Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

UK town so friendly residents can leave their front doors unlocked

Kirkwall also topped the Traveller Reviews Awards 2023 as the most welcoming place in the country to go on holiday.

One taxi driver living in Kirkwall said he left his phone, car keys, and wallet on the seat of his unlocked car for four days and no one took the items.

Furthermore, the same taxi driver dropped a wallet filled with £850 in cash at Kirkwall Airport and a stranger handed it in to lost and found for him.

Speaking to the Mail, tour guide and resident Brian Alexander said: “We like to think we’re reasonably hospitable [in Kirkwall].”

Kirkwall is the largest town on the Orkney archipelago and is renowned for its Viking heritage, natural beauty, and local wildlife on its several famous beaches and hiking trails.

The town is also known for its seafood, whisky, and entertainment.

Rich in history, Kirkwall was founded 1,000 years ago before coming under Scottish control in the 15th Century. Kirkwall is also home to the UK’s most northern cathedral, St Magnus. Its dungeons famously held women put on trial for being witches.

British Heritage said: “On its annexation by Scotland, King James III gave the cathedral to the people of Orkney. Since the Scottish Reformation in 1560, the cathedral has been used for Protestant worship and is today a Church of Scotland congregation—still owned by the Kirkwall people and maintained by the Islands Council.”

British Heritage said: “Within the grand cathedral, the magnificent stained glass windows depicting saints and biblical personalities were created by artist Oscar Paterson in the 1920s.

“Next door, the remains of the 12th-century Bishop’s Palace and 16th-century Earl’s Palace reflect the long importance of Kirkwall as both a place of ecclesiastical and political power.”

In common with other coastal towns in the UK, Kirkwall is filled every summer by thousands of tourists, many of whom arrive by cruise ships.

Kirkwall is also a short distance from other popular tourist sites on the Orkneys including Skara Brae. Skara Brae is a Neolithic settlement older than Stonehenge.

A short drive from Kirkwall’s town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The Ring of Brodgar.

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