Things to do in Kirkwall

Top Things to Do in Kirkwall, Mainland - Kirkwall Must-See Attractions

Things to Do in Kirkwall


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Top Attractions in Kirkwall

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What travellers are saying

  • Tom Price
    89 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ross Flett was an excellent guide for the tour of the upper levels of the Cathedral. It was amazing to learn the levels of history within the building and how it preserves examples of all the stages of Orkney’s history. Ross answered all of our questions and took us on an unforgettable climb to the one of the best views in Orkney. We also had the lucky chance to view an example of a ‘Blackening’ local tradition in action from the top of the tower. You’ll have to see that yourself to believe it… Ross even took the time after the tour to point out more interesting spots beyond the transept. Book ahead and don’t be like us and run a little late.
    Written 7 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Margaret N
    Orkney Islands, United Kingdom2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I had a really good tour with Jen, very enthusiastic and knowledgable about all the gins and how they are made. The tasting room was beautiful with amazing views!
    Written 19 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Alan F
    Buckton, UK6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Our second tour, in successive winters, to Highland Park, and it was a delight. We were fortunate enough to be guided by Rupert, whose knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, whisky and its distilling made the trip extremely worthwhile, and excellent value for money.
    Written 17 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Johnlobster
    Morpeth, UK2,690 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Went here on our scotland tour. Absolutely fantastic to see and would definitely recommend visiting here when in Orkney.
    Written 6 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Struan101
    Dollar, UK56 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating museum of Orkney life from 5,000 years ago to the current day. Twelve separate rooms each covering a time period. Enjoyed ever room but my favourite was on the Viking Earls. Great nicknames that I wanted to adopt. I wanted Skullsplitter but my wife suggested "the Stout" - more accurate, if a bit mean!
    Written 19 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • YHZGlobetrotter
    Waverley, Canada816 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We didn’t bother buying a ticket (some areas are now closed to the public) but just browsed around the ruins on our own as it was late in the day. They are extremely well maintained and the signage gives a good explanation of what you’re seeing. Dating back to the 1200’s, the Gothic-style palace was apparently built by forced labour. Not a nice guy that Lord Orkney. It eventually fell into ruin but was thankfully rescued by Historic Scotland.
    Written 16 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Liz W
    Livingston, UK32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Whilst staying in Mey, Caithness we took a day trip to Orkney. We left from Gils Bay, (5min drive from where we were based, to St Margarets Hope, Orkney. The ferry is a short 60min journey We then took a bus ride into Kirkwall. We had lunch in Judith Glue which we all enjoyed. Then we began to explore the many traditional shops etc. We were mezmerized with a catherdal called St Magnus. This building was magnificent & stunningly beautiful. For the upkeep & maintenance of the building they kindly ask for donations which can be made at the exit point by card reader.
    Before heading home we had to purchase various orkney cheeses. A must for all cheese lovers
    Orkney is stunningly beautiful. We will be back but next time we intend to stay on the island.
    Written 24 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Steve M
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visiting with friends for an ECW ‘off-grid’ Whisky & Archaeology tour of the Orkney mainland (lots of whisky & archaeology, but minimal mobile phones) on 21-24th March 2004, including an unexpectedly good private tour of Scapa Distillery with an exclusive tasting. The tour, the beautiful coastal location and especially the fantastic views from the ‘hobbit’ tasting room over Scapa beach and out into Scapa Flow where my father was posted at the beginning of the second world war, were transformational, as was the whisky tasting: 14YO ‘living’ Bourbon Cask, 25YO (WB139288), astounding 28YO (WB212640) – we bought the bottle, 30YO (WB233950), 19YO PX finish (WB232740) and 12YO oloroso matured (WB171656).

    Highly recommended as a fun informative insight to a relatively small traditional distillery - the recent investment by the owners in both the process and the visitor experience has brought the distillery back to life and being just two miles outside Kirkwall in a beautiful coastal location makes it unmissable.
    Written 12 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sarah D
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We visited this friendly distillery on a visit to Orkney this summer and were given an overview of this family business by the very knowledgeable chap serving us with coffee. We then got to taste some of the gins but I was unable to take any back with me as I had no room in my suitcase. However, they do mail order! I have just taken delivery of a bottle of their Sea Glass gin and look forward to drinking it over Christmas. If you get a chance to visit, do, but if not, try their excellent, speedy mail order service.
    Written 12 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sandy G
    30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Why this isn't No1 attraction in Kirkwall is beyond me! Tiny, beautifully laid out and presented. Knowledgeable and friendly volunteer staff.
    Well worth whatever you feel like donating.
    Written 15 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TWal1
    Canberra, Australia2,938 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    These two palaces are next to each other and across the road from St Magnus’s Cathedral. All three can be visited in a couple of hours. While not as extensive as the Earl’s Palace the Bishop Palace’s ruins are worth viewing. The storyboards explain the history of the Palace and the life and times of when it was in operation. Worth a look.
    Written 6 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jackie C
    22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you like ancient cairns this is a must. Very small and you have to crawl inside but worth the walk up the hill to see it
    Written 27 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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