Kirkwall

Orkney's main town is the islands' commercial centre and there's a comparatively busy feel to its main shopping street and ferry dock. It’s set back from a wide bay, and its vigour, combined with the atmospheric paved streets and twisting wynds (lanes), give 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.

Explore Kirkwall

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kirkwall.