Orkney Updates

Orkneyology.com is your online Orkney travel guide - with stories!

Let Orcadian storyteller Tom Muir and his American wife, Rhonda, help you find your best experience of Orkney.

Orkney Updates is like a helpful broonie. Here you can find Tom and Rhonda Muir's latest articles, travel advice and stories.

We'd love to help you get carried away in Orkney.

Support Local Scottish Businesses

Here are a few wonderful ideas for ways to support Scotland's small business community this Christmas season.

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Camping in Orkney ~ Planning Your Scottish Islands Camping Adventure

Camping in Orkney: everything you need to know. The enchanting Orkney Islands are a perfect destination for your unforgettable outdoor Scotland adventures.

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Vote for John Rae's fiddle!

Renowned Orcadian Dr John Rae (1813-1893) was the most successful of all Victorian Arctic explorers, undertaking four expeditions. His fourth and final expedition (1853-4) was his most significant – it was during this expedition that he learnt the fate of the lost Franklin expedition and made the discovery of Rae Strait which proved to be the last link in a first navigable North West Passage.John Rae is known to have taken fiddles on his expeditions. Traditional Orcadian fiddle music played an important part in his upbringing and is still an important part of Orcadian culture across the globe. While on his travels music would have entertained everyone during the long Arctic nights.

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Orkney Finfolk Article

Lovers of Orkney folklore will enjoy this piece theorizing on the possible connection between the Orkney finfolk tales and traveling Inutit people.

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Orkney Folktales From a New Voice

Betty Matthews from Orkney has taken our folk tales to New York City and created something rather wonderful. I think you'll like this.

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Orkney Sea Monsters

Orkney Sea Monsters? Discover them in the wonderful Northward Project - stories and things that encapsulate the spirit of the north of Scotland. Read about them!

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Orkney Farming - Reminiscenses from an Orkney Family

Orkney Islands farmer Jim Muir and his mother Elizabeth reminisce about 1960's Orkney farming, through devastating foot and mouth disease and beyond.

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Tales for Troubled Times

What did our ancestors do in troubled times? First, whatever was sensible. Then they came together and told stories. Join us and hear tales for troubled times.

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The Orkney Storytelling Festival 2020 - Online!

Although we're way outside our comfort zone, preferring live storytelling and not having great technical abilities, the hardy band of volunteers that brings you the Orkney Storytelling Festival each year has created a collection of beautiful storytelling films. Watch them all on our Youtube channel, and maybe we'll see you in the Orkney Islands next year! All our best to you.

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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 did the storytelling revival begin, and how can you take part?

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Tales for Troubled Times - page 5

Humans have always told ourselves stories during troubled times. Stories comfort, inspire and encourage. Hear audio of traditional tales and folklore online.

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The Scottish Isle of Eigg Asks Visitors to Stay Away for Now

"We know many people want to come to Eigg this summer, but sadly, for the moment, we ask you not to come." Read the Isle of Eigg's Coronavirus community respose here.

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Does Orkney, Scotland Want Visitors in 2020?

"... only 10% are comfortable with tourists returning, and 45% would prefer either none this year or very small numbers of local visitors." Surely, this is understandable. We in Orkney love our visitors, but we've all been through a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not everyone is thrilled to welcome visitors in Orkney just yet. People considering traveling to Orkney in 2020 should be aware of this, wear your mask in public places and be extremely respectful to Orkney residents. Read the full report here.

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Coronavirus Travel in Orkney - Travel Planning for the Orkney Islands

Where can I find coronavirus travel in Orkney information for the Orkney Islands in Scotland? Is this a good time to visit Orkney?

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An Italian Writer's Inspiration from Orkney's Italian Chapel

Italian writer Inga Sempel had no idea what was waiting for her when she visited Orkney. What was an "Italian" chapel doing on an island north of Scotland?

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New Audio Stories from Orkney Storyteller Tom Muir

This week's Tales for Troubled Times from Orkney: for the bairns, a Jack story and a Travellers' Christmas tale; also a Swedish story and a scary tale that comes from the Orkney island of Sanday - The Nucklavee! (Illustration courtesy of our friend, Bryce Wilson.)

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No More Stinky Jobs! - Building a Portable Home Business

How am I building a web business after moving to Orkney, Scotland, with no technical knowledge? I'm creating a lifestyle of freedom. You can, too. Find out how I work from home in Orkney.

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The Merry Dancers - Photographing the Aurora Borealis in Orkney

In Orkney we call them the Merry Dancers. The haunting light show can be seen here in dark months, if you're lucky. Read one Orkney woman's aurora-chasing tale.

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Blackenings in Orkney

A German celebrity interviews Orkney residents about the folk customs of love, particularly the blackenings - a custom that came from Scotland not long ago and can disturb tourists to Orkney if they don't understand what's going on. Tom Muir, local folklorist and historian, explains more beginning at 18:52 time marker.

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Take a virtual tour of Scotland’s historic sites

Check out these amazing 3D renderings of some of Scotland's most intriguing archaeological sites.

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Mermaid image (Rhonda's pages) and storyteller image (Tom's pages), and all other illustrations except where noted are here by the courtesy of our dear friend - Stromness author, artist and historian, Bryce Wilson MBE, who owns all copyrights. Thanks, Bryce!