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You will find that the Viking spirit still runs through the town of Kirkwall, which is full of history and is home to the majestic St. Magnus Cathedral. Orkney is an archipelago located to the north of the mainland of Scotland.
This is a cosmopolitan town centre, with a vast selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as a variety of accommodation options for guests coming from the mainland and other parts of the world.
The island provides visitors with a wide variety of places to stay, from contemporary hotels and cosy bed and breakfasts to opulent self-catering villas, guest houses, hostels, and campgrounds; there is bound to be something that is suitable for visitors of all tastes and budgets.
There are school buses that travel to both St. Andrew's Primary School and Kirkwall Grammar School. In addition, there are buses that travel to both Kirkwall and St. Margaret's Hope. All of these services are located near to the First Churchill Barrier.
The village is a popular destination for vacationers because it offers a diverse selection of self-catering cabins, overnight lodges, and bed and breakfasts at prices to accommodate a variety of budgets.
On the Islands, there are many archaeological sites, several tourist hotspots, fishing and sea angling, whisky tours, and a wide range of visitor attractions, as well as several golf courses on offer; all of these are ideally situated to allow guests to explore the Island, and they all offer spectacular views overlooking the Scapa Flow.
Orkney possesses a comprehensive set of social and welfare facilities for such a tiny island, including a primary school, post office, grocery, pharmacy, and hotel, among other establishments.
Local students have access to both primary and secondary levels of education.
This location is where you'll find the Highland Park Distillery.
You may find a primary school, a post office, the local pub, and a builders merchant at Finstown, which is roughly 6 miles away from Kirkwall. Dounby village also contains a primary school, a post office, a supermarket, a pharmacy, and a hotel.
Herston is a community that may be found on the island of South Ronaldsay. This island is connected to the Orkney Mainland by the Churchill Barriers, which pass through Burray, Glimps Holm, and Lamb Holm.
One of the Orkney North Isles, Westray is linked to the rest of Orkney both via a ferry service that operates on a roll-on, roll-off basis as well as by a scheduled air service.
There are several local shops in Westray, including a butcher and fishmonger, a baker, a post office, a swimming pool, a golf course, a hotel, a Bed and Breakfast, restaurants and bars, a chip shop, a campsite, and a café. There is also a Junior High School in Westray, which serves students from the age of two years old all the way up to the age of sixteen.
the town of Stromness, which is ideally located within close proximity to all of the local amenities located in the town of Stromness.
Orkney Islands can be reached from the Scottish mainland through the Stromness to Scrabster ferry route, which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Holiday Stays & Breaks In Kirkwall Guide
- Kirkwall Geolocation Latitude 58.984674 Longitude: -2.962249
- Kirkwall Postcode KW15
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Kirkwall stands on the northern end of the Kirkwall-Scapa isthmus which divides Mainland into eastern and western parts.
The town dominated by its splendid 800 year old cathedral spreads up the hillside from the harbour.
Historically Kirkwall has been the main island centre since it was a Norse trading centre and today it combines its role of capital with that of shopping and business centre. When visiting the island B&B is one of the best solutions for your holiday base with its flexibility travelling from one B&B to another, but Kirkwall also offers Hotels, Guest Houses and Self Catering as well as B&B accommodation.
Notable events include the Christmas and New Years Day Ba' Games when the Uppies play the Downies, symbolizing the ancient rivalry between the bishop's ecclesiastical town and the secular authority represented by the now vanished castle.
Kirkwall capital of Orkney for many centuries and indeed a cathedral city, has become increasingly worthy of that title with the advent of North Sea oil to the island of Flotta, lt was the main seat of the Norsemen throughout their six centuries of occupation up to the mid l5th century and it was the natural choice of site when Earl Rognvald decided to build a great cathedral as a monument to his saintly uncle Magnus, who had been martyred some twenty years earlier.
The Cathedral is of ﬁagstone and red and yellow sandstone and in massive Romanesque style, It measures 234 ft in length and 101 ft across the transepts.
The ravages of Croinwellian troops, common throughout Scotland, have long since been repaired, and there is an interesting series of tombstones marking Kirkwall’s eminent men from the 16th century to the present day, a plaque commemorates the 833 men lost in the Royal Oak in 1939 at Scapa Flow. There is a l9th century rose window at the south end, but the ‘keeled’ shafts of the clustered piers supporting the tower and the mouldings of the tower arches are ofthe 12th century.
St Magnus Cathedral would be impressive in any mainland site, but its setting on the island mainland of Orkney makes it the most outstanding building anywhere in the Scottish islands. It
also has the oddity that, while it is ‘the Parish Church of Kirkwall and St Ola’ and the services are those of the Church of Scotland, it does not belong to any denomination but is the property of the town, and its people through a Royal Charter of James111 in 1486, when he directed the Burgh Council of Kirkwall to be responsible for its maintenance.
In the Cathedral are preserved the remains of St Magnus and his nephew, which were found almost accidentally during repairs between 1919 and 1926.
The excellent state ofthe Cathedral interior was mainly attributable to repairs completed in 1916 with a handsome bequest by George Hunter Thoms, Sheriff of Orkney and Shetland 1870 to 1899, but some years ago it became apparent that all was not well with the fabric, cracking and distortion appeared, and the west Gable was being pushed outwards, it was thought that an earthquake in 1927 was the root of the trouble.
An appeal was immediately launched for £50,000 to cover vital and urgent repairs, and for a further £250,000 to ensure a more extensive preservation.
In 1974 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was able to attend a service of thanksgiving in the Cathedral when the ﬁrst target had been reached and some repairs done. Much activity continues towards the second target, including the revival of the Old Lammas Market now termed St Magnus Fair, on the third Wednesday of August each year.
The old town of Kirkwall clusters round the Cathedral and is notable for its handsome Scandinavian type buildings and streets without pavements, Near the Cathedral are the ruins of the
12th century Bishop’s Palace with its massive tower and the Earl’s Palace, built about 1600 for the hated Earl Patrick Stewart but described as the ‘most mature and accomplished piece of Renaissance architecture in Scotland‘.
Opposite is the interesting museum of Tankerness House, with its ﬁne collection of Orkney relics and beautiful gardens, forming a welcome oasis in this bustling town, now humming with the polyglot tongues of sailor men and oilmen.
staying In Kirkwall
Spending time in Kirkwall, the main town on the Orkney Islands and the capital of Scotland's Orkney Islands, can be an experience that is both one of a kind and delightful. The town of Kirkwall is well-known for its extensive history, picturesque architecture, and beautiful natural scenery. During your visit, here are some things you should keep in mind:
A variety of lodging establishments, including hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts, are available to those in search of a place to lay their heads in Kirkwall. It is highly advised that you make your hotel reservations in advance, especially during peak travel times.
The following are some of the historical sites and other attractions that can be found in and around Kirkwall:
The beautiful St. Magnus Cathedral is one of the most well-known monuments in Kirkwall. It is renowned for the beautiful architecture it has as well as the complex detailing it contains. Fans of history and architecture should not miss the opportunity to go there.
Orkney Museum: The Orkney Museum is the place to go to gain insight into the interesting history and culture of the Orkney Islands through the use of exhibits and artefacts.
These remains provide a peek into the mediaeval history of Kirkwall and the Orkney Islands. They are known as the Bishop's Palace and the Earl's Palace. They are situated in close proximity to the Cathedral of St. Magnus.
Highland Park Distillery: If you have a passion for whisky, you might think about going on a tour of the Highland Park Distillery. On the trip, you will learn about the process of manufacturing whisky and you will also get to taste some of it.
Dishes Prepared Locally You won't want to pass up the chance to savour some traditional Orkney dishes, such as those made using fresh seafood, lamb, and cheeses made in the area. These dishes can be found on the menus of a number of different restaurants and bars in the city of Kirkwall.
Exploring Nature The Orkney Islands are well-known for the natural beauty that can be seen across the region, and Kirkwall is not an exception. Explore the distinctive flora and fauna of the area by going for a stroll along the coast, travelling to one of the neighbouring islands, or participating in one of the many guided tours that are available.
Events Happening in the Neighbourhood During your time in Kirkwall, you may have the opportunity to take part in some of the neighborhood's parades, fairs, and other celebrations. These can be helpful in gaining an understanding of the local customs and culture.
Kirkwall has excellent access to both land and marine transportation thanks to its central location. There are flights to and from the Scottish mainland as well as other adjacent islands that depart and arrive at the Kirkwall Airport. In addition, there are ferries that run between Kirkwall and the other areas of the Orkney Islands.
Due to the city's location so far to the north, the weather in Kirkwall is notoriously difficult to anticipate. It is recommended that you bring clothing with you and be ready for the weather to change at any moment.
During your time here, be sure to keep the local traditions and culture in mind and respect them. It doesn't matter if you're into history, the great outdoors, or just want to get away from it all and relax for a while; Kirkwall has something for you.