7 things to do in Orkney this weekend

At a loss for what to do this weekend? Have no fear! The Orcadian is here with a few suggestions on what to get up to over the next few days.


St Magnus Festival — Off to a royal start

The 41st St Magnus Cathedral kicks off this Friday, June 16. With Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway expected to attend the Gala Opening Concert — I, Pilgrim — this year’s festival will get off to a royal start.

With a packed weekend programme, including opera, The Story of St Magnus; and workshops by Norwegian knitters Arne and Carlos, this year’s festival truly embraces the theme of Norway and Magnus 900.

The full programme of events can be found on the St Magnus Festival website.


The Sound Archive — A long-awaited opening

A brand new venue for an old building, The Sound Archive, Kirkwall is due to open this Friday, June 16. Anticipation has grown over the past few months as refurbishments at The Old Library on Laing Street take shape. Now, the long-awaited venue will be the setting for this year Festival Club at St Magnus Festival, with folk four-piece, Gnoss providing the music on Friday and Saturday evening.


Hoy Max — Celebrating a well-loved Composer

The latest exhibition at Hoy Kirk heritage centre celebrates Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ time living in Rackwick, Hoy. Through newspaper clippings and interviews, Hoy Max explores how the island and its people shaped the life and music of the composer, known to his friends as Max.

In conjunction with the exhibition,  this Saturday, June 17 will see archeologist Dan Lee host a walking talk through Hoy.


Garden FestivalA gardener’s eden

This summer is shaping up to be a real treat for gardening enthusiasts in Orkney, as the county’s yearly series of garden trails is growing to become Scotland’s most northerly Garden Festival.

The Orkney Garden Festival will see a series of events focused on local gardens and gardening, from this Saturday, June 17 until Thursday, June 25.


Firth Gala — A community effort

Firth Community Association will be hosting their annual gala this weekend. Kicking of this Saturday, June 17, folk from Firth will be going all-in, competing in a series of challenges, as well as a float parade.


St Magnus Way — Reaching the halfway mark 

The third section of the St Magnus Way — a route from Dounby to Finstown — is to be launched this Friday, June 16, to coincide with the St Magnus Festival. If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet this weekend, nothing beats a nice long walk in the countryside.



The Minervian Library — Window into the past

Challenging ideas of stiff Victorian upbringings and childhoods confined to nurseries, the Minervian Library opened to the public, last Saturday, June 10.

Founded in 1864 by three young Orcadians, 12-year-old Maria Cowan, her 10-year-old sister Clara and their young cousin, Isabella Bremner, extensive collection of short stories, poems and other writings the reveals a childhood where children were encouraged to pursue and advance their education.

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