The 70 islands of Orkney are low lying, a pleasing, gently rolling panorama of fertile fields, heather cloaked moors, and lakes. The red sandstone walls of the imposing St. Magnus Cathedral dominate Kirkwall, the main town, capital, and hub for roads linking east and west. In summer whales and dolphins sport in coastal waters, and tens of thousands of breeding seabirds congregate on sharp seaside cliffs. The early arrival of mankind on this scene can be investigated at Skara Brae, an amazingly well preserved Neolithic village that was inhabited and already abandoned more than 5,000 years ago.
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