Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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British Isles/Western Europe
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14,350 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We are going to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands on our British Isles cruise. Can anyone give me an idea of what to do there and does anyone know of a good tour?

Southern New Jersey
1,094 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
If you're lucky, you will be able to book a private tour with Caz Mamwell of Orkney Archeology Tours and if you do, you will find as we did that Kirkwall will be the port that most stands out in the memory of your round-Britain cruise. There are rich pre-historic relics, including several Stonehenge-like stone circles, a barrow tomb with Viking graffiti, a quonset hut masquerading as an Italian Cathedral, a country house to visit.... an amazing number of sights for such a small set of islands.
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Conway, AR USA
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Joined Jan 2001
Originally posted by margord
We are going to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands on our British Isles cruise. Can anyone give me an idea of what to do there and does anyone know of a good tour?

We didn't have anything planned at this port, and went to the visitor's bureau to ask for suggestions and the lady said that they provided busses that would take people around the island and she would recommend it. When we boarded the bus the driver said "I am not a tour guide, but will try to point out interesting things about our island." Boy was he wrong! He was excellent. He didn't have a microphone, but would pull over and give us the history of where we were and point out things of interest. He took us to all of the interesting places and gave us plenty of time to visit them, take photos, etc. I am sure all of the drivers did the same and if you just want to wing it - try the local tour bus that leaves from the visitor's bureau.
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B. Cole
1,242 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
In 2012 we used Explore Orkney We took the "Megaliths & Mysteries" tour and it was super!! This is a family run company. In 2012 they did not require payment up front or a down payment. You do not have to "organize" a group but if you are traveling with others (we were with another couple) if you let them know they will assign you to the same van. On our tour lunch was included and it was simple but excellent. The weather was cold, windy but clear and the hot soup, sandwiches and tea/coffee were just perfect. Communication with them before the tour was great and they even helped us pick which tour based on what we wanted to see. Can't go wrong with them!!!

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GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,927 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I found the Italian chapel painted by the the POW's very interesting & how the locals still keep it in good repair

I would look for an island tour that stops there
Fife, Scotland
2,978 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
You might want to look around the Visit Scotland site for ideas on what you would most like to see or do
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