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Stromness v. Kirkwall in Orkney

I'm looking to spend three nights in Orkney; can anyone address the merits of staying in Stromness versus Kirkwall? Thanks!

Posted by
1345 posts

Kirkwall is the largest settlement in Orkney and is much more centrally located. On Mainland and the islands down the Churchill barriers you will be passing Kirkwall to get to and from where you want to go.

That said, both Stromness and Kirkwall are small enough to walk around easily.

Posted by
5669 posts

There is a bit more going on in Kirkwall. We stayed in Stromness on our first visit as that's where our relatives lived. :) But when we went back on our own (sadly Marjorie had died) we stayed in Kirkwall. It is a small place. It was a bit easier to get around from Kirkwall. Stromness is convenient to the ferry.


Posted by
2283 posts

When I went to Orkney, I picked Stromness, but I could only get two nights in the B&B I picked. So we ended up spending two nights in Stromness and two in Kirkwall. It's hard to say which is best. Stromness is smaller and more quaint and picturesque, while Kirkwall has more to do. Our ferry let us off at Kirkwall, so that made it very convenient when we landed at night. If I were fortunate enough to go back, I'd be throwing dice to choose where to stay.

Posted by
63 posts

Thanks for the responses. I sort of thought it was a toss-up myself, but these comments will help me make up my mind. I'm going to look at accommodations in both places and see what strikes my fancy.

Posted by
2540 posts

Last Time I was in Orkney I stayed in Kirkwall and certainly it is better for things to do at night than Stromness.Strommess is a beautiful place to visit but for me there is just not enough options at night.