The sound of the sea runs through this year’s programme, with topics ranging from ancient Norse navigation to tidal power in Ushant. We have stories of lost ships of the Spanish Armada and lost lands beneath the sea, and underwater photographs from Scapa Flow and the Arctic.

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It’s 50 years since the death of Robert Rendall, Orkney shore naturalist and poet. Two exhibitions in Orkney Library mark the occasion, with archive letters and photos, and new images of the Orkney shore …

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Download it here! It features walking, voyaging, polar exploration and Norse navigation, building great bridges and probing the seabed – plus a return visit of Nobel laureate Prof. Peter Higgs…

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“Those soft green hills, the ledged sea-cliffs, the shallow lochs, those curving sweeps of sand… the story of them all can be traced back, and much of the story goes back around 390 million years…”

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There’s plenty of opportunities to sample local fare, in daily lunches and in special events like a talk and tea in the 17th-century Skaill House. And for a look back at some past highlights . . .

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Book your tickets now! They’re going well, with one event already sold out. In Orkney there’s also the option to call in to the Tourist Office in Kirkwall. Wherever you are, you can book online here …

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You’ll find more in our online magazine. It highlights science and people, with stories of ideas, adventures and exploring new territory, past and present. There’s images
of the countryside, night skies, seascapes

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Festival Updates

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Festival. There are details on the tickets page, with a direct link in to the online booking system.

This is the LINK to the ticketing system.

Festival Topics
History is one of the strands woven into this year’s Festival programme, with 2017 being the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. We go back into the deep past with stories like The Bells of Aberdovey, the town under the sea whose church bells, says the legend, can be sometimes heard ringing. Today remnants of a sunken forest appear at low tide, clues to the existence of a long-ago woodland, drown by the waves of Cardigan Bay.

The Magnus 900 anniversary is the opportunity to look back at aspects of Orkney’s Norse past. Who designed the Viking ships? Could they have navigated by calcite crystals and the polarised light of the sun?

From the more recent past there is the story of the prediction and discovery of the Higgs boson, and gravitational waves.

Island technology developments are also to the fore, with news of marine renewables, smart grids for power distribution, and hydrogen for energy storage. The European Small Islands Network will be holding their annual meeting during the festival, and contributing speakers to several events.

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Music for Maxwell, in classical and style, songs from Mr Boom, postcards of John Rae and other famous Orcadians, badges to wear with a smile …

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This was my very first visit to Orkney and therefore, my first exposure to the vibrant and exhilarating Science Festival. It was an incredible week – the Festival pulsated! It was far larger and far better supported than I would have thought possible.
visitor from Edinburgh