Top Choice Cathedral in Kirkwall

St Magnus Cathedral

Constructed from local red sandstone, Kirkwall's centrepiece, dating from the early 12th century, is among Scotland's most interesting cathedrals. The powerful atmosphere of an ancient faith pervades the impressive …
Top Choice Distillery in Kirkwall

Highland Park Distillery

South of the centre, this distillery is great to visit. They malt their own barley; you can see it and the peat kiln used to dry it on the excellent, well-informed hour-long tour. The standard 12-year-old is a soft,…
Ruins in Kirkwall

Earl's Palace

The intriguing Earl’s Palace was once known as the finest example of French Renaissance architecture in Scotland. One room features an interesting history of its builder, Earl Patrick Stewart, executed in Edinburgh …
Museum in Kirkwall

Orkney Museum

This labyrinthine display is housed in a former merchant’s house. It has an overview of Orcadian history and prehistory, including Pictish carvings and a display on the Ba’. Most engaging are the last rooms, coverin…
Ruins in Kirkwall

Bishop's Palace

The Bishop’s Palace was built in the mid-12th century for Bishop William the Old. There’s a good cathedral view from the tower.The Bishop's Palace is included in admission to the Earl's Palace.
Distillery in Kirkwall


Two miles south of the centre, on the shores of Scapa Flow, this offers a standard tour, which includes a dram, and an 'experience' tour (£20), which gives you three to taste. It's worth calling ahead to book a spot…
Museum in Kirkwall

Orkney Wireless Museum

This curious little museum is jam-packed with old radios and war memorabilia. It's an impressive collection with a mostly local character.