Local Information

  /  Local Information

All of Orkney is, of course, beautiful, but the West Mainland is particularly stunning.

Staying with us at Unigar means you’re ideally placed to explore everything this remarkable corner of Orkney has to offer.

From the spectacular cliffs of Yesnaby and Marwick, to the pristine beaches of Skaill and Birsay, the scenery is breathtaking and you’ll have no shortage of places to stretch your legs and fill your lungs with fresh air.

The wildlife around the West Mainland is abundant, so expect to see seals, a huge variety of birds – we’re near to wetlands of the Loons and Loch of Banks RSPB reserve – and, if you’re lucky, otters and whales.

Unigar is also very close to the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage area, so you can travel back in time at Skara Brae village, enter the awe-inspiring tomb at Maeshowe, or marvel at the ancient engineering that created the stone circles at Brodgar and Stenness. There’s no shortage of other sites and attractions to explore in the area too.

If you seek to do battle with Orkney’s legendary wild brown trout, Unigar’s proximity to the mainland’s top loch fishing spots make it the perfect base for anglers.

While Unigar is quiet, peaceful and secluded, you’re not far from vital local amenities, should you need to stock up on anything during your stay. There’s a shop and post office in nearby Quoyloo, and the village of Dounby, with its shops, crafts businesses, supermarket selling fuel, pub, café and pharmacy, is only four miles away. If you want a little more retail or restaurant therapy, Kirkwall and Stromness are both within easy driving distance of Unigar.

The Orkney Brewery, with its five-star visitor centre and restaurant, is also right on our doorstep – it’ll take you about three minutes to walk there. The brewery offers tours, tastings and great food, coffee and cake. You can also stock up on the Orkney Brewery’s award-winning range of beers and other local products in the visitor centre shop.

Ten minutes up the road you’ll find Birsay’s Barony Mill, featuring the only working water wheel in Orkney. The mill, built in 1873, is still working today and busy producing beremeal – the flour ground from bere, an ancient type of six row barley grown in Orkney for thousands of years. You’ll find beremeal used in lots of local food and drink products, but it’s most famous as the main ingredient in traditional bere bannocks.

The mill is open for tours part of the year, and also sells bags of nutritious beremeal so you can try out some local recipes once you get back home.

We’d also recommend a visit to the nearby Quoyloo Studio, a family business specialising in wildlife prints and sculpture, run by Fine Art graduates, David Harris and Carol Pursell.

You can find out more about the West Mainland and its many attractions from our friends at Orkney.com here, but we’d recommend coming and seeing it all for yourself!

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