Are you travelling to the Orcadian island of Orkney this year? When cruising into Orkney, the largest port and capital – Kirkwall is home to a population of 10,000 residents; it was granted Royal Burgh status by James III of Scotland in 1486. Did you know it has a Norse history dating back to the 11th century? Today it has a variety of small shops, cafes and historical buildings such as the 12th century St Magnus Cathedral. Here is what you need to know about visiting Orkney.
What To Expect When Cruising Into Orkney
Getting To And Around Orkney
Kirkwall can be easily accessed via cruise ship, the ferry from Aberdeen and with Logan Air flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Sumburgh. The flight from Edinburgh to Kirkwall takes just over an hour. Once in Kirkwall, there are regular public buses around the island. Maybe you would like to travel on to one of the smaller Orkney Islands such as Papa Westray?
The islands are a short flight away with Westray to Papa Westray said to be the shortest flight in the world! The islands have a wealth of history, RSBP sites and beautiful white sand beaches.
What To See And Do
The centre of Kirkwall is all within walking distance so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll to St Magnus Cathedral, Earl’s Palace, The Orkney Museum and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the historical Skara Brae, Italian Chapel, Standing Stones of Stenness and Church Hill Barriers. There is so much to see and do, you might like to extend your stay and take the ferry to visit the Old man of Hoy, an incredible 450-foot sea stack made of red sandstone.
Orkney is also famous for arts and crafts. If you are looking for something special for yourself or a present look out for Sheila Fleet jewellery, the beautiful pieces are created and inspired by nature.
There is a range of accommodation available in the capital from cosy guest houses/bed & breakfasts, 3-star hotels and budget hostels. There is also the opportunity to rent self-catering cottages and homes for longer stays, with limited accommodation available. Please do book in advance to avoid disappointment.
I hope you enjoyed reading and inspired to visit the historical capital of Kirkwall and the surrounding beautiful outer islands. Please leave any comments/questions below. Happy Travels:) x