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Living in Kirkwall, Orkney

  • Amelia Townsend
  • 19th June 2023
  • 9:04am
Living in Kirkwall, Orkney

Discovering Kirkwall: A Guide to Living in the Heart of Orkney

Kirkwall, the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands, is a picturesque and charming town that offers a unique living experience. The town is situated on the mainland of Orkney and has a population of approximately 9,000 residents. Despite its small size, Kirkwall boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and a thriving community that makes it an ideal place to call home.

The Historical and Cultural Background of Kirkwall

Kirkwall has a fascinating history that dates back to the Norse period. The town was founded in the 11th century by the Vikings, who named it “Kirkjuvagr,” which means “church bay.” Today, the town’s Norse heritage can be seen in its architecture, street names, and the annual St. Magnus Festival, which celebrates the town’s most famous saint.

Over the centuries, Kirkwall has grown and flourished into a hub of commerce, education, and tourism. The town has a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, and a modern hospital. It also has excellent transport links, with regular ferry services to the Scottish mainland and other parts of Orkney.

Popularity Among Renters

Kirkwall is a popular destination for renters, with a range of properties available to suit different budgets and lifestyles. The town has a mix of traditional and modern housing, from historic cottages to contemporary apartments. The rental market in Kirkwall is competitive, with properties often snapped up quickly, so it’s essential to act fast when looking for a place to live.

Living in Kirkwall offers a unique lifestyle that combines the charm of a small town with the convenience of modern amenities. The town’s strong sense of community, rich history, and stunning natural beauty make it an ideal place to call home. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a retiree, there’s something for everyone in Kirkwall.

Housing Options in Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall is a delightful town and the administrative center of the Orkney Islands. The town has a rich historical and cultural heritage, with many fascinating landmarks, museums, and galleries. It is a great place to live, with plenty of housing options for renters.

Types of Properties Available

Kirkwall has a diverse range of properties available to rent, including flats, apartments, houses, cottages, and bungalows. There are properties suitable for individuals, couples, families, and students.

Average Rent Prices

The average rent prices in Kirkwall vary depending on the type of property and location. The average rental price for a one-bedroom flat is around £500 per month, while a two-bedroom flat costs approximately £650 per month. A three-bedroom house costs around £850 per month.

Popular Neighbourhoods for Renters

Kirkwall has several popular neighbourhoods for renters, including Bignold Park, Hatston, Scapa, and Papdale. These areas are close to local amenities such as shops, schools, and public transport. Bignold Park is a popular choice for families, while Hatston is ideal for students and young professionals. Scapa and Papdale are both great options for those who prefer a quieter, more residential area.

Living in Kirkwall offers a fantastic quality of life, with a great community spirit and welcoming atmosphere.

If you are interested in living in Kirkwall, Orkney, be sure to read our next blog post on transportation and connectivity in the town.

Transportation and Commuting in Living in Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of Orkney, an archipelago located off the northeastern coast of Scotland. Despite its remote location, the town offers a variety of transportation options for residents and visitors.

Public Transport Options

Kirkwall has a reliable bus service that operates throughout the town and surrounding areas, connecting residents to nearby villages and towns. The bus service is operated by Stagecoach and offers a range of ticket options, including daily, weekly and monthly passes.

Orkney also has an extensive ferry service that connects the islands to mainland Scotland. The ferry terminal is located just outside of Kirkwall town centre and offers regular sailings to Aberdeen and Lerwick.

Accessibility to Nearby Cities and Towns

Kirkwall is the main transport hub for Orkney, with daily flights to and from mainland Scotland. Kirkwall Airport is located just a few miles from the town centre and offers regular flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness.

The town also has a railway station, which provides connections to Inverness and the rest of the Scottish mainland. The station is located on the outskirts of Kirkwall, but it is easily accessible by bus or taxi.

Average Commute Times

Due to its small size, Kirkwall has relatively short commute times. Most residents can easily walk or cycle to their place of work or study. The average commute time by car or bus is around 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic and weather conditions.

Living in Kirkwall offers a unique lifestyle, with excellent transport links to the rest of the Orkney Islands and mainland Scotland. If you are thinking of moving to Kirkwall, be sure to read on to find out about local amenities in the area.

Local Amenities and Facilities in Kirkwall, Orkney

Living in Kirkwall, Orkney offers a wonderful quality of life, with plenty of local amenities and facilities that cater to the needs of its residents. Here are some of the key features that make Kirkwall a great place to call home.

Shopping Centres and High Streets

Kirkwall has a thriving town centre that offers a range of shops and services. The main high street is packed with independent retailers, including gift shops, fashion boutiques, and artisan food stores. There’s also a Tesco store on the outskirts of town, which provides a convenient option for grocery shopping.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Kirkwall has several parks and recreational areas that offer a range of activities for all ages. The Pickaquoy Centre is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts, with facilities for swimming, squash, and badminton. There’s also a cinema and a theatre on site, as well as a café and bar.

Healthcare Facilities

Kirkwall has a range of healthcare facilities, including the Balfour Hospital, which provides a range of medical services to the local community. There are also several clinics and GP practices in the town, so residents can access healthcare services easily and conveniently.

Educational Institutions

Kirkwall has several educational institutions, including the Kirkwall Grammar School and the Orkney College. The Kirkwall Grammar School is a comprehensive school that caters to students from S1 to S6, while the Orkney College provides further education and vocational training to students of all ages.

If you’re interested in finding out more about living in Kirkwall, Orkney, be sure to read on to find out about leisure and entertainment in the area.

Leisure and Entertainment in Kirkwall, Orkney

If you are considering living in Kirkwall, you’ll be pleased to know that this charming town has plenty of leisure and entertainment options to keep you busy. Here are some of the highlights:

Pubs, Restaurants, and Cafes

Kirkwall has a variety of options for food and drink lovers. The town centre has a range of pubs, cafes, and restaurants, including local favourites such as the Kirkwall Hotel and the Ayre Hotel. For a taste of Orkney’s famous seafood, head to The Reel in the harbour area or the Foveran Restaurant and Bar in nearby Kirkwall.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Kirkwall is steeped in history, with a range of attractions that showcase the town’s past. Visit St. Magnus Cathedral, one of the finest medieval buildings in Scotland, or the Orkney Museum to learn more about the region’s ancient history. Other must-see attractions include the Bishop’s Palace, Earl’s Palace, and the Orkney Wireless Museum.

Sports and Fitness Facilities

For fitness enthusiasts, Kirkwall has several great options. The Pickaquoy Centre is the town’s main sports facility, offering a swimming pool, gym, and fitness classes. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, and golfing.

Local Events and Festivals

Kirkwall is known for its vibrant community spirit and hosts a range of events and festivals throughout the year. Highlights include the Orkney Folk Festival in May, the St. Magnus International Festival in June, and the Orkney Agricultural Show in August.

Living in Kirkwall offers a unique and enjoyable lifestyle, with plenty of leisure and entertainment options. But there’s more to this town than just its attractions. Read on to find out about the community in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Community and Lifestyle in Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of Orkney, located off the northeastern coast of Scotland. It has a population of approximately 9,000 people and is known for its stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant community. Let’s take a closer look at the demographics, safety, and social opportunities in Kirkwall.

Demographics and Diversity

The population of Kirkwall is predominantly White British, with a small percentage of people from other ethnic backgrounds. The town has a diverse mix of age groups, with a balance between young families and retirees. This diversity makes for a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone can feel at home.

Safety and Crime Rates

Kirkwall is a safe place to live, with low crime rates compared to other towns in Scotland. The local police force is dedicated to keeping the community safe and works closely with residents to prevent crime. As a result, Kirkwall has a strong sense of community spirit and a low incidence of anti-social behaviour.

Social Clubs and Networking Opportunities

Kirkwall has a range of social clubs and organisations that cater to different interests and age groups. From sports teams and fitness classes to book clubs and art groups, there’s something for everyone. These clubs and organisations provide an excellent opportunity to meet new people and make friends, particularly if you’re new to the area.

If you’re looking to network professionally, there are also business groups and organisations that offer networking events and opportunities. These provide a chance to connect with other professionals in the area and build your local business network.

Living in Kirkwall has many benefits, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making a decision. Read on to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Living in Kirkwall, Orkney: Pros and Cons of Renting

Advantages of renting in Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall is the largest town in Orkney and the main hub of the archipelago. It offers a unique and peaceful lifestyle, with breathtaking landscapes, fresh air, and a strong sense of community. For those looking to rent in Kirkwall, there are several advantages:

  • Affordable rent: Compared to other towns in the UK, renting in Kirkwall is relatively cheap. The average rental price for a one-bedroom flat is around £450 per month.
  • High quality of life: Kirkwall offers excellent healthcare facilities, supermarkets, leisure centres, and schools. The town has a low crime rate, making it a safe place to live.
  • Stunning scenery: Kirkwall is surrounded by beautiful coastlines, hills, and beaches. It’s a perfect place for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers.
  • Rich history and culture: Kirkwall has a fascinating history that dates back to the Viking era. It’s home to many historic sites, museums, and festivals, including the famous St. Magnus Cathedral.

Potential drawbacks or challenges

While Kirkwall has many advantages, there are also some challenges that renters may face:

  • Isolation: Kirkwall is located in a remote part of Scotland, which can make it difficult to access other parts of the country. The nearest airport is in Aberdeen, and there are limited transport links to other parts of Orkney.
  • Harsh weather: The weather in Kirkwall can be unpredictable and harsh, with long winters and short summers. This can make it challenging for some people to adjust to the climate.
  • Limited job opportunities: Kirkwall has a small economy, with limited job opportunities. This can make it difficult for renters to find employment.

Comparison with other towns in the UK

Compared to other towns in the UK, Kirkwall offers a unique lifestyle that may appeal to some renters. While it has some challenges, it also has many advantages that make it an attractive place to live. Compared to other towns in the UK, Kirkwall offers:

  • Affordable rent: Renting in Kirkwall is cheaper than many other towns in the UK, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
  • A strong sense of community: Kirkwall has a close-knit community, with many social activities and events. This can make it a friendly and welcoming place to live.
  • Unique scenery and history: Kirkwall offers stunning landscapes and a rich history that cannot be found in many other towns in the UK.

Conclusion: Living in Kirkwall

If you’re looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to call home, Kirkwall in Orkney should definitely be on your list. The town boasts stunning landscapes, historic landmarks, and a welcoming community that will make you feel at home.

Recap of Key Points

In this blog, we’ve covered some of the key reasons why living in Kirkwall is a great idea. We’ve talked about the town’s rich history, vibrant community, and picturesque surroundings. We’ve also highlighted some of the best places to visit and things to do in Kirkwall, including the St. Magnus Cathedral, the Orkney Museum, and the Highland Park Distillery. Finally, we’ve looked at some of the properties available for rent in Kirkwall, and what you can expect in terms of prices and amenities.

Personal Recommendation for Renters considering Kirkwall, Orkney

As a renting expert, I highly recommend Kirkwall as a great place to live. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a family, you’ll find plenty of options when it comes to rental properties. The town offers a unique and fulfilling lifestyle, with something for everyone to enjoy.

Explore Right Rent’s Property Listings to Find a Home you’ll Love

If you’re ready to start your search for a rental property in Kirkwall, be sure to check out Right Rent’s listings. We have a wide range of properties available, from cosy flats to spacious family homes. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect place to call home, so you can start enjoying all that Kirkwall has to offer.

In conclusion, living in Kirkwall is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to call home. With its rich history, vibrant community, and stunning surroundings, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to make Kirkwall their home.

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