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

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In light of COVID-19, everyone's health and safety is the most important thing. This means that despite the love and desire to share our friendly, passionate and unique country, we must ask everyone at this time not to travel to our remote rural communities.

Bringing the virus to these fragile and less accessible places puts unnecessary pressure on essential services and health services for local residents.

Ferry travel to Orkney will only be available for those who permanently live on the islands and who have an essential need to travel to and from the mainland for essential supplies or business.

Upon arrival in Kirkwall, you might well think you've landed somewhere in Scandinavia. Fear not, you're in the right place.

Orkney's bustling capital is an ancient Norse town, standing at the divide between the East and West Mainland. An 11th century marvel, the town was founded by Earl Rognvald Brusason who built his kingdom here. This little town is just one example of the archipelago's fascinating past, with its narrow main streets and mysterious pathways. All of this, of course, lies in the shadow of the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral.

Once upon a time, the town was a serene haven formed around the harbour with only a few dwellings. Kirkwall is now a bustling centre with restaurants, museums, pubs, and shops. Wherever you go, you'll be immersed in spellbinding architecture and it's hard to not get distracted by the sheer wealth of history on display at ancient sites such as the Earl's and Bishop's Palaces.

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.

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