Culture and Heritage

Viking Hiking to Rackwick

Where: John Rae Statue, Stromness

When: Tuesday 14 May, 9:30am

With: Viking Hiking

Cost: £45; £30 for concessions

Booking required: Yes

Contact: Viking Hiking website


A full day Viking adventure in Hoy.

After meeting in Stromness by the John Rae statue at 9.30am for a 
safety briefing, we lay the modern world behind us and become Vikings 
for the day. We take the small passenger ferry from Stromness across to 
the island of Hoy. From Moaness pier we walk with an expert guide 
(Ragnhild Ljosland) though the roadless valley between the famous Hills 
of Hoy, said in local folklore to have been dropped there by a giant 
when the strap broke on his two straw baskets carrying soil for his 
garden. On the way, you will learn the Viking names for local birds and 
plants, and we have time to enjoy the fresh air and the stunning, 
unspoiled Orkney landscape until we reach the secluded valley of 

Once inhabited by the Vikings, Rackwick now lies undisturbed, like a 
green bowl surrounded by imposing cliffs in old red sandstone. We stop 
on the beach, by the old stone bothy, built in a style reminiscent of a 
Viking longhouse. We are met by Lifolf (Mark Cook), our outdoor Viking 
cook, who lets us into the secrets of the Viking way of life. You will 
have a go at practical skills such as weaving and braiding techniques.

We cook over open fire and share an authentic Viking meal by the 
campfire. We play games, hear Viking songs and try a Viking dance, and 
listen to ancient stories passed down from the Vikings in the sagas and 
through local tradition in Orkney.

Please wear good clothes suited to the weather. Warm and waterproof 
clothing may be necessary. Also please wear sturdy hiking boots. It may, 
at times, be wet underfoot. The hike goes through a valley where there 
is no road and no groomed trail. Viking food is included, but please 
bring a bottle of water and an extra snack should you get hungry on the 
way. Ferry return ticket to Hoy and bus transport back to Moaness pier 
is included in the price.


Nature Festival Service

Where: St Magnus Cathedral

When: Sunday 19 May, 11:15am

With: St Magnus Cathedral

Cost: Free

Booking required: No


Join the congregation at St Magnus' to reflect upon the important connections between faith and nature. Standing magnificently in the centre of Kirkwall, Britain's northernmost cathedral acts as both a physical and spiritual focal point for the town.

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