Resources: shops, pubs, cafes

I am walking the St Magnus Way on Orkney, and this is one of the blog series – 21-30 May 2018. Below, you can find links to all the others (introduction, transport, accommodation, resources etc). The overall walk is 55 miles (88.5 kms) over 5 days plus a visit to the island of Egilsay where St Magnus was said to have been murdered and, initially, buried.

Stromness

I was in Stromness for less than 24 hours. The places I have visited there are:

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Betty’s Reading Room – free, open and full of useful and interesting things for backpackers.

Tingwall

  • Tingwall – Betty’s Reading Room (always open, tea and biscuits, books, comfy place to sit and charge your phone). Kiersty who put me up in Evie, showed me this wonderful place which is very close to the ferry terminal. It was erected in memory of a member of the local community and is a peaceful place to sit and read – tea and biscuits are available. Occasional readings or other events happen there. The main thing is that the door is open – you can just step inside and make yourself comfortable.
  • (In other words, there was no need for me to walk all the way to the Fernvalley Wildlife Centre and find that it was shut, and then walk all the way back and into Evie along the busy road, only to find that the Eviedale Cafe was also shut – all in order to charge my phone and find the address where I was staying that night!)
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Kiersty shows me Betty’s Reading Room, Tingwall, Orkney.

Egilsay

  • there are no shops nor anywhere to stay on the island

Evie

  • Mistra is a perfect wee post office cum shop (10am to 5pm)
  • Eviedale Bistro (Weds – Sun 11am – 3.30pm). It wasn’t open when I was there
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The Palace Stores, Birsay. Also shut when I arrived.

Birsay

  • The Palace Stores where you can buy drinks (opens at 10am (12noon on Sundays) and shuts at 5pm)
  • Tearoom (10.30-5pm. Shut Tues / Weds)
  • Barony Hotel (about 20 minutes walk from campsite. Good food, but book in advance as it has erratic opening times)

Dounby

  • a good co-op which sold a disposable thing I not seen before to plug into your phone to charge it. Cost £2.50 (did not work well on my phone because it was not working properly)
  • cafe at the Smithfield Hotel
  • pharmacy
  • post office and more

Finstown

  • Baikies Stores where you can buy almost anything and get drinks from a machine (fantastic place, helpful staff)
  • hairdressers (Creation Cuts is fab)
  • very kindly staff at the post office
  • pubs (the Pomona Inn owner was very friendly, doesn’t serve food, but said I could eat my own in there)

Orphir

Kirkwall

  • there are 100s of shops, pubs, cafes and places to stay
  • I went to Judith Glue’s café
  • and looked at The Reel cafe near St Magnus Cathedral, which often has live music
  • there’s a Tourist iCentre (Tourist Information Bureau) which I visited and where I bought some gifts. The wifi didn’t work well
  • I didn’t see a mobile phone shop until Kirkwall

Links:

Introduction

Transport – how I got there

Egilsay

Accommodation – where I stayed

Day 2 – Evie to Birsay

Day 3 – Birsay to Dounby

Day 4 – Dounby to Finstown

Day 5 – Finstown to Orphir

Day 6 – Orphir to Kirkwall

Resources – shops, cafes, pubs etc

Finding your way

Reflection

One thought on “St Magnus Way – shops, cafes, pubs

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