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Kirkwall is the capital city and royal burgh of Orkney, founded by Viking traders about 1050 AD, it is the most northerly city in the British Isles.
This tour takes approximately 3-4 hours and the charge is £20 per person (minimum charge £60, for parties of more than 3 the per person fee will be reduced).
There is a charge for entry to the Earl's and Bishop's Palaces (up to £5 per person)* which is not included in our tour price, these sites can be ommitted if you choose, or just viewed from the outside. All other sites listed in this tour are free of charge to enter.
A walking tour enables us to see all the nooks and crannies of this wonderful old town at a leisurely pace. You will need to be able to walk for about 1 mile / 1.5 kms. Dress according to the weather and your comfort. Walking boots are preferably as some of the terrain is uneven. There are public toilets on this tour; bring your own snacks and drinks ... or try a delicious Orkney ice-cream on your way through town!
Learn about the earliest Viking settlement of Kirkjuvagr "the chuch by the bay", see where the original Norse harbour extended to and how much of the modern town is built on land reclaimed from the sea
See the sites of the earliest church and the Norse Ting (parliament)
Hear stories of the navy's press gang and see where they operated
Tour St Magnus Cathedral - the most northerly cathedral in the British Isles and very much the jewel in Orkney's crown - hear the story of the martyrdom of Orkney's patron saint and see the dungeon where medieval witches were held
See the site of Henry Sinclair's castle and learn about the Stewart rebellion which led to its destruction
Tour the Bishop's and Earl's Palaces (entrance charge applies)*
Learn about the wealthy Merchant Lairds of the seventeenth century and see where they lived
Hear about Kirkwall's Ba game and see where it is played
Be shown around Tankerness House and the Orkney Museum
Be amazed by the "Big Tree" and find out why it still survives
Discover the Grootie House in the gardens of Tankerness House ...
* The Earl's and Bishop's Palaces are managed by Historic Environment Scotland and these sites are only open April to October each year. Outside these months, between November and March, your tour will be of shorter duration (just over 2-3 hours) and will only include viewing the outside of the palaces - but you will still hear the same stories and learn the same history. Our charge during these months is reduced to £12.50, with a minimum charge of £25, and there is no additional charge to pay to Historic Environment Scotland.