I would have never discovered Kirkwall if it wasn't for Josh's mum and step-dad living nearby.
When Josh and I visited his mum and step-dad in Westray, on the way back we decided to spend the day in Kirkwall, which is just an hour's ferry ride away from Westray.
Kirkwall is the capital of Orkney and is the largest settlement in the North of Scotland. It has a population of 10,000 people and it's a port with ferry services to Aberdeen and Lerwick as well as Westray, which is where we originally came from.
Kirkwall is a quaint, but vibrant town and is completely different to the remote and small island of Westray, as we felt like we had re-joined civilisation!
It has some great shops, restaurants and plenty of bars and many visitors come to Kirkwall for its history and culture.
Thankfully, it was a beautiful day in Kirkwall, after spending a few rainy days in Westray. However, I didn't take that many photos, as I was too occupied with spending the day with Josh and his mum and step-dad as it was our last day with them before jetting back home.
But here is an idea of what we got up to within the 24 hours we were there:
24 hours in Kirkwall, Orkney Isles
The Old Library
The Old Library is one of the coolest places I have ever discovered!
If you love memorabilia, film and tv merchandise and even vintage vinyl's, you need to come here, as Grooves is a haven of records and goods.
It had Disney, Avengers, DVD's, games, quirky notepads, books, memorabilia and so much more! I could of spent all day looking at all the stuff they had inside.
I ended up purchasing a vintage Beauty and the Beast mug, which I couldn't resist buying and I often drink from or take Instagram photos of now.
Inside The Old Library is Archive Coffee.
I love trying local coffee roasters, so after exploring Grooves for an hour, this was the perfect pit-stop before going back out into the town.
By day, it's a quirky coffee and cake shop, then by night, it becomes a bar and nightclub which hosts many events.
However, that didn't stop Josh and his step-dad from enjoying a mid-day beer!
If you love all things fragrant, then you need to pop into Orkney Soap.
I kept spotting the brand literally everywhere we went in both Kirkwall and Westray, so when I saw there was a shop situated in the town, I had to have a look.
Orkney Soap creates exclusive handcrafted soap and skincare using traditional and contemporary methods, whilst using all natural ingredients.
The colours were vibrant and pretty, the products reflect the unspoilt and serene beauty of Orkney.
There was so many different flavours, colours and products that I wanted to try and buy, but unfortunately, due to the fact I had only packed hand luggage, I was unable to bring anything back as the majority of the products were over 100ml.
But if you love trying new beauty products that are made of all natural ingredients, you need to check this shop out located on Albert Street.
SO. MUCH. FOOD.
BUT OH SO GOOD!
Helgi's is situated right on the waterfront, so only a few seconds walk away from where we were staying.
It sold local beers, ciders as well as wine and prosecco, plus the menu had such a huge range.
Plus, chips in which you could add literally ANY TOPPING TO.
BBQ Bacon and cheese fries? YES PLEASE.
I was very excited about eating here after Josh's mum and step-dad raved about it so much. And it didn't disappoint.
It's literally making me hungry looking at that photo of the food.
The Shore Hotel
We stayed at the Shore Hotel on the night prior to getting our flight back to England.
It's one of three hotels situated on the waterfront of Kirkwall's harbour and we were lucky enough to have a room with a view of the harbour!
It provides comfort and simplicity in all their rooms, a huge comfy bed, TV and everything you could possibly want for a relaxed one night stay. They even provided us with a continental breakfast outside of our room prior to leaving very early in the morning for our flight.
The Shore Hotel has everything you need. From a bar where we played darts and drank cocktails, to fine dining in the evening in their own restaurant. Which was intimate and romantic for the pair of us, as before we were shown to our table, we waited in their bar area and enjoyed a drink before sitting down to eat.
We're definitely coming back to the Shore Hotel as we'll aim to stay again when we need a place to stay prior to an early morning flight!
Reasons why you should visit Kirkwall
- Explore a small, remote, but beautiful part of the country that's not often visited.
- Fresh, delicious food on offer such as fish that's been caught on the same day as cooked.
- It has a beautiful historic town to wander through, along with a wide range of cultural events and is full of arts and music.
Will you be making a trip to Kirkwall?