My Orkney life is very busy! Time has once more flown by! February being the shortest month of the year and all, i’m trying not to feel too bad about being so late in posting this. 

Exploring St Magnus Cathedral

St Magnus Cathedral is the most northerly in Scotland. The stunning red sandstone walls stand out on in the Kirkwall skyline. This February on Orkney I had the pleasure of exploring the 882 year old building’s secrets.


The top levels of the Cathedral is only accessible through a paid tour. The passages are narrow and winding – truly a labyrinth! I was guided by a local expert who regaled the group with tales of the Cathedral’s long and colorful history.

Fidra in the passage of the St Magnus Cathedral. The tunnel is narrow and she is nearly hitting her head on the ceiling.

My favourite part was the stunning view from the bell-tower. All of Kirkwall was laid out before me and beyond the town the northern isles could be glimpsed on the horizon. I couldn’t appreciate it for long as the snow started!

view of Kirkwall town and harbour from st magnus cathedral.

Scotgrad Training

This month was incredibly full. I took a trip away from Orkney to the adorable seaside town of Cromarty. This wasn’t a holiday, I travelled the 254 miles for my compulsory Scotgrad Training. Four days of intense skills development and networking followed.


My role here at OHT is through a Scotgrad placement with OCTO. I applied to this job after graduating in Sustainable Development from the University of Edinburgh. 


Cromarty lighthouse on a sunny day.

I really enjoyed my time in Cromarty. It was really great to meet my fellow Scotgrad peers and hear all about their fascinating work placements.

Group photo of the 13 Scotgrad trainees from across Scotland to Cromarty in febuary.

After my return to Orkney I was able to use the tips and tools from the training to enhance my work. For example, I facilitated the creation of a LEAN canvas with the OCTO team. This was really useful to share ideas and get the whole business model on one page.

lean canvas on large brown paper with postit notes in different categories across the page

OCTO LEAN canvas outcome


Art exhibition

One of my favourite places on Orkney is the Pier Arts Centre. The stylish building beautifully melds the original stone with modern glass and metal. Inside is a treasure trove of local art. This month’s exhibition DELINEATIONS – Orkney’s Art Graduates 2017 & 2018 was a fascinating look into a range of disciplines. I especially enjoyed the “peedie pier”, artworks by local school children. Some real talent on display!

Artwork of Orkney buildings by local children in Pier Arts Centre Stromness.

Kayak club

This month I also gave the Kayak club a try. The club is very active in the summer. Since it is freezing and dark this time of year the sessions take place in the local pool. Day one, I  learned how to escape a capsize. Safe to say it was plain paddling from there!

This February in Orkney was a very busy time. This helped me get through one of the coldest months of the year!


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