Orkney Area Attractions

The central situation of Kirkwall makes it an ideal touring centre with easy access to all parts of Mainland. In the summer season bus tours take in all the major sites. Bicycle hire is also popular for those with more time.  The founder, Earl Rognvald, started to build his new cathedral in 1137 with the intention of dedicating it to his murdered kinsman, Earl Magnus. Building operations supervised by the earl's father Kol were terminated rapidly in 1152. Two years later Orkney became part of...

Kirkwall Hospitality Accommodation

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.

  • 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.

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