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Things to do in Kirkwall



Bishop's And Earl's Palaces

Located near the spectacular St Magnus Cathedral, these palaces are regarded as two of the finest examples in Scotland.
KW15 1PD


Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle And Henge FREE

The truly circular layout of the ring is an unusual attribute that singles it out as one of the largest and finest stone circles.
5m North East of Stromness
KW16 3JZ


Stones Of Stenness Circle And Henge FREE

The Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar are two of Britain’s best-preserved prehistoric monuments.
About 5m North East of Stromness on the B9055
KW16 3JZ


Pierowall Church FREE

The ruins of a medieval church with some finely lettered tombstones.
On the island of Westray in the village of Pierowall
KW17 2DH


Brough Of Birsay

The remains of a busy complex of Pictish, Norse and later settlement around scenic Birsay Bay.
Birsay Bay
KW17 2NH


Skara Brae Prehistoric Village

The neolithic settlement of Skara Brae lies near the dramatic white beach of the Bay of Skaill.
KW16 3LR


Earl's Palace FREE

The gaunt remains of the residence of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, was constructed in the late 16th-century round a courtyard.
In Birsay on the A966.
KW17 2LX


Earl's Bu And Church FREE

The Earl’s Bu is the name for the foundations of ancient buildings, which may be an Earl’s residence of the Viking period.
8m West of Kirkwall on the A964 to Houton and Orphir
KW17 2RD


St Magnus Church FREE

The complete but roofless ruin of a 12th-century church with a round tower, dramatically sited.
On the island of Egilsay 0.5m from pier
KW17 2QD


Cubbie Row's Castle And St Mary's Chapel FREE

The castle is probably one of the earliest stone castles to survive in Scotland, built in about 1145 by the Norseman Kolbein Hruga.
On the island of Wyre 0.5m from pier
KW17 2QA


Links Of Noltland FREE

Sand dunes seal and protect these significant prehistoric remains in a fragile environment requiring careful management.
On the Island of Westray
KW17 2DJ


Eynhallow Church FREE

Ruined 12th-century monastic church and post-medieval domestic buildings.
On the island of Eynhallow
KW17 2NJ


Knap Of Howar FREE

Probably the oldest standing stone houses in north-west Europe, dating from the early Neolithic period.
On the island of Papa Westray
KW17 2BU


Hackness Martello Tower And Battery

Part of the extensive military remains on the island of Hoy. The battery and martello tower were built between 1813 and 1815.
island of Hoy
KW16 3PQ


Blackhammer Chambered Cairn FREE

Neolithic burial cairn, similar in general shape and subdivisions to the contemporary Neolithic houses at Knap of Howar.
On B9064 on Island of Rousay
KW17 2PT


Blackhammer Chambered Cairn FREE

Neolithic burial cairn, similar in general shape and subdivisions to the contemporary Neolithic houses at Knap of Howar.
On B9064 on Island of Rousay
KW17 2PT


Maeshowe Chambered Cairn

Maeshowe is the finest chambered tomb in north-west Europe and more than 5000 years old.
between Stromness and Finstown
KW16 3HH


Knowe Of Yarso Chambered Cairn FREE

An oval cairn with concentric walls enclosing a Neolithic chambered tomb divided into three compartments.
On the island of Rousay on the B9064
KW17 2PT


Tormiston Mill FREE

An excellent late example of a Scottish watermill. It was probably built in the 1880s.
About 9m West of Kirkwall on the A965.
KW16 3HQ


Midhowe Broch FREE

A well-preserved broch, with remains of later buildings round it. Impressive evidence for the internal appearance of houses.
On the island of Rousay on the B9064, 5m from pier
KW17 2PT


Grain Earth House FREE

A well-built Iron Age earth house of underground chamber supported on stone pillars.
about 1m northwest of Kirkwall
at the junction of Scotts Road and Swordfish Road
in Hatston Industrial Estate off the A965.
KW15 1GT


Westside Church, Tuquoy FREE

A small and elegant 12th-century nave-and-chancel church, later the parish church, now roofless.
On the island of Westray 3m South of Pierowall village.
KW17 2DR


Broch Of Gurness (Aikerness Broch)

A noted icon of Orkney’s rich archaeological heritage, the broch is one of the most outstanding surviving examples.
Eynhallow Sound
KW17 2NH


Taversöe Tuick Chambered Cairn FREE

A Neolithic chambered cairn with unusual arrangement of two burial chambers, one above the other.
On the island of Rousay 0.5m West of pier.
KW17 2PU


Unstan Chambered Cairn FREE

A mound covering a stone burial chamber divided by slabs into five compartments. Of Neolithic date.
About 3.5m North East of Stromness on the A965.
KW16 3JX


Quoyness Chambered Cairn FREE

A megalithic tomb with triple retaining walls, containing a passage and main chamber, with six subsidiary cells.
On the island of Sanday on the southern point of Els Ness
KW17 2BJ


Holm Of Papa Westray Chambered Cairn FREE

A massive tomb with a long, narrow chamber divided into three, with 14 beehive cells opening into the walls.
On the island of Holm of Papa Westray
KW17 2BU


Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn FREE

A low mound covering a Neolithic chambered tomb with four cells. Contained the bones of men, dogs and oxen when discovered.
0.5m South of Finstown on B9056 from Kirkwall
KW17 2EJ


Dwarfie Stane FREE

A huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.
Towards the North end of Hoy, 3.5m from Rackwick.
KW16 3NJ


Midhowe Chambered Cairn FREE

A huge and impressive megalithic chambered tomb of Neolithic date in an oval mound, with 25 stalls.
KW17 2PS


Rennibister Earth House FREE

A good example of an Orkney earth house, like that of Grain Earth House.
About 4.5m West of Kirkwall on the A965.
KW15 1TX


Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn FREE

A fine Neolithic chambered cairn with three concentric walls and a burial chamber with three large cells.
About 2m West of Kirkwall on the B9056.
KW15 1TY


Noltland Castle FREE

A fine, ruined Z-plan tower, built between 1560 and 1573 but never completed. Remarkable for its large number of gun loops.
On the island of Westray
KW17 2DW


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Didn't find anything? Why not try further afield?

Shetland Islands (102.8 miles)
Stornoway (134.1 miles)
Map directions
Thurso (33.6 miles)
Dornoch (85.3 miles)
Ullapool (109.4 miles)
John o Groats (24.2 miles)
Elgin (93.3 miles)
Nairn (102.1 miles)
Peterhead (110.5 miles)
Place ID: 1858. Report an inaccuracy