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Kirkwall, Orkney
The 'Heart of Neolithic Orkney' is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Destinations and maps


You might wonder where is Kirkwall? Located on the enchanting Orkney Islands off Scotland's north coast, between the mainland and Shetland, this vibrant capital is a fascinating ancient Norse town.

Head north for a rural retreat or an autumn adventure in Kirkwall. There are plenty of things to see & do too in Kirkwall, from cathedral and Viking heritage to island hopping, shopping and art, not forgetting friendly accommodation. Make sure you listen out for traditional Scottish words you might hear the locals using.

You can also enjoy some of the most incredible landscapes in the UK with an abundance of wildlife nearby. Why not venture on a longer break and follow along our ultimate island hopping itinerary?

So start planning your Kirkwall holidays now!

Explore Kirkwall

Kirkwall may be the capital of a fairly small island, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of things to do and explore here. The island is ancient and dates back centuries, meaning there are many historic attractions to visit, including iconic standing stones. Did you know that in 2019 Orkney was part of Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel' award?

The town is also a great destination for family adventures. From breathtaking scenery and island ferry routes to venture on, to Orkney's hidden secrets and atmospheric autumn experiences to enjoy, you won't be lost for things to do with the wee ones. If you're looking to get in touch with Orkney's coasts, why not explore some of the island's unbelievable coastal myths & legends? The Highlands and mainland Scotland aren't the only places where you can spot Highland cows - keep an eye out for them the next time you're exploring the island.

Kirkwall Travel Information

How to get to Kirkwall 

Kirkwall is a great starting point and a useful place to stock up on supplies before you continue your Orcadian adventure to the more remote islands. With its harbour and airport, it is the arrival point for ferries from Shetland and Aberdeen, cruise ships, and flights from the UK, as well as a departure point for ferries to the other islands in Orkney.

Travel to Orkney

How to get around Kirkwall 

Kirkwall is relatively small and compact, so it is easy to get to most places in the town on foot. You can even get there faster by bike, with good cycle paths around the town.

You can also hire local taxis to get you from A to B.

Get to Know Kirkwall

Head to the local VisitScotland iCentre in Kirkwall where the friendly staff can help you plan your next adventure and give you the best insider knowledge so you can make the most of your trip.