Welcome to Kirkwall, the captivating capital of the Orkney Islands! Steeped in history and surrounded by stunning landscapes, Kirkwall is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience. Here’s your essential guide to Kirkwall and how to get there from Scotland and Southern England.
To reach Kirkwall from Scotland:
a) By Air: Multiple airlines offer regular flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen to Kirkwall Airport, located on the outskirts of the town. The flight duration is approximately one hour, making it a convenient option for travelers. From the airport, you can easily reach the town center by taxi or public transportation.
b) By Ferry: NorthLink Ferries operates services from Scrabster (Caithness) to Stromness, a picturesque town on the west coast of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island. From Stromness, it’s a short bus or taxi ride to Kirkwall. There are also ferry services from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, offering overnight crossings with comfortable amenities onboard.
To reach Kirkwall from Southern England:
a) By Air: From major airports like London Heathrow and London Gatwick, you can catch a flight to Kirkwall Airport with layovers in Scottish cities such as Edinburgh or Glasgow. The total travel time will vary depending on the duration of the layover.
b) By Ferry: Combining train and ferry travel is a great option. Take a train from Southern England to Aberdeen, enjoying scenic views along the way. From Aberdeen, board a ferry to Kirkwall, operated by NorthLink Ferries. The journey provides a pleasant overnight experience with comfortable facilities onboard.
Once in Kirkwall, immerse yourself in its historic charm and natural wonders. Visit the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral, explore the medieval ruins of the Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces, and delve into Orkney’s rich heritage at the Orkney Museum. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the ancient wonders of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, and the Maeshowe chambered tomb.
Beyond Kirkwall, explore the island’s stunning landscapes. Admire rugged coastal cliffs, stroll along sandy beaches, and marvel at the tranquil beauty of Orkney’s lochs. Indulge in the local flavors of fresh seafood, Orcadian cheese, and traditional delicacies.
To make the most of your visit, plan your itinerary around the fascinating events and festivals that take place in Kirkwall throughout the year, such as the St. Magnus International Festival and the Orkney Folk Festival.
Kirkwall, Orkney’s vibrant capital, awaits with its unique blend of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Experience the wonders of this enchanting destination and create unforgettable memories of your time in Kirkwall.