Hello from Orkney

Hello from Orkney

By Corinne Tomlinson

My friend, Isla, lives on Orkney and has kindly agreed to check in with us through this blog and share a bit about life on a Scottish island. She is a wool lover and posts really beautiful photos on Instagram.  We hope you enjoy hearing about her travels in Tam the van, her knitting, and island life.

Hello, my name is Isla and I live in the Orkney Islands. I am delighted and honoured to have been invited to share a little about my life and adventures over the coming months with you all. I thought I would begin by introducing myself.


For those of you that are not familiar with Orkney or where it is, take a quick look at a map of Great Britain and work your way to the most northerly tip of Scotland. Take a short hop across the Pentland Firth and you reach a group of islands. This is Orkney. I moved here three years ago, from England, to the largest of these islands which Orcadians (the term for those who are from Orkney) call Mainland.


Like you I love my woolly crafts. Knitting is my number one love but I also enjoy the simple rhythmic nature of a crochet blanket. It is this project that you can find me working on (and keeping warm under) while out on my adventures in Tam the Van (my peedie camper van - peedie is Orcadian for small).   I’m in Tam at the moment with my laptop and a coffee while writing my first post to you.


The weather here has been pretty grey the last few days with lots of low cloud (the weather is always the main topic of conversation in Orkney). Today has been largely dry so I took the opportunity to go for a walk along the beach before I opened my laptop. Unusually for Orkney there is no wind today so I can clearly hear the call of the Oyster Catchers and Eider ducks. From Tam I can see the third Churchill Barrier and the sandy beach that I walked along earlier. In the shallows there is an old rope laying in the shape of a heart, which I have never noticed before despite coming here frequently. There is something so soothing and relaxing about being by the sea isn’t there?

If you would like to see more of Orkney and what I am up to you can find me on Instagram as islap1k1.

 Until next time, take care



  • Late to your blog party and I love it so far. I am traveling in a Westphalia camper right now so am super curious and interested in yours! Looks so lovely on Orkney though I am sure you’re looking forward to sun and more warmth. Love the sweater!

    Shing Hsieh
  • Thank you so much for sharing 💐 even though I am a novice knitter I love knitting ~

    Emma Lambert
  • Hello from Missouri, Isla! I am excited to learn more about Orkney because, as odd as it may seem, it’s on my list of places I’d like to visit. I envy you the walk along the seaside, landlocked as I am, and the rope in the shallows sounds like such a fun surprise!

  • Your blog reminded me how much I love Orkney. The big beautiful skies, ever changing weather and standing stones.

  • So excited to hear about Orkney, as I have come to find out that some of my ancestors came from there. I would love to know about the knitting culture in Orkney and about traditional knitted garments, patterns or motifs. Are there many differences from their Shetland neighbors to the North?

    Michele Pagryzinski
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