One of the most interesting challenges for Orkney visitors and residents is the search for spiritual accompaniment. In this part of the world, where the social isolation of a lifestyle based on the British colonial architecture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries blends with the welcoming social ambiance and welcoming culture of the West End of the Scottish capital, Orkney offers a spiritual focus that is missing from many parts of Scotland. It is also lacking the hustle and bustle of the major southern cities, which are almost completely urbanised. This has led to a perception of Orkney as being somewhat remote and secluded. In some respects, this perception is also true of life on the rest of the island, in that there is a marked absence of modern development on the main settlements and villages of Orkney, apart from a few boutique shops and a handful of art studios and craft workshops.
Instead, Orkney offers a unique combination of traditional village life and twentieth-century building techniques, which have resulted in an interesting mix of old and new in the Orkney Islands. This mixture has led to an impressive selection of lodgings, which reflect both the spirit of the place and the type of work that people can do there. Many of the Orkney accommodations are self-catering options, offering the seclusion that comes from being able to cook your own meals and to manage your own finances. Others are more traditional, with holiday houses, cottages, farmhouses and beautiful apartments that are perfect for families and couples alike.
The advantage of staying in an Orkney apartment is that you have access to a professional team who will lead you through each step of your journey, whether you are travelling alone or as part of a small group. Orkney’s resident teams are made up of an experienced yoga teacher, a deeply religious practitioner, a dynamic event organiser, a stylish salon, and an experienced masseur; they will guide you through your process of arriving at your chosen Orkney apartment, whether it be via a self-catering retreat or an individually guided retreat. You will not only learn about the spirit of Orkney itself but about the way in which the residents live, work and connect with one another as well.
At Orkney’s most popular holiday spots, such as its famous Shetland pony trek, visitors will not only be treated to spectacular views of Orkney’s stunning coastal area, but they will also have the opportunity to do some much needed walking and enjoy the landscape. During this process of personally discovering Orkney’s natural attractions, you will be given the chance to meet other like-minded people who share your interests. Alternatively, you may want to bring along a friend or partner during your visit. Both of you will benefit from a personalised spiritual director. A spiritual director will make sure that you have a very rewarding and inspiring time in Orkney.
While in Orkney, you can make the most of your free time by engaging in yoga, meditation, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, walking, strolling, and many other forms of exercise and recreation. In addition to this, you will find that there is always something going on at Orkney. Even if you do not take part in any of these activities yourself, you will certainly find them very interesting. Orkney’s beautifully manicured parks are filled with beautiful statues and natural landscapes. A spiritual director will show you the way to activate your inner being with the power of your breath and how to use the energy within all of the various Orkney churches to heal and stimulate your body.
A spiritual tour of Orkney would not be complete without taking a tour of the famous Orkney pubs. Once you have taken in all of the sights and sounds of Orkney, you will need to get back to your comfortable room to relax before heading out again. The perfect conclusion to a wonderful and meaningful vacation in Orkney would be to take a cruise of the famous Solent where you will see the spectacular coastline and islands of England up close. So, for spiritual travel and exploration, living and working on Orkney is an absolute must.