Moving to Orkney ebook ~ Life on a Scottish Island


Moving to Orkney ebook ~ Life on a Scottish Island

Sold by: Orkneyology

An expat’s guide to moving to the Orkney Islands, with how-to resources and advice.


How to move to the Orkney Islands

It’s all well and good to look at pretty pictures of Orkney on the travel websites, but that’s just a beginning. It gets the dream started. If you’re thinking about actually moving to Scotland, particularly to the Orkney Islands, you’ll want guidance from someone who’s been through it and lived to tell the tale. That’s where I can help.

I’m an American expat living in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. My husband Tom Muir is an Orcadian storyteller, historian and writer. We met by email in the early 2000s when I was researching a novel set in the Rackwick Valley on the island of Hoy. Many years later, I was planning to visit the beautiful place I’d fallen in love with but had never seen when I got back in touch with Tom. The rest is a happy story of falling in love, marrying and my subsequent move to Orkney.

Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple.

It sounds like a fairy tale, and it kind of is. But in real-life fairy tales, you still have to figure out how you’re going to tell your family that you’re moving so very far away, figure out what to do about beloved pets and – if you’re not from the UK – how you’re going to manage the whole visa nightmare. You have to decide how you’re going to move your entire life over the ocean, because everyone who moves to Orkney has to cross at least one ocean. And if you make it that far, there’s a lot more to know about living happily on a Scottish island and becoming knit into a close-knit community.

I created this ebook (please note, it’s digital-only at this time) to give people who are considering a move to Orkney some solid grassroots information, bringing up topics you might want to think about before you decide, to help you with logistical considerations and give you an idea of everyday life in Orkney while offering lots of resources for further help.

What’s inside the Moving to Orkney Guide?

People ask me questions all the time about life in Orkney. As I speak to folk who’ve moved here recently or long ago, I notice that while some wish they’d had the courage to move to Orkney years sooner, some end up wishing they’d never come … and it’s not easy to move back once you’ve shifted your entire life to an island.

Over the years, I’ve answered many questions about moving to Orkney and what life is like in these islands: owning horses in Orkney, whether or not non-Orcadian folk are welcome here and so many more. In this ebook, I’ve used all the questions folk have asked me, as well as my own experience, to bring you as many answers, tips and helpful resources as I can gather, enabling you to carefully weigh your best options before you make this considerable committent.

The Moving to Orkney Guidebook is aimed at helping you to sift through all the issues you’ll want to know about life on a Scottish island, including obscurities like the reason Orcadians don’t consider themselves Scottish! My ebook covers many questions you might have about life in Orkney and leads you to further resources where you can find even more specific answers about living in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Here’s a sample of the insider’s information you’ll get and questions about moving to Orkney that I answer in this ebook:

  • I cover crucial topics you should definitely be aware of. For instance, why are weather and daylight levels such a big deal in Orkney, and what is Orkney like in the winter? (Hint: you’ll be glad you asked.)

  • I share my personal international moving tips for moving to the islands based on my experience moving from America to Orkney and reflect on living as an expat in Orkney.

  • Do I need a visa to move to Orkney, you ask? I have a special chapter addressing this topic.

  • Where to stay in Orkney: Should you live in the Mainland or one of the north or south isles? How does everyday life in Orkney’s outer islands compare to Mainland Orkney?

  • What about Orkney’s natural heritage? Are there nature trails and walks to take in the Orcadian countryside? (Of course there are! I’ll give you a good start in your happy explorations.)

  • The Moving to Orkney Guide also includes a chapter written by my Orcadian husband. Tom gives a brief social history of Orkney, concluding with practical advice about how to be welcomed by your new neighbors. We’ll coach you as to what to do – and equally important, what NOT to do – if you want to fit in beautifully in Orkney.

  • I share experiences, concerns and advice from other “incomers” to Orkney, whether they moved from the UK or farther afield.

  • I’ve gathered quite a comprehensive collection of things to do in Orkney to give a sense of the vibrant communities here. What kinds of clubs, crafting groups, performances, lectures, organizations, sports, community groups, festivals, schools, retirement-age activities and family fun are available in Orkney? I’ll show you what’s available and where to begin.

  • How to find a home in Orkney? I have to be honest, finding housing in Orkney is a challenge, and there doesn’t seem to be any shortcut. But I’ll give you my best insights, tips and resources for finding housing in Orkney.

  • How much does it cost to live in Orkney? Is life in Orkney affordable? Not particularly, if you’re only using numbers to define it, but some things may be worth a little sacrifice. The real question is, is moving to Orkney worth it to you? I’ll help you think it all through before you decide.

  • Are the islands a good place to raise a family?

  • What’s it really like to live in Orkney? Is there a slower pace of life? What about retiring to Orkney? Higher education and job training in Orkney? You guessed it – I’ve collected all the resources together for you, saving you hours of time so you can concentrate on the most important things as you weigh it all in the balance.

To find out a bit more about Orkney and its stories, you can have a look around our website, .


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