National stage for Orkney Craft Trail brochure launch

The latest edition of Orkney’s unique craft trail brochure, which highlights the workshops, studios and shops of local artisans, is set to be launched this week at a major tourism event in Glasgow.

Twenty-one businesses - covering everything from jewellery, ceramics and artwork, to textiles, tapestry and traditional Orkney chair making - are participating in this year’s trail.

The 2017 Orkney Craft Trail brochure, pictured at one of the stops on the trail, Aurora Jewellery
The 2017 Orkney Craft Trail brochure, pictured at one of the stops on the trail, Aurora Jewellery


The trail was set up in 1996 by Orkney Crafts Association (OCA) in a bid to showcase the work of its members and give visitors the opportunity to see crafts being made first hand.

Special roadside signposts mark the trail throughout Orkney, with the accompanying brochure acting as guidebook.

The 2017 brochure is being launched on Wednesday (26 April) at the VisitScotland Expo - Scotland's premier business-to-business travel trade event.

An example of the beautiful handmade products on show at Craft Trail member Michael Sinclair Woodturner
An example of the beautiful handmade products on show at Craft Trail member Michael Sinclair Woodturner


OCA chair, Michael Gardens, said: “The Orkney Crafts Trail remains a hugely popular and engaging experience for visitors to the islands, and local folk too, allowing them to interact with some of our talented crafts producers and learn about their skills, and their inspiration. Anyone following the trail will also gain an appreciation of just how diverse Orkney’s crafts sector is, and they’ll see some of our wonderful landscape along the way too.”

Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “We launched last year’s 20th anniversary crafts trail brochure at the VisitScotland Expo and had a great reaction from the tourism trade delegates there. It generated considerable interest as a marketing tool and clearly captured a lot of imaginations too, so we felt it was a good idea to return this year to launch the latest brochure.

“Our crafts sector is extremely important economically and it also has a lot to offer in terms of Orkney’s overall tourism package. In Orkney, we’re renowned for our warm welcome and the crafts trail is a great example of how a community can generate important business while delivering a memorable, authentic and personable experience to visitors.”

Visit The Woolshed in Evie on the Orkney Craft Trail this year
Visit The Woolshed in Evie on the Orkney Craft Trail this year


The brochure, which is available widely throughout Orkney and downloadable from the OCA website, also contains details of a number of OCA crafts businesses not involved in this year’s trail.