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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (6)
From:  Kirkwall (HY448112)
To:  Gritley (HY560045)
Via:  Kirkwall Airport
Distance:  9.9 miles (15.9 km)
Meets:  A963, A965, B9054, A962, B9054, A961, B9052, B9050, B9051
Highway Authorities

Orkney Islands

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A960 Kirkwall - Gritley

The A960 is a relatively short road, serving the eastern side of Orkney Mainland.

Bridge Street in Kirkwall

It starts at Kiln Corner Roundabout in Kirkwall, the hub of Orkney's road network, and heads east along Harbour Street, passing the quay and reaching the main ferry port for the northern isles. Then, according to most maps, the A960 turns right along the extremely narrow and semi-pedestrianised Bridge Street, which has a 15 limit and no vehicles (except for access) signs, as well as being one way southbound. It then turns right onto Albert Street, both streets being paved with slabs and giving every impression of supposedly being pedestrianised. The obvious driving route is actually along the A963 and then A962 West Castle Street or else the B9054 to the east. The paving ends at the junction with Castle Street, the A962, and the A960 becomes two-way again as it follows Broad Street past the Cathedral. A sharp left turn then takes the route onto Palace Road, running between the Cathedral and the ruins of the Bishops Palace.

Passing Tankerness

The other end of the B9054 is met as the A960 sweeps round to the south onto Dundas Crescent and onto Bignold Park Road, past the start of the A961, which these days is the more important route out of Kirkwall, as it crosses the Churchill Barriers to serve the southern isles and Pentland Ferry route. The A960 has been steadily climbing away from the town centre, and continues up to its summit of nearly 80m as it leaves the town behind. There is then a long meandering descent through fields to the island's airport (where the road has been diverted slightly to avoid the runway). After passing the terminal, a left turn leads out through the Tankerness district of Orkney, but the A960 follows long undulating straights across the southern edge of the settled area. As it heads south east, it passes through small square fields and past a scattering of houses, some on the roadside, some out in the fields. Another couple of left turns also lead out through Tankerness, with the prehistoric Mine Howe, a strange underground structure investigated by TV's Time Team accessed from the last.

The road dips back towards sea level at Toab, where a couple of small housing estates sit close to the primary school. The B9052 turns right here, cutting back across to the A961, but the A960 continues south east to Upper Sanday, another scattered settlement with no real centre. The road drops right to the shore here, curving around the back of St Peters Pool, with the vast beach of Sandi Sand stretching out at low tide. The road then curves through the dunes at the head of the bay on what is actually a narrow isthmus, with the sea barely a hundred metres away to the south as well, although never in view from the road. There are, however, a few parking areas and paths through the dunes to explore this unusual natural phenomena.

Beyond the dunes, the road reaches Deerness, a large headland only connected to the Orkney Mainland by the narrow ridge of dunes. The road climbs through fields, past a few scattered houses to Gritley where the A960 terminates, while the road continues straight on to become the B9050 to Sandside Bay at the same time as the B9051 to Northquoy Point turns left.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Kirkwall - Quoyburray - Brandyquoy

Related Pictures
View gallery (6)
A960 Kirkwall - Coppermine - 971.jpgLooking up the A960 - Geograph - 1076191.jpgKiln-corner.jpgB9054-sch-pl.jpgPost Office and petrol pump, Foubister - Toab - Geograph - 54225.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN1 • A961 • A962 • A963 • A964 • A965 • B9053 • B9054 • B9148 • C1 (Orkney) • C40 (Orkney) • C41 (Orkney) • C42 (Orkney) • EuroVelo 12
A900 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A905 • A906 • A907 • A908 • A909 • A910 • A911 • A912 • A913 • A914 • A915 • A916 • A917 • A918 • A919

A920 • A921 • A922 • A923 • A924 • A925 • A926 • A927 • A928 • A929 • A930 • A931 • A932 • A933 • A934 • A935 • A936 • A937 • A938 • A939
A940 • A941 • A942 • A943 • A944 • A945 • A946 • A947 • A948 • A949 • A950 • A951 • A952 • A953 • A954 • A955 • A956 • A957 • A958 • A959
A960 • A961 • A962 • A963 • A964 • A965 • A966 • A967 • A968 • A969 • A970 • A971 • A972 • A973 • A974 • A975 • A976 • A977 • A978 • A979
A980 • A981 • A982 • A983 • A984 • A985 • A986 • A987 • A988 • A989 • A990 • A991 • A992 • A993 • A994 • A995 • A996 • A997 • A998 • A999

Defunct Itineries: A920 (Perth) • A920 (Banff) • A921 (Perth) • A921 (Fife) • A922 • A949 • A951 • A968 • A982

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