Every summer we welcome thousands of visitors to our islands. Some have travelled for many miles (and many days) to reach us while others, like the Jarl Squad from Shetland, just pop across the water to say hello. We were delighted to play host to 15 members of the Scalloway Jarl Squad as they enjoyed a distillery tour under the expert guidance of Jim Blackburn, our senior guide, and entertained visitors and staff alike with some traditional songs.
Up Helly Aa
Every year, our Shetland neighbours celebrate Up Helly Aa – a huge Viking festival that has become an increasingly important event in the Shetland calendar since the late 19th century. Each year, between 50 and 70 men are invited to be part of the prestigious Jarl Squad and to uphold the celebrations of the islands’ Viking roots. Read more about the history and intriguing traditions of Up Helly Aa at www.uphellyaa.org.
Celebrating our land
Orkney is, and always has been, a farming community and August is the month in which we celebrate our relationship with the land through agricultural and farming shows from Dounby to Shapinsay. Our Agricultural Show Season runs from 3rd to 11th August so check out www.visitorkney.com for more details if you’re planning a visit. We’ll be at the Orkney County Show on 11th August, showcasing ORKENYINGA LEGACY so do come along to say hello and pick up a bottle!
Our annual Riding of the Marches takes place on 12th August this year with horses and ponies assembling in the streets of Kirkwall before their riders bear the standard around the old town boundaries. The Riding concludes at Scapa beach with a celebratory dip in the water for horses and riders alike – a spectacular sight! Still on an equine theme, the Festival of the Horse and Ploughing takes place on 18th August at the beach at Sands O’Wight. Again, check out www.visitorkney.com for more information and don’t forget to book your distillery tour – we’d love to see you!