Kirkwall, Scotland is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands off the coast of northern Scotland. It was the settlement of Rognvald II, Earl of Orkney, who was killed by his successor, Thorfinn. In 1486 King James III of Scotland elevated Kirkwall to the status of a Royal Burgh. By contemporary Scottish standards, it is a small town, with a population of about 7,000. At the middle of the town stands St. Magnus Cathedral, its tower and spire are widely visible across both land and sea. Kirkwall is one of the most eye-catching and well-preserved small towns in Scotland. Apart from the main historical buildings, there are many 17th-18th century houses and other structures in the local vernacular style. The story of Kirkwall has mostly been the story of the development of its harbor. In the early days the bay extended further south than it does now, to the Peerie Sea. These days this is like a manicured inland lake.
If you get to go to Kirkwall during the holiday season you might be able to
catch a true historical event, the main annual events in the town is the Ba Game
held Christmas and New Years every year between the Uppies and the Doonies; each
team representing one half of the town.
If your with the family, take the kids to the Orkney Arts Centre in Kirkwall. They can Ski, and climb at this great indoor facility.
Also visit Picaquoy Centre and the St Magnus Cathedral.