|Distance:||15.8 miles (25.4 km)|
|Meets:||A963, B9054, A966, A986, B9055, A964, A967|
|Route outline (key)|
The A965 links the two primary towns in Orkney, Kirkwall and Stromness. It serves as a particularly important route as the majority of vehicular traffic for Orkney arrives at Stromness from the Scrabster Ferry.
The A965 starts out by heading west along Ayre Road from a roundabout junction with the A963 (Junction Road) and B9054 (Harbour Street) close by the Kirkwall waterfront. We pass through another roundabout (one of the few full roundabouts in Orkney!) and head out towards the Hatston Industrial Estate. The road mostly bypasses the Estate (although the original route went straight through), which is also where the pier for the Aberdeen – Kirkwall – Lerwick ferry can be accessed.
As the road continues, we pass several sites of interest for tourists, including a number of chambered cairns (such as the one at Quanterness), and other interests such as the Grimbister Farm at Grimbister (try the cheese). We enter the village of Finstown, and it's here that the A966 leaves to serve the West Mainland; the A986 leaves similarly about a mile further on. The A965 continues past Maes Howe, a 5000-year-old chambered cairn, and the famous Stones of Stenness, both of which form part of the same World Heritage Site. We pass through the village of Stenness, where the B9055 heads north west to Skara Brae (also part of the WHS) and continue close to the coast for some distance, meeting the A964 and crossing the Bridge of Waithe en route. After the junction with the A967 we begin to enter Stromness. The road passes through the Stromness waterfront, where the Northlink ferry from Scrabster docks.
The road continues through the town of Stromness, along a narrow cobbled street (which may be one way), often crowded with badly parked cars and pedestrians. It is very picturesque, but not really designed for the automobile! The road ends on the southern edge of Stromness, with a minor road looping back round the town.