A DIGITAL tour has been launched which allows people to explore virtually 35 sites across Orkney, including those that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney Unesco World Heritage site.

The guide, from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), is designed to help place a spotlight on the islands’ rich heritage and the people, places and stories that have helped shape it.

It features 90 different stories that tell the tales of the locations, from the finding of the Orkney Venus Neolithic figurine to the infamous killing of St Magnus.

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Thanks to new progressive web app (PWA) technology, the guide can be downloaded and then used on devices without mobile signal or data – meaning those exploring the islands in person will be able to enjoy the audio and video tours even in the most remote locations.

The sites included span 10 islands and include Neolithic houses, standing stones and chambered burial cairns, as well as churches, military installations and a 19th-century mill.

The tour includes drone footage for popular attractions such as the Neolithic settlement Skara Brae and Maeshowe chambered cairn.

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With the help of 3D digital models, the public will be able to journey inside some of the less accessible sites across the islands, such as the Holm of Papa Westray chambered cairn and Taversoe Tuick chambered cairn.

The two main narrators of the guide are Orcadians Dave Gray and Helen Foulis, who both have extensive broadcasting experience at BBC Orkney.

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However, it also features a range of guest presenters, including guided tours narrated by site staff and interviews with leading historians and archaeologists, a stonemason and a broch builder.

The guide also includes several literary extracts – such as the description of the killing of St Magnus – taken from George Mackay Brown, Sir Walter Scott and Norse saga writers, among others.

HES interpretation manager Andrew Burnet said: “We are delighted to be able to share this new Orkney audio guide app which will enable the public to explore a host of famous sites across Orkney.

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“With cutting-edge PWA technology, not only does the app combine audio narration with high-quality drone and 3D scan videos – once loaded, it also enables users to enjoy the guide without being reliant on mobile service.”

Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “As an Orcadian, I couldn’t be more thrilled that people will be able to enjoy such a comprehensive digital tour of the spectacular heritage sites on the islands.”

The digital tour is currently available as a purchase option when buying an online ticket to one of HES’s staffed properties in Orkney.