Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Browsing Posts in Islands

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.

The Broch of Gurness, is located on the N.E. coast of Mainland Orkney which is the principal island forming part of an archipelago off Scotland’s N.E. coast. A broch is, usually, a tall, conical-shaped tower with concentric circular walls. The structures date from the Iron Age ( 800 BC-AD43) and are unique to Scotland with the majority  of the 500 structures spread throughout northern and western Scotland and the islands.

The village of Lochaline lies at the head of Loch Aline a sea loch on the West of Scotland which connects with the Sound of Mull and, ultimately, the Atlantic Ocean. There is a regular ferry crossing from Fishnish on Mull to Lochaline.