Today’s post is almost a preview of the special posts I have coming up next week. During our almost two weeks in Orkney, we spent some of our time meeting food and drink producers around the mainland, Westray and Shapinsay. So I’ve managed to pull together a post every weekday next week. However there’s loads of other snippets of Orkney life that it would be wrong not to share with you! There’s no real order to them, so just be prepared to bookmark this post if you’re thinking about taking a trip to Orkney anytime soon!
First up is a shop and cafe that I was familiar with already. Judith Glue has a smaller store in Inverness, but Kirkwall is home to the original (and in my opinion better, as there’s an in-store dog friendly cafe) shop with lots of lovely homeware, gifts and foodie bits to purchase. We spent a lovely afternoon here enjoying some coffee and cake. Unfortunately we didn’t make it back again for lunch. Next time!
We stopped in at the Orkney Brewery to warm up with soup and hot chocolate after our bracing walk along the Yesnaby cliffs. Again, we should have gone back to sample lunch, but didn’t quite have enough time!
They had a lovely shop which included locally made gifts and a huge stock of ales all brewed on-site.
We also popped in on the Orkney Wine Company who are on the isle of Lamb Holm, connected by causeway to South Ronaldsay and the mainland. We bought some Strubarb wine and raspberry liquer truffles made by Peedie Chocs. We were also gifted a bottle of raspberry liquer by our apartment hosts as part of a hamper of local food and drink.
Stockans were very kind and sent me some samples of their range as their permises are not open for public tours. I was expecting one or two packets and not the huge box they sent to be crammed to the brim with oatcakes!
Many an evening was spent in front of the fire, with our own Orcadian cheeseboard featuring Island Smokery cheese!
We were really lucky to have this store virtually opposite our apartment. William Shearer was am actual treasure trove of provisions including lots of local items and products that you might struggle to find elsewhere.
There were some lovely historic sights very close to our apartment. Kirkwill is very walkable, and the Bishops Palace and St Magnus Cathedral are on the main road in Kirkwall. The former only has tours during the tourist season, but Magnus Cathedral is open most days.
If Whisky is your tipple of choice, then you are spoilt for choice as you can choose from Highland Park or Scapa distilleries to have a tour. While I was off in Shapinsay for an afternoon, Mr B had a Scapa Experience which he enjoyed immensely.
A must-visit is the Italian Chapel. Built and painted by Italian POW held on Orkney, it’s a fantastic sight.
Those were my picks of things to do on Orkney (to be honest I can recommend lots more, drop me an email if you want more information!) – see you next week for my special Orkney Food and Drink week of posts!