What can Orkney offer me?

Birsay: Sigurd Towrie
Brough of Birsay.

If you are reading this then you will probably already know about Orkney’s incredible archaeological heritage. But while this might be as good as reason as any to relocate to the islands, what else can Orkney offer?

The answer is, quite simply, a lot – not least a way of life that earned the county the title of Scotland’s best place to live for eight years in a row.

Orkney topped the Bank of Scotland’s annual quality of life survey thanks to high employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary class sizes and good health and happiness scores.

The survey results highlighted that not only is Orkney one of the most affordable places to live for first time buyers but that it had the highest employment rate with nearly nine in ten (88 per cent) 16–64-year-olds in work and weekly average earnings of £665.

Community Archaeology in Orkney: Building Recording Days in Kirkwall & Stromness
St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.

We have one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with 6.9 crimes per 10,000 population, compared to a national average of 52.6 and residents feel fit and well with more than nine in 10 (97 per cent) reporting good health.

Unfortunately, the pandemic got in the way of a 2021 survey, but we’d like to think Orkney would have retained its title! Open and vibrant, it is wonderful place to call home with a lifestyle that’s second to none.

Orkney has a friendly and innovative community offering career opportunities and prospects at the same time as an unparalleled quality of life. We don’t consider Orkney to be remote or isolated – the islands are easy to reach, and we have everything we need right on our doorstep.

There are excellent transport links with mainland Scotland, with daily ferries and flights, and our internal routes offer gateways to the islands every day. With extensive 4G coverage and high-speed broadband across most parts of Orkney, there’s no problem staying connected. It should be pointed out, however, that not all areas of the county, even the Orkney Mainland, have reliable, fast broadband connections.

We have some of the finest health services and facilities in the country. Our new hospital, The Balfour, opened in 2019 and GP practices throughout the islands. Four dental practices are located in Kirkwall and Stromness.

In recent years Orkney has seen several new schools and leisure facilities built. We have a local University of the Highlands and Islands campus offering an excellent array of courses and qualifications, and the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus – a hub for the pioneering research and innovation work carried out in Orkney.