3. Old Orkney Customs - The Yules

    The festivities began on Tulya’s E’en, seven days before Yule Day. ‘On that night the Trows received permission to leave their homes in the heart of the earth and dwell, if it so pleased them, above g…

    The story ...

  4. The Christmas Season in Orkney

    Christmas in Orkney is a community affair. For a solid month, there’s a community event going on somewhere in Orkney just about every night. Orcadians love to celebrate. Every community has its own fe…

    The story ...

  5. Orkney Storytelling Lives Again

    Not that long ago, traditional Orkney storytelling was breathing its last. Today, an acclaimed "little festival with a big heart" is going strong, welcoming storytellers from all over the globe. How d…

    The story ...

* Quote credit from the headline goes to beloved Stromness poet, George Mackay Brown.