Local Information

PoppiesBaikie’s shop, opening times-Mon-sat 7.30am-8.00pm, Sun 11.00am-7.00pm
Sells a good range of everything including, Orkney ice cream! newspapers, wine and spirits.

Fish and Chip van-This is in the Finstown carpark on a Friday after 4pm. Very popular! And good food.

Local Post office- opening times as in folder.

Hilarys Hairdresser(near the post office) please enquire for appointments.

Childrens playpark at the back of the new school across the bay.

Cruan Riding School- off the old Finstown rd, heading for Kirkwall.

There is a local pub, The Pomona inn, near Baikies shop.

Good walks all around, especially around the ouse area and around Binscarth wood’s, which also has a marked walk through the kissing gate, access is from the main rd opposite Baikie’s shop on the Stromness side of Finstown or there is a wooden footpath which leads you along the shoreline around the ouse, just park at Finstown Primary school, cross the road and head towards an Old Mill(renovation in progress).

Other useful information

Rainbow over FinstownThere are three supermarkets in Kirkwall- Lidls, Tesco’s and the Co-op, all are situated together on the outskirts of the town, take a right off the main round about as you head into Kirkwall, pass the Pickaquoy centre and Glaitness school and you will see them on the right hand side of the road. Stromness also has a Co-op on the outskirts of the town.

For local in town shopping, Stromness has Fletts the butchers (brilliant local beef!) and lots of other smaller shops, wind your way up the narrow street and you will find several craft shops, a great bookshop and Stromness museum, not to be missed!

Kirkwall town centre has several good food shops, there is Argo’s (home made bread) in Albert st and William Shearers in Victoria st,WHB Sutherlands in Victoria st is an excellent chemist and also has a good photography department.

There are several good tourist shops in both Kirkwall and Stromness. Judith Glue is situated opposite St Magnus Cathedral, this is my sisters shop so its bound to be good! Shopping heaven for most women! And men of course! Tait & Style and Ola Gories jewellery shop is also nearby and Sheila Fleet, Hourstons, Christine Clarkes and Ortak jewellery are all situated along the narrow st heading towards the pier head where you will find a host of pubs, quite a few situated in the hotels.

The Pickaquoy Sports centre, Kirkwall has a gym and health spa, sports facilities and smugglers cove(an inside children’s play area) and a new swimming pool.

Orkney Tourist Board is situated in the Travel Centre/bus station off Junction rd in Kirkwall. You can book tours, etc and find out more information on all the local sites.

PuffinsVisitor Centres

The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, one of Scotlands premier Art Galleries famous for its private collection which consists of Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis and many more, it also holds a local artists exhibition in the summer and at Xmas.

Stromness Museum, house’s an exhibition on John Rae, Orkneys famous explorer who discovered the North West Passage, also an amazing collection of stuffed birds, animals and butterflies,well worth a visit!

Tankerness House Museum, Kirkwall, opposite the cathedral. This museum has displays centred around Orkneys Archaelogy but also recent history such as the Victorian sitting room.

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, one of the wonders of the north! Stunning! You just cant believe its here! In this we town!

The Fossil Centre, Burray, originally set up by local businessman, Leslie Firth, to house his collection of fossils which he found while quarrying for his building business. The centre also houses a wider collection of fossils from around the world and old farm equipment from the vintage society, there is also a small shop and café on the premises.

The World Heritage Site

Skara Brae 
Maeshowe chambered cairn
The Ring of Brodgar
The Standing Stones, Stenness
These are the three main sites on the mainland run by
Historic Scotland. There are lots more smaller and just as interesting sites all over the islands, best to go to The Tourist Board for more information

The Tomb of the Eagles visitor centre, South Ronaldsay, real artefacts! and well worth a visit, this site was excavated by farmer, Ronnie Simison in the 70’s, it is now run by his daughters who have added to the centre over the years. There is also a café here.


Folk Festival, Stromness-May
St Magnus Festival/music-June
The Science festival-Sept
Local and County Shows-August
Local ‘Ba’ games-Christmas and New Years Day
Please enquire at the tourist office for specific dates and other smaller happenings!


Good Restaurants are: The Foveran(outside Kirkwall), The Creel, St Margarets Hope, The Lynfield Hotel, Kirkwall and The Hamnavoe, Stromness. The Merkister Hotel in Harray also does a great bar supper. Helgi’s, situated on Shore st, The pier head, Kirkwall is a new pub with great food and atmosphere. All evening meals need to be booked ahead, all the hotels have restaurants and you don’t need to be a resident to eat in the hotels, you will find thier tel no’s in the local directory under the television or google them!.

Good café’s are Julia’s in Stromness and The Willow café at D & H Glue’s garden centre, Kirkwall, also Birsay Tearooms and Judith Glue's shop in town also has a tea café open 7 days a week during summer including evening meals.

D & H Glues garden centre is run by my brother’s family and aside from the café, it is great place to shop and take the kids, there is also a small play area. Head up Laing st(off Albert st, near Mackays Clothing), cross Queen st and into Mill st, pass The arts theatre and it is on your left, there is plenty of parking, there is no need to book lunch but it does get busy so best to arrive early,the same goes for Julia’s in Stromness, Julia’s also does evening meals in the summertime but booking is essential for these.


Orkney and Shetland are famous for their traditional music and the youngsters learn to play from a young age. A great place to hear music is at The Wrigley sisters which is situated in the old tourist office building at Broad st, Kirkwall. They have a café downstairs and you will find information there on where and when you can listen to local music. Every Saturday in the summertime at about 6-6.30pm you can go and hear the Kirkwall pipeband play in Broad st, opposite St Magnus Cathedral.


The nearest beach to Kirkwall is Scapa beach, it is very popular, lots of sand and safe for the children. There are of course beaches galore! A few of my favourite are, The Brough of Birsay, -brilliant shells! and rockpools!, there is a causeway across to the brough, but watch out for the tide times!, Gurness beach, Evie-wind your way along the road to the brough of Gurness and wander along the beach opposite the holy island of Eynhallow, Rackwick beach, Hoy-huge boulders and a sandy area for swimming! Sometimes it can be summer here and winter everywhere else!

The Outer Isles

It is possible to visit the smaller Islands either for the day or longer. You can visit Hoy,Shapinsay, Rousay, Eday and Westray by boat for a day. Best to take a car unless you want to walk miles! The boats leave from Kirkwall, Houton and Tingwall, ‘Orkney Ferries’ booking office is at the pier head, Kirkwall but you can also find numbers for each booking office in the local telephone directory.

A great island to go to is North Ronaldsay, you can fly there for the day or stay at The bird observatory the night! It is small enough not to need a car, the ferry only goes twice a week and they don’t have a roll on ,roll off.

All the islands are different and have their own individual charm, its well worth making the effort to get to just one! Ask at The Tourist Board for more information on the smaller islands.




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