The quaint, winding streets of Stromness are home to captivating museums and galleries, compelling historic landmarks and stunning natural views.
The main seaport for Orkney Mainland, Stromness is a charming, characterful town. Historic stone buildings line the quay and seem to grow out of the hillside beyond the waterfront. Stroll around the attractive port and the surrounding town to discover its fascinating history and lively culture.
Stromness was originally named Hamnavoe, which means “safe haven.” Vikings, tradesmen and sailors found shelter from the seas here as they navigated around Britain. The town often served as the last port of call for transatlantic services. Learn about how each group left its mark at the Stromness Museum, which documents the natural and social history of the area.
Browse British art at the Pier Arts Centre, a sleek modern gallery overlooking the quay. The center features a large collection of contemporary paintings from the 20th century, as well as a program of visiting exhibitions.
Enjoy the wild landscapes and seascapes that surround Stromness and choose from a wide range of outdoor activities. Dive down to the shipwrecks at Scapa Flow on a scuba tour, rent a bike or explore the hills and coastal paths outside the town on foot.
The Orkney Islands are rich in historical landmarks. Find prehistoric sites just a short drive away from Stromness. The Neolithic stone circles at the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness set amid spectacular landscapes exude an air of mystery. Walk through the past at Skara Brae, a prehistoric village featuring the beautifully preserved remains of ancient houses more than 5,000 years old.
Travel to Stromness by ferry for the most rewarding vistas of the town. Boats leave from Scrabster and cruise around the coastline of the archipelago. Stromness is 19 miles (30 kilometers) away from Kirkwall Airport.
Summer in Stromness offers long days that stay light well into the evening. Arrange your visit for May to witness the traditional music and dance events of the Orkney Folk Festival.