St. Magnus Cathedral: Upper Levels

Most of our visitors make time to see the magnificent cathedral in Kirkwall. Named after the Norse Earl Magnus who was martyred in the early 12th century.

The building was started in 1137 but was added to continuously for 400 years with updates and alterations going on to this very day.

However, not so many guests see above the ground level, which is a shame because there is so much more. You can be taken on an informative tour of the upper levels. Many historical artefacts are stored above ground level and the tour culminates in a breathtaking step outside – onto the balcony that runs around the base of the spire. From here you can look down on the whole of the town, across to the harbour and to the north isles beyond.


The tours must be booked in advance and they don’t run everyday, so you must contact the cathedral directly to book. You will also have to be physically quite fit, with a good head for heights and no issues going through narrow passages and doorways.

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