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Orkney Islands Weather And Best Time To Visit Orkney Islands
Orkney is an archipelago of 70 islands located in the Northern Isles of Scotland. Out of these 70, about 20 are inhabited and make up most of the local tourist attractions of the region. With barely any trees in sight, the islands are still filled with greenery and vast expanses of stunning landscape, offering visitors the chance to discover the tranquil nature of the islands from up close. A mix of varied cultures – Norse, Scandinavian, British – can be experienced in Orkney’s ancient monuments, its people and its heritage. The time-worn, mystical charm of the islands is evergreen; it doesn’t matter when you visit – the enchanting beauty of the region is sure to blow you away. That said, springtime and summers truly are the most enthralling time of the year to plan your trip to Orkney. With a predominantly maritime climate, the winters are relatively mild but not preferred by tourists; it is, after all, the northern Scottish region. Read on to know more about the weather in Orkney and the best time to visit.
Spring (April – May) & Summer (June – August)
Sometime around April, Orkney wakes up from its long winter slumber and moves towards a bright and vibrant climate. The gorgeous weather brings in all the tourists during late spring and early summer, which is when all shops and restaurants are open and teeming with crowds of locals and visitors alike. However, unlike other tourist favourites in Scotland, Orkney is still relatively quiet even in the busiest months. The maximum temperature in these months ranges between 12⁰C-15⁰C with occasional chances of rainfall. Daffodils are in bloom everywhere and birds, especially the puffins, can be seen nesting on almost every cliff.
The month of June brings in almost non-stop daylight hours, which is locally referred to as ‘simmer dim’. The long days will be of particular interest to those interested solely in outdoor activities, which is pretty much every activity worth enjoying in Orkney. Orcadians are famous for holding golfing events at midnight; not surprising for a region that is used to experiencing the sun being out even when the clock strikes midnight.
Autumn (September – October) & Winter (November – March)
Autumn is a mildly pleasant time of the year. One of the main highlights of visiting in these months is that most tourist attractions remain much less crowded compared to the busier summer months. Other than that, early autumn is quite like early spring in terms of weather and ambience. It is also the time of bird migration and might be of interest to bird watchers in particular. As the season progresses and the mercury level dips, the region becomes essentially empty with mostly just the locals left behind. Winters are quite cold and rains are very common throughout the season. The minimum temperature averages around 7⁰C in autumn and around 2⁰C in winter. Winter winds can be quite ferocious so it is advisable to avoid the outdoors if you do visit in these months. However, by far the most interesting aspect of taking a trip to Orkney in winter is the chance to see the magnificent Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights and referred to as The Merrie Dancers among Orcadians.