St. Magnus Cathedral Tours
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Towering over the narrow streets of Kirkwall in all its red sandstone glory, St. Magnus Cathedral is a testament to the Vikings’ ability to create real beauty amid all that pillaging and plundering.
Commissioned by viking Earl Rögnvald in 1137 to honor his saintly uncle, Magnus Erlendsson, it took over 300 years for St. Magnus Cathedral to become the beauty we see today, all Romanesque flourishes and heavy Norman influences.
The only medieval cathedral in Scotland, look out for the hidden dungeon known as Marwick’s Hole, where hundreds of people were imprisoned over the years before being hanged for witchcraft. Today, though, the northern cathedral is much more benign. Come for a Sunday service to listen to the organ being played beautifully, and try to visit the upper tower for 360-degree views of Kirkwall and the sea beyond.
On Broad Street in Kirkwall, entrance to the cathedral is free and its doors are open from morning until 6 p.m. from April to September and until 5 p.m. for the rest of the year.
Address: Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland
Hours: April-September until 6 p.m. October - March: until 5 p.m.
3 Tours and Activities to Experience St. Magnus Cathedral
Take an Orkney Islands tour of top attractions on this day trip from Inverness. You’ll travel by coach through Scotland’s dramatic North Highlands and ferry across the Pentland Firth from John O’Groats. Cross the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow to the Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stenness — part of the Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site. Your guide also takes you to the stone-age village of Skara Brae and the 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Note: This tour operates during the summer months.
Escape the mainland for a full-day tour of the far-flung Orkney Islands from John O’Groats. Journey by ferry across the Pentland Firth to the wind-swept Orkney archipelago, bursting with postcard-perfect natural vistas and mystical landmarks. With a local guide, cruise along the Churchill Barriers to visit villages steeped in Viking mystery like 5,000-year-old Skara Brae and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and St. Magnus Cathedral.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are St. Magnus Cathedral hours of operation?
St. Magnus Cathedral hours of operation: April-September until 6 p.m. October - March: until 5 p.m.. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
What's the best way to experience St. Magnus Cathedral?
The best ways to experience St. Magnus Cathedral are:
- Orkney Islands Day Trip from Inverness
- Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats
- Orkney Day trip from Inverness
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