An amazing part of Scotland, the Orkneys consist of 70 islands, with less than half of them currently populated. The climate is mild, and the soil fertile, so the main economy is agriculture followed by natural resources, such as wind farming. There's a huge amount of wildlife, and a diverse and interesting history, with traditions passed down between family members.
Many of the islands offer idyllic coastlines, rolling hills and chocolate box villages. Most of the islands are connected by ferry, and can become isolated by winter storms. The extreme northern location of the islands means the Northern Lights are sometimes visible, and during the summer hours of darkness are remarkably short.
House prices are high, and still rising. Rentals are very rare, and there are few properties coming onto the market each season. A lack of new builds means almost all the homes are older cottage style properties, and require upkeep, particularly during the winter months.
However the islands offer a unique way of living, and a chance to become part of a rural way of living, quite different to most of the United Kingdom.