|[Sunset over Kirkwall Harbour]|
Kirkwall is the capital of Orkney and a hub for its transport, shops and services. Inter-island ferries to Westray, Stronsay, Eday, Sanday and Shapinsay, and beyond to Aberdeen and Lerwick, depart from various piers in and nearby the town. The centre itself is a maze of interesting narrow streets: the sort where you keep finding new corners even after a few visits. The best places to eat are grouped together on the harbour front - Helgi's has generally been the best of a good bunch for us. Much of the west side of the town has been reclaimed from the Peedie Sea, a natural body of water now much reduced in size. Consequently, the oldest (and most interesting) part of the town is further east, with a cluster of historic buildings around Palace Road. The town's distillery is found further up the hill on the edge of town; this and all the other main attractions are listed below.
|[Albert Street (July 2016)]|
Name: Kirkwall ★★★☆☆
Anything else? This and some other car parks levy a small charge, but there's plenty of free parking elsewhere.
Within walking distance
Name: Bishop and Earl's Palaces ★★★☆☆
Description: Two separate ruined palaces either side of Watergate dating to the 12th and 15th centuries respectively, with elaborate architecture and dozens of rooms.
Location: Palace Road, Kirkwall, G.R.: HY 449107 / timeless acid impressed
Open (2017): Daily, April to September
Cost (2017): £4.50 (adults), £2.70 (children), free for Historic Environment Scotland members
>> see separate post for Grain Earth House ★★☆☆☆
>> see separate post for Highland Park Distillery ★★★★☆
Name: Orkney Museum ★★★☆☆
Description: Excellent museum of Tardis-like proportions, and a wide variety of displays.
Location: Broad Street, Kirkwall, G.R.: HY 448108 / stands arrival texts
Open (2017): Monday to Saturday
Name: Peedie Sea ★★☆☆☆
Description: Remains of a once large, marshy lake, which much of western Kirkwall was reclaimed from. Inhabited by ducks and model yachts.
Location: South of Ayre Road on the west side of Kirkwall, G.R.: HY 445111 / muted streamers slimy
>> see separate post for St Magnus Cathedral ★★★★☆
|[St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall]|
>> see separate post for Scapa Distillery ★★★★☆ (2 miles away)
>> see Wideford Hill post for Wideford Hill ★★★☆☆; Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn ★★★☆☆ (2 miles away)
|[Kirkwall Harbour (July 2016)]|