Thursday, 17 May 2012 2:47 PM
If you're planning a trip to the Orkney Islands this year, consider heading to the destination in summer, when a range of cultural events take place. Boasting a lengthy and rich heritage, Orkney is located north of mainland Scotland and is a great place for a holiday spent delving into history.
When you arrive, you'll want to take in the landmarks, such as the Highland Park Distillery and the medieval cathedral of St Magnus, but give some thought to the range of events that take place here throughout the year. It's worth booking into a holiday home in Scotland to visit any occasions events that interest you, with the summer months being particularly full of such events.
Choose to book a break in Orkney during July and you'll find the Viking Feast taking place on the 11th. Held at the St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall, the event comprises a grand feast of food that would have been on the menu back in the times when Vikings lived on the Orkney archipelago. Arranged by the Centre for Nordic Studies, the feast also includes music, dancing and games, with visitors encouraged to don traditional costume and join in the fun.
The feast will be hosted by Earl Harald Maddadarson, played by storyteller Tom Muir, and the character will recount tales about his ancestors, enemies and allies, as well as tell stories from Viking folklore. The Hoy Viking re-enactment group will also be on hand to showcase their skills in jewellery-making, textiles and brewing.
On the July 14th there will be a farmers' market between 10:00 and 14:00 BST, where you can pick up all manner of local produce, food and handicrafts, with the event taking place again two weeks later.
Another event you might want to catch during your holiday in Orkney is Stromness Shopping Week, also called the Community Gala Week. Between July 15th and 21st you'll be treated to all kinds of musical performances, novelty and sporting contests, and entertainment for children, as well as the Stromness Ladies Flower Club Show and the Orkney Handcrafts Show, rounded off with fireworks on the final night of the event.
From July 15th until September 2nd is the Cabaret 12 series of theatric events, which will take place every Sunday at the Masonic Hall. Shows will begin at 20:00 BST after a meal, which is served at 18:00 BST.
On the 16th, meanwhile, excavation of the Ness of Brodgar archaeological site begins, and tours will be held from July 18th onwards. The area houses a Neolithic complex that is being dug up bit by bit, and an exhibition about the site, as well as the work going on here, is currently running at Orkney Museum, where it will be on display throughout the summer.