Stromness is mainland Orkney’s second largest town, and after our west mainland explorations of Skara Brae, Yesnaby and the Orkney Brewery, we headed there to soak up some of the sunshine that had appeared!
Stromness Harbour is a bustling place, with the huge Northlink ferry towering over small fishing boats.
There was a visiting tall ship passing through from Norway, which was seeming to cause excitement from the locals!
A key feature of Stromness is its enclosed winding streets. Just a little wider than the width of a single car, streets feel enclosed and there’s a sense of wondering if you’ll be meeting a car coming in the opposite direction!
As you walk due west through Stromness, you can glimpse sight of Hoy, another Orkney island between houses.
It’s also easy to spot buoys and creels – a reminder of a once strong fishing industry which has now given way to Orkney’s renewable energy industry,
What you might not expect to see are palm trees, and Stromness has a couple for you to admire in an otherwise tree light environment!
As you reach the end of the town and look back east, there’s a lovely view.
You can also have a better perspective of the houses that rest on the waterfront.
The stone streets and houses might look rather grey, but there’s something rather charming about them.
Plus you get pops of colour, and the occasional stag head to spy. This little hut reminded me of my trip to Aberdeen’s Footdee area earlier on in the year.
As you take a walk east, back into the town centre, take a look to your left and you’ll see rooftops stacked next to each other, and a myriad of alleyways to climb up to the top of the hill.
The bunting was out in force, always nice to see! There’s also a brilliant independent shopping scene here, with arts and crafts, delis and bakeries and even a bookshop to peruse.
We experienced Stromness in the brilliant sunshine, but if you time your visit with a downpour (we’re in Scotland, it happens!) you can easily take time in the Stromness Museum or Pier Arts Centre.
Stromness is utterly charming, and each time I’ve visited (this was my third time), I love it just a little bit more!
On the way to Kirkwall for our nights accommodation (around 20 minutes drive from Stromness), we took a short detour to the Ring of Brodgar.
Along with Skara Brae, I chose the Ring of Brodgar for my brother to visit as I had really enjoyed our time there in 2016. This huge stone circle is free to visit and an atmospheric place to visit particularly at dawn or dusk for photographers.
My post next week will see us moving onto Kirkwall and exploring a part of the east mainland, bringing our 30 hours to a close!