Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Friday, 6 January 2012


This picture of Stromness was taken from a wee 8ft rowing boat in the water along the harbour by Vivienne Rorie. She kindly said I could share it with you.  Stromness is my favourite town.

This photo clearly shows the backs of the houses which run along the main old street in the town. It was built along "Norwegian" lines (Orkney was part of Norway till only 400 years ago), with the gable ends of the houses turning "their shoulders to the wind".  Each house had a pier and the houses on the other side of the street would have had access rights to the pier. Stromness was home to the herring fleet in the 19th century, and all the houses would also have had wee boats to go out fishing. Nowadays it's generally used by the home-owners for their wee pleasure boats.

But the harbour is still a thriving centre to the town. It's where the ferry from the north of Scotland docks, some deep sea fishing boats are based here, plus the smaller local boats which fish for crabs with creels. There are the dive boats, part of the tourist industry, with lots of wrecks around these waters for diving. More recently there are also the work-boats for the renewable energy industry as there are test centres around the West coast of the Orkney Mainland, as well as some workshops down in the flow.


  1. What an attractive little place, Sian. Is it where you go to shop or is that Kirkwall?

  2. MY old eyes LOVE that the click on this photo brings up a full size picture. Some of your photos are so small it's difficult to see. Loved this one!

    (Incidentally, the word verification for this comment is "Picarder." Jean Luc Lives!)

  3. Beautiful picture - not taken today I would guess, but who knows - you may be having a good day. c

  4. Thanks for the explanation about the side-on houses - we had wondered! We were very taken by Stromness (and of course I love that P.M.Davies piano piece, 'Farewell to Stromness') and I'd love to get to know it a little better one day.

  5. Perpetua - Stormness is the nearest town to Graemsay and my favourite. It has our health centre, banks, and some shops and that's where I get my groceries sent across from. The main town is in Kirkwall, has the usual large supermarkets and more shops. A lovely town too, but Stromness has my heart ;-)

    Bev - ooh sorry you should have spoken up earlier! I was trying to keep size down so that it didn't take too long to load the page. See how the bigger photos go!

    Barefoot Crofter - er no it was taken in October!

    DB - Ah yes. I love Farewell to Stromness. PMD wrote it when he lived on Hoy and it was written based on his feelings as he sailed from Stromness over to Hoy. It as some sad connotations for me now as it is often played at funerals and I have heard it at some funerals where someone has gone way too soon. But it is still a lovely piece.

  6. fabulous picture ~ I can't wait to get back to, sadly won't be until next summer :-( But my heart lives in Stromness and one day I will too :-)

  7. Yes STromness is my 2nd most favourite place (after Graemsay of course!). And I am living proof that dreams come true!