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“A not to be missed experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Peatfire Tales

Peatfire Tales
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Sandwick
Type: Sightseeing Tours, Tours, Other
Attraction details
Hexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A not to be missed experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

One of the highlights of our visit to Orkney, so pleased that we spotted an ad for this in the brochure left in our holiday accommodation. OK, so the room that Lynn and John have built onto their house is not an old Orkney croft, but there was a smoky fire and Lynn created an atmosphere that really did make you feel that you were back in the days of stories around the old peat fire. I was amazed when I read the review from fluteandvoice that described the evening as "not terribly friendly." On arrival, Lynn was preparing for the evening but she showed us through into the main part of the house where we were welcomed by John and given the opportunity to browse a collection of books about Orkney and Orkney's history. John also spent some time explaining the history of the amazing flagstone floor. I was also taken aback by the review that says that Lynn can't keep the audience's interest for two hours. The time went so quickly, I could have stayed there for twice as long and heard a few more tales, my partner said the same. In fact, had we not discovered this just a couple of days before the end of our visit, we would probably have gone along to the evening in Stromness or on John's tour.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Annie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A unique spellbinding evening of Storytelling - dont miss!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

I am so pleased my wife booked the Storytelling session in the upstairs Still Room of the Stromness Hotel, with complimentary drink, a comfortable intimate setting (although I'm sure sitting round a peaty fire would add a different atmosphere, as would the fiddler).
Anyway, Lynn's delivery and energy was outstanding, and spellbound, we were transported back beyond the birth of radio, being informed and entertained in the old northern way. Lets call it a performance, she has this nicely refined. Relax, let your imagination fly, and enjoy a unique Orkney in a great setting. Very professional.

Visited June 2014
Thank AlastairBorwick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Peatfire Tales & Walking Tours with Lynn & John are not to be missed.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

We visited Orkney twice this year and were so pleased we booked Peatfire Tales at Stromness Hotel in July. It was a magical night, with Lynn weaving her tales of Selkies and Fin Folk, taking us back in time to the true oral traditions of the Islands. The next day, John took us on a fantastic walk of Stromness, where we discovered loads about many famous Orcadians including John Rae. A great tour delivered with fun and insight. We revisited Orkney in October. This time we booked John's Scapa Flow coastal walk to learn about Orkney's war history. John was fantastic,taking us through the history, showing us the old gun emplacements and telling us about how tough it would have been for those posted here during the war. John's passion for the Islands is infectious with loads of hints and tips on where to go to see wildlife, archeology and history. A massive thanks to both Lynn and John for inspiring us with your stories and tours - we will be back! Siobhan & Gavin from Edinburgh

Visited October 2013
Thank SiobhanEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A nice change for an Orkney evening, but not terribly friendly”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2013 via mobile

I went to one story telling evening last year. The lack of photos on this site is because the couple frown upon anyone wanting to take a photo, even before or after the story telling starts....
Quite a frosty and unfriendly reception and (bizarrely by contrast) they make you engage in folk dancing at the end of the evening.
Fairly evident that the hosts quite fancy themselves as big story-telling hot shots, and they remind you of their CVs before the evening starts. But, to be fair, it added a new dimension to Orkney evening entertainment. I would therefore (on the whole) recommend it.
I should add that I had no intention of returning or going on any Stromness tours because I found the hosts so unwelcoming....

Visited September 2012
8 Thank fluteandvoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of our visit, a great evening”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2013

So pleased that we came across the leaflet advertising this, it was wonderful. The storytelling takes place around a real fire with a bit of peat added to give a flavour of the smoky atmopshere that would have existed in the crofts of old Orkney. Lynne, the storyteller was excellent to the degree that you could almost believe that you were in the presence of an old crone imparting the stories that had been passed down through the generations. I do not understand some of the comments on here that suggest that the evening was too long. Lynne had the ability to hold you spellbound and the evening seemed to come to an end so quickly, personally I could have listened to these tales all night. Sadly, there was no music on this occasion due to some sort industrial action on the ferries preventing the musician getting there but when he does I am sure that a bit of Orkney fiddle music is the icing on the cake. A special privilege was to be able to have a conversation with Frank Sinclair from Hoy, would have loved to have spoken to him at greater length but unfortunately we were unable to book a space on the Hoy ferry. I for one left this event with a wistful longing for the days before canned entertainment when the traditions and folklore were kep alive and formed part of the fabric of the lives of everyday folk, we have lost so much. If you are visiting Orkney, this is definitely a not to be missed event.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Hettie66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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