Kirkwall is the capital of Orkney, a group of islands which are situated to the North of the Scottish mainland. Reflecting Orkney’s Scandinavian heritage, the name Kirkwall is probably derived from the Old Norse Kirkju Vagr meaning ‘Church Bay’. Orkney was ceded to Scotland from Norway as part of a royal marriage settlement on 20 February 1472, Islanders are very conscious of their Scandinavian heritage, which is reflected in local place names and dialect.