Did you know that dandelion leaves are high in vitamin C and minerals, and the young leaves can be used in salads? That chickweed is rich in magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and can be used like spinach?

Foraging Fortnight in 2019

We had a great time with the foraging events in the 2019 Festival. They came about through the LEADER-funded initiative covering five Scottish regions, and they added a whole new dimension to the programme, and to the weekends before and after.

Afternoon tea at Skaill House

The 17th-century mansion close by Skara Brae is the venue for the late Sunday afternoon of the Festival. Built in the 1620s by Bishop George Graham, Skaill House has been cared for and enhanced by its owners over the centuries.

The Selkie’s New Clothes

Are inspired by the selkie folklore, shape-shifting beings and their transformative powers. In order to shapeshift they had to cast off their sealskins. Within these magical skins lay the transformative power to return to seal form, and therefore to the sea.


The Family Day on the Saturday is one of the highlights of the Festival. Both floors of the King Street Halls in Kirkwall are packed with activities for all ages to try. We seek each year to source an ever-expanding range of activities from across Scotland and the UK, and are constantly delighted by the enthusiastic response.

Beatrice Works

Imagine you are gazing at a 300 foot high wind turbine being raised from its horizontal position at Nigg Bay, Rosshire, up into the sky, to become a mammoth perpendicular structure, with the aid of giant robotic cranes on either side, men in steel helmets beetling around like ants overseeing the whole operation and keeping it safe from disaster.

Highlights from 2013 Family Day

This was the year when you could handle a meteorite and steer a Mars Rover, try out Stone Age technology and wear an Iron Age hood, join the Dustbin Detectives and the Viking soap carvers, meet an oil production safety team and study life in the sea, learn to card wool and weave threads.