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The Orkney Isles, Scotland

The Orkney Islands The Orkney Islands, approximately 90 islands and islets, occupy an area of some 375 square miles and have a populace of some 20,000.

The people of the islands, known as Orcadians, have a unique history. The islands were conquered by Harold I of Norway in 876 and pledged to King James III of Scotland as dowry for his marriage to Margaret of Denmark in 1468. The dowry not being paid S cotland annexed the Orkneys in 1472 and they have remained part of Scotland ever since. The dialect of the Orcadians is unlike any of the mainland Scots and bares witness to their Scandinavian roots.

The islands are famous for their wealth of prehistoric sites, from standing stones to chambered cairns and Viking ruins.

The main sources of commerce are fishing, farming and oil. The Orkneys are also developing wind generators as a complimentary source of power.

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