With its roads pounded by the footsteps of tourists on their summer Orcadian pilgrimage, Kirkwall has an energy that ebbs and flows along its busy streets. It’s set back from a wide bay, and its vigour, combined with the atmospheric paved streets and twisting wynds (lanes), gives Orkney’s capital a distinctive character. Magnificent St Magnus Cathedral takes pride of place in the centre of town, and the nearby Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces are also worth a ramble. Founded in the early 11th century, the original part of Kirkwall is one of the best examples of an ancient Norse town.
Kirkwall destination guides
Orkney Islands Day Trip from Inverness
This day trip from Inverness visits some of the main attractions of the Orkney Islands including Skara Brae, The Churchill Barriers, Scapa Flow, The Ring of Brodgar, The Standing Stones of Stenness and The Italian Chapel. You will also have a stop in Kirkwall with the opportunity to see Kirkwall's magnificent 12th century cathedral of St Magnus.
Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats
Explore the Orkney Islands on this day trip from John O'Groats. Take the ferry and island hop across the Churchill Barriers to visit Kirkwall, home to the magnificent Viking cathedral of St Magnus. Step back 3,000 years as you enter the village of Skara Brae and on your way home drop by the Italian Chapel.