The capital of Orkney is the Royal Burgh of Kirkwall, a little town on the northern shore of the Orkney Mainland.
Looking out across Kirkwall Bay towards the island of Shapinsay and the outer North Isles, the town sits almost exactly in the centre of the Mainland, neatly dividing it into the distinct areas known simply as the West and East Mainland.
Kirkwall is a town with two faces.
Firstly, there is the face seen by visitors who have travelled there from some urban metropolis. To them it is a small, leisurely town with squat, grey buildings clustered in the shadow of St Magnus Cathedral.
The narrow, flagstoned main streets, that serve pedestrian and motorist alike, seems both quaint and unnerving.
The second face is revealed when returning from the North Isles.
Kirkwall Orkney Scotland