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Self-catering cottages on Scottish Islands

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Self-catering in the Orkneys - holiday cottages in Kirkwall, Stromness, South and North Ronaldsay, Papa Westray and throughout the Orkney Islands

If you want to rent a holiday cottage on the Orkney Islands then there is a great selection of luxury self-catering on Orkney to choose from. The Orkneys are an amazing part of Scotland for a holiday - situated just off the northern coast they are a really magical place to stay - the light is fantastic (in the winter as well as summer), bird-watching amazing (even for those that are not that interested in birds!) and the archeological remains are world class. Combined with welcoming people, sandy beaches and fantastic local food this is a wonderful part of Scotland to hire a cottage for a very relaxing holiday.

The sense of ancient people's and their way of life is all around you - granted World Heritage status by UNESCO, the Standing Stones of Stenness, Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and of course Skara Brae are just amazing. More recent historical site is Scapa Flow where ships from both world wars lie beneath the waters.

Orkney's main town of Kirkwall is delightful - St Magnus Cathedral was built by the Vikings in the 12th century and is a spectacular building. Stromness is a charming small town with cobbled streets and an unhurried pace of life - the famous Pier Arts Centre has been newly rebuilt and has great visiting art exhibitions as well as an amazing art collection.

There is a huge range of creative arts of the Orkneys - from world- acclaimed knitware, traditional furniture, tapestry weaving and painting - many of the artists and crafts people open up their studios to the public and if you are on holiday here then you can visit them and view the work for sale and watch it being made. The Orkneys has always been a magnet for creative people - the beautiful Orcadian landscape has been an inspiration to many.

Birdwatching holidays on the Orkneys are exceptional - both the range of birds you will see and the ease of viewing make it a popular destination - many birds breed on the Orkney islands and there are RSPB reserves. Nature lovers flock here too - Grey and Common seals, otters, dolphins and whales are likely to be spotted. The diverse and unspoilt habitats on the Orkney islands are home to some rare plants too.

If you want a family holiday on the Orkney islands (there are over 70 of them, not all habited!) then your children will find plenty to entertain them. From empty sandy beaches (great for flying kites on a windy day!) to spotting seals and dolphins, to exploring the archaeological sites and castles and palaces. Kirkwall has a swimming pool and ten-pin bowling for entertainment in less clement weather! Renting a vacation rental home on the Orkneys is an easy way for a holiday with children. You can explore some of the other islands by sailing with Orkney Ferries from Kirkwall, Stromness, Tingwall or Houton or taking short flights to Hoy, Papa Westray, Westray, Stronsay, North Ronaldsay etc. Burray and South Ronaldsay are now connected to the East Mainland of Orkney by the Churchill Barriers so you can drive to them easily.

There is a great range of self-catering accommodation to hire on the Orkney islands - all idyllic vacation homes. They range from lighthouses on the Orkneys, stylish homes in Kirkwall, traditional cottages in Stromness, remote self-catering cottages on North Ronaldsay, luxury house to rent on Papa Westray and hideaway vacation retreats in all of the Orkney islands. A holiday here will give you a chance to recharge your batteries and enjoy a very relaxed pace of life - very different from the rest of Scotland.

Self-catering cottages near Kirkwall or Stromness The Orkneys, North east Scotland

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