Hello and welcome to the September newsletter from Visitorkney.com.

Every month we bring you a snapshot of life here in Orkney, hopefully to inspire you to spend some time in our islands - be it for a short trip or a more permanent stay. This month we'll be looking at some of the local events you can enjoy in Orkney in September.

We'd love to hear from you too - get in touch through Facebook, Twitter or Orkney.com and tell us all about your experiences of the islands.

Orkney Festivals

There is certainly no slow down in Orkney as the summer begins to draw to a close. In fact, September brings four festivals, all focused on a different theme - from music to science and aviation. On top of that, our main tourist sites also being to quieten down, providing the ideal opportunity to enjoy Orkney in all its silent splendour.

Silence isn't something you would associate with the first festival of September though! Orkney Live Wire's 'Orkney Rock Festival' sees local and visiting bands play packed out pubs and venues in Kirkwall across the first weekend of the month. It's the second annual event after the raucous success of 2014 - join in with the head-banging best of them and find out more on the Orkney Live Wire Facebook page.

You can expect a more sedate pace at the annual Orkney International Science Festival which, this year, includes features based around the International Year of Light. Highlights include a talk with Nobel prize-winner Professor Peter Higgs and events to mark the centenary of the birth of great Orkney scholar, Ernest Marwick. There are also plenty of activities for the family and food, drink and music events during the week-long Festival, which gets underway on the 3rd of September. More details are available on the official Orkney International Science Festival website.

The focus turns to the skies on between the 10th and 13th of September, with the second Orkney Aviation Festival. There will be lectures, film nights and exhibitions as part of the event, along with a very special visit from a Scillonia Airways Dragon Rapide! Seats onboard for memorable flights over Orkney will be available.

The Orkney Blues Festival is celebrating its tenth year of bringing the best in blues music to the islands. The bulk of the event is centred in and around the town of Stromness, with pub gigs, concerts and lots more to enjoy between the 17th and 20th of September. Visit the Orkney Blues Festival website for the latest news.
If you're still after more music, two special performances will be held in Orkney in September. First up, Scottish folk group Rura will be playing the Stromness Town Hall for one night only on the 12th of September. They'll be supported by local lads Gnoss - tickets are £12 and can be bought at JB Roseys in Stromness, at Grooves in Kirkwall or online. www.eventbrite.com

A week later, one of the most popular Irish country singers, Mike Denver, will arrive in Orkney for a concert at the Pickaquoy Centre. Contact the Centre for ticket information.

Away from the music scene, the Pickaquoy Centre continues its line-up of theatrical events, broadcast live via satellite from stages in London's West End. This month you can take in three performances - The Beaux' Stratagem on the 3rd at 7pm, The Rocky Horror Show on the 17th at 7pm and Corialanus on the 24th at 7pm. You can book tickets via the Pickaquoy Centre website.

A very special event later in the month will give both locals and visitors alike the chance to learn all about the ancient ancestors of Papa Westray. 'Life and Death on Neolithic Papay' is a three day event, led by experts, which will look at some of the islands stone-age sites, including the Knap of Howar. There will be talks and film screenings and the chance to discuss the day's events in the Papay Pub. Tickets cost £175 per person, which includes accommodation at the Beltane Hostel, lunches, meals and all transport when in Papay. It's all held between the 17th and 19th of September - for more information contact the Papay Ranger on 01856 252 028 or email papayranger@gmail.com

September will be rounded off by a food lover's dream event! The 2015 Orkney Masterchef competition will be held in the Orkney Theatre on the 30th and will see four local amateurs put their culinary skills to the test in front of a live audience. They'll be using the very best local produce to put their dishes together at the event. There will be plenty of peedie bites on offer from Orkney's food producers too - for more information visit the Orkney Food and Drink website.

That's just some of the special events on in Orkney in September - as always, though, there are plenty of smaller activities and exhibitions to take in across the islands. You can have a look at the Visit Orkney events page for more information, local newspaper The Orcadian is published every Thursday and features an Out and About section and BBC Radio Orkney also broadcasts a daily diary of events, every weekday morning from 0730 on 93.7FM, and on Facebook.