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Review: Orkney


Scotland, United Kingdom

Orkney Craft Trail

  • By SilverTraveller granh

    60 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Jul 2013
  • Family including children under 16

36 people found this review helpful

A lot is written about the delights of Orkney, the Archaeology, wildlife and the wild beauty of the islands is well reviewed.

I went there in July 2013 and concentrated on the craft trail. A brochure is published by the Orkney Crafts Association and is a window into Orkney Craft Workshops and artists galleries. Jewellery, wool crafts, pottery, painting, prints and furniture are all featured, with a map to show where they are with opening times. Not all of them were easy to find and not all open when they said they would be. If travelling especially to find one, it might be worth making a phone call first.

I would like to recommend a visit to a cluster of places on South Ronaldsay, (linked to the mainland by several causeways). The Hoxa Tapestry Gallery is the workshop and display gallery for Leila Thomson, a Scottish tapestry artist. You can see Leila working and view her work – “large, unique, hand woven tapestries inspired by the rhythm of life and landscape of Orkney. Each one is woven on a large, upright loom, taking between two and four months to complete”. Needless to say, the work is expensive, but she does a range of cards and prints of the tapestries, some framed, which are very reasonable. Further along the road (at the end) is an excellent café, the Hoxa Tearooms with excellent food and good view through the windows. In the picturesque village of St Margaret’s Hope nearby is the Workshop and Loft Gallery. It was established for the benefit of local craftspeople and specialises in high quality knitwear and local crafts. I was particularly pleased to find prints and etchings by Louise Scott. I had bought work from her on a previous visit, when she had a workshop, and couldn’t find her on this visit, until we found the co-operative outlet.

A more accessible artist was Jane Glue who has a studio at Finstown, on the main road. Her charming paintings are featured on cards, coasters, and prints as well as original pictures.

Even more accessible is the work of her sister Judith Glue who sells a good range of her prints from her shop and ‘Real Food Café’ in Kirkwall. ( Also recommended for coffee and cakes for lunch.)

We didn’t visit all of the places mentioned on the Craft trail, because it was a family holiday and we had to do archaeology for my daughter and son in law and beaches for my grandchildren, but it’s well worth visiting as many as you can if you are interested in arts and crafts.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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