Historic Orkney in a Motorhome 

Historic Orkney in a Motorhome 

by Scottish Tourer March 04, 2021

Often people avoid heading to the islands when hiring a campervan in Scotland as they feel it can complicate their holiday. However, we believe this is a huge mistake! 

Although there is of course plenty to see and do on the mainland of Scotland, historical islands such as Orkney open up a whole new world to native and foreign visitors alike. There really is nothing like an island trip in Scotland!  

What is more, the famous island of Orkney is now very easily accessible via a short ferry trip. To enquire more about travelling to Orkney by motorhome, visit Orkney Ferries for more information on how to book, regulations and prices.  

To discover more of what Orkney offers enjoy this short article we’ve created on motorhome hire in Orkney.  

Motorhome on the Orkney ferry crossing

Campervan hire Orkney 

Visiting Orkney by campervan or by motorhome offers an array of places to visit.  

Orkney is full of history, culture, nature and scenic views. There are many wild camping spots on Orkney, meaning you will never need to pay for a campsite unless you wish to. Simply park up your motorhome by a beach, get the BBQ out and relax with some stunning views and (hopefully) good weather.  

Orkney takes you back to basics and allows you to spend that quality time with those you love most.  

Motorhome parked on Orkney beach

Embrace the island culture 

Orkcadians love to be involved in the community. They are an exceptionally friendly bunch of people who will be ready to chat and welcome you onto their humble island. Their hospitality and friendliness will be quickly found when you frequent the many local pubs, restaurants, cafes and anywhere else on the island you may find yourself! 

You are sure to feel welcome wherever you turn. If you respect their country and island, they will in turn give you a taste of their small community and island lifestyle.  

Where to visit on Orkney?

There are so many historical places on the island of Orkney that it is hard to condense them into one article. However, we have decided to share the ones we found the most enjoyable on our campervan hire trips to Orkney. 

  • Maeshowes Chambered Cairn. This is where you literally can take a step into one of the most incredible Neolithic buildings just a short distance from Kirkwall. This tomb sits on a platform and really is quite a sight when you see it for the first time. It is encircled by a ditch and a bank, which is an insight into the talent, determination and sheer graft that the Orkney people had some 5000 years ago.  

 Maeshowes Chambered Cairn Orkney

  • Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle. Located just outside Stromness, this is truly a sight to behold. This circular platform spans more than 100metres in diameter. Here you will find 21 stones still standing, however, is it believed to have been 60 stones at one point. Make sure you have your camera in hand as you won’t want to miss a photo opportunity here.  

Ring of Brodgar Circle Orkney 

  • Skara Brae Historic Village. Skara Braw is perhaps the most famous historic area aon the island. Dating back over 5000 years ago, the village gives you an insight into how people lived in one of the best-preserved settlements known to mankind. Its discovery is all thanks to a storm which started to uncover what lay beneath in 1850 and since then archaeologists have worked hard to uncover what else remains on this site and what pieces of history can be discovered. They have erected a replica house to give you a better insight and the visitor centre provides you with a vast array of information and knowledge. Just beside the village, you will find Skaill House, which is also well worth a visit. It has connections with the discovery of the village, being the home to the man who discovered it. It was Orkney’s first mansion, built in the 1620s and is very well preserved.   

Skara Brae Historic Village Orkney


  • Hackness Martello Tower and Battery. This was built as a defense in the 1800s to protect the British in convoys during the Napoleonic wars and has then been adapted throughout the years. This tower over looks scapa flow – the naval anchorage during both ward. Here you can feast your brain with facts about the military and how these buildings were utilised by the local people during these times. 


Book a motorhome holiday in Orkney 

The above is just a very brief summary of some of the places we have visited as a family in a motorhome in Orkney. This list could be endless! 

If you do plan to hire a campervan or motorhome in Orkney then take some time to plan ahead before you arrive and see where you would like to go. Within the cities themselves, you will find cathedrals, museums and many places of interest. 

If it’s a quiet trip you’re after you find many vast beaches, coasts, walks and a generally relaxed way of life. Watch the livestock, wildlife, and take in the ocean smells, noises and views.  

Orkney is a place we should all visit to truly appreciate. If you are interested in hiring a motorhome in Orkney then don’t hesitate to reach out to the Scottish Tourer team today.  

We can help you plan your motorhome trip and make it one that is truly unforgettable for all the family.  

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