Kirkwall is the largest town in Orkney with just about 10k in population. It’s nearly a thousand years old, dating back to viking times. When King James III of Scotland conquered Orkney, the town got elevated to a status of a major burgh. Two ruined palaces stand in the center of town – Bishop’s Palace and Earl’s Palace – both dating to 16th century. Just opposite is the absolutely spectacular St Magnus Cathedral (next post). Several streets are lined up with centuries old buildings, there is also a spectacular Town Hall. Finally, the town has a major harbor.