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Orkney Islands
Places related to the A965

Stromness is a very pretty harbour town at the south west corner of mainland Orkney. It is a town with a long history, dating back to the Norse settlement of Orkney, and before, and is a must visit for anyone visiting Orkney. The main street is the cobbled in places, narrow and winding, constrained by the old houses and shops that line the street. Side alleys climb the hill or drop to the harbour, one of the former having the name 'Khyber Pass'! As the second largest town on Orkney, after the capital Kirkwall, Stromness is home to many shops and services to serve the locals and visitors alike, and despite the constraints of the historic centre is a busy, and growing place with new buildings along the waterfront, and expansion on the hillside above.

The main road into Stromness is the A965 from Kirkwall. This continues past the ferry terminal and right down the main street, cobbles and all, to the golf course at the end. Despite the narrow, winding streets with a 15 mph limit, the A965 remains two-way throughout. However, most people seem to follow an unsigned loop through the town, producing a de-facto if unenforcable one-way system, returning on the unclassified Back Road. At the north end of the town, the A967 terminates on the A965, having travelled south from Birsay in the north west corner of the Orkney Mainland. a mile or so further out on the A965, there is a junction with the A964, which has taken the long way round route from Kirkwall via Orphir.

The ferry service into Stromness sails from Scrabster near Thurso in Caithness. It is the traditional crossing, perhaps dating back centuries, but the shorter and cheaper Pentland Ferry now offers an alternative route to Orkney further east. Small ferries also sail from Stromness to Hoy and Graemsay, although this is essentially a passenger only service, with room for just one car. In the past cars to Graemsay had to be lifted on and off, but it is not clear if this is still the case!


Route To Notes




Birsay, Sandwick


Scrabster on the A9, near Thurso


Hoy, Graemsay Limited vehicle space

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