Our picturesque harbour home has always been a welcome shelter from storms and once served as a port for travellers to the New World. The ships of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company became regular visitors, calling for supplies and to hire labour.

The winding streets and captivating alleyways of this 18th century settlement follow the shore of Hamnavoe, an inlet of Scapa Flow. The town stretches out both up into the hillside and along private piers into this ancient harbour, where a fishing fleet still sails from today.

Orkney

Orkney comprises some 70 individual islands, of which just under a third are inhabited. We are separated from the Scottish mainland by a narrow stretch of wind swept, fast flowing sea known as the Pentland Firth. If you are travelling to Stromness by ferry, look out for the majestic 450 foot 'Old Man of Hoy' a sandstone rock stack which presents a challenging climb that only the most intrepid mountaineer will contemplate.

Scattered across these fertile flat lands are countless reminders of the people who have called it home:

  • Neolithic people who built a vast temple complex long before the Egyptians began the pyramids
  • Stone age communities who buried their dead in skilfully constructed tombs
  • Iron age families who inhabited underground earth homes and Celtic Christians who founded monasteries
  • Norse earls who designed great halls and in the ancient capital of Kirkwall (which takes its name from the Viking Kirkjuvagr) the 12th century cathedral, St. Magnus

Read more about our company history in Our Story or find out more about the Islands on Orkney.com