5 Minute Guide to Kirkwall


The toilet and shower block is located just inside the Marina gate. This contains Showers and Toilets, accessible 24 hours. The gate code and the free wi-fi password are displayed in the gatehouse at the top of the gangway.

Cross the main road at the zebra crossing and access the main shopping streets via Bridge Street beside the Kirkwall hotel. The laundrette is 5 minutes walk along here, on Albert Street. Continue walking, then turn right down West Castle Street; the Travel Centre with a tourist information office is across the road at the bottom of the street on Junction Road.  The Post Office is nearby on Junction Road and the library building is further south along the same road .


There are a choice of restaurants. The Foveran is an excellent restaurant located 3 miles out of town towards Orphir. It requires advanced bookings. The Dil Se Indian Restaurant is on Bridge Street close to the marina, and Lucano’s Italian Restaurant is on Victoria Street, 10 minutes walk away.  The hotels along Shore Street by the marina (The Kirkwall Hotel, The Ola Hotel, The Ayre Hotel) all have restaurants and bars serving local ales and whiskies. The Lynnfield Hotel is a mile away on the Holm road near to the Highland Park Distillery.  There are several cafes along the main shopping streets between the marina and Victoria Street serving coffee, lunches and cake - The Old Library, Judith Glue Real Food Cafe and Twenty One. The Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery is on the Ayre Road, 5 minutes walk from the Marina and The Scapa Distillery Visitor Centre is 2 miles away, by Scapa Beach. 

There are several fish and chip shops - The Harbour Fry on Bridge Street, The Happy Haddock 10 minutes walk away on Junction Road and The Willows Takeaway 10 minutes walk away on Willow Road.

See Orkney.com and Orkney Food and Drink for further information on eating out. 


Along the main shopping street, accessed via the zebra crossing along from the marina, you’ll find a butcher, bakery, chemist, clothes shops, an electrical shop, newsagent and several shops selling local produce, jewellery and crafts. Along the Bay to the west of the Marina, turn left at the second roundabout to John G Shearer’s garage for petrol and gas. Further around the ‘Peedie Sea’ are three supermarkets, the Cooperative, Tesco and Lidl.  In Hatston Industrial Estate, 20 minutes walk from the marina, you’ll find  chandlery supplies and repair services.  

Fresh fish is available from The Brig Larder in Albert Street, and Jolly’s or Kirkwall Bay Shellfish in the Hatston Industrial Estate.

What to see

Kirkwall is a friendly town with plenty of  sights of interest. A short walk takes you south through the main street to St Magnus Cathedral, The Orkney Museum, and the Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces. The Highland Park and Scapa Distilleries are located on the outskirts of the town.

Car / bike hire

Car hire is available from Orkney Car Hire and W R Tullock, both on Junction Road, and Orkney Tool Hire and Colin Gregg Cars, both in Hatston Industrial Estate.

Cycle hire is available from Cycle Orkney in Tankerness Lane, near the cathedral.

Other marine facilities

Hamnavoe Engineering offer a wide range of mechanical repair and fabrication services. Seagear supplies stocks a range of chandlery and Cranes capable of lifting most vessels are available to hire from Heddle Construction. Jeff Mackie is a Stromness boatbuilder specialising in new wooden boat building (local ‘Yoles’ in particular) and restoration. He also has a range of Chandlery available. Marine engineering services are also available from Craigie Engineering and RGC Services, both based in Hatston, near to the Marina. 

Orkney Sailing Club

The Orkney Sailing Club is located in 'The Girnel' on the harbour front, next to the roundabout. The club welcomes all visitors to the port of Kirkwall and hosts functions and social events all year round. 

Day sails from Kirkwall

View our page Sailing to and around Orkney or ask our seasonal staff or one of our local committee members (one of them to be found at the marina at most times of the day!) for sailing guides showing great cruises around Orkney from Kirkwall marina.

Find more information on our website, including our ask a local service for any sailing questions you may have.

Contact us by telephone on 01856 871313 or 07810465835.

Download this guide.