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