On Lamb Holm, in 1945, Italian prisoners of war lovingly converted two Nissen huts into a chapel using concrete, plasterboard, wrought iron, paint and incredible dedication. A poignant memorial to the past. Italian Chapel
The burial tomb of Maes Howe was already about four thousand years old when 12th-century Vikings broke in and carved their runes on the walls plus a serpent, walrus and dragon.
Kirkwall is a go-ahead, substantial harbour town with a main street busy with locals and visitors. First impressions will include the extraordinary choice of upmarket craft shops along the main street while, overall, the bulk of St Magnus Cathedral dominates the skyline, as it has done for more than eight centuries. There are many more things to explore around Kirkwall, try the Orkney Museum, or the Orkney Wireless Museum, or go for a taster at the Highland Park Distillery.
Stromness is strung out along its sheltered shore, with its crooked main street revealing narrow glimpses of blue water between its plain and practical dwellings. Well worth the stroll, however, especially to see Stromness Museum and Pier Arts Centre. For the sailors in olden times, Stromness was the last watering place before the wild North Atlantic.
Think Orkney, think seabird colonies - also divers and harriers, otters and seals. There’s even a ‘look out for otters’ road-sign within five minutes of Kirkwall’s main street.
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