Follow the shores of Scapa Flow on to St Magnus Cathedral.

Locations Public Convenience
Length12.7 miles (20.4km)
TerrainRoad and track walking with one challenging section of rough heather moorland and some cliff exposure on Scapa Flow.
Total ascent222m
Total on road5.05 miles (8.1km)
Total off road7.65 miles (12.3km)
Time5-7 hours

From Orphir the final stage of the pilgrimage, to St Magnus Cathedral again follows the coast as much as possible – although this time the gentler waters of Scapa Flow, the largest natural harbour in the northern hemisphere. Our theme for this final stage is Hospitality – reflecting on the place of feasting in the medieval world and our own mealtime traditions as well as the place of welcome afforded Magnus in Kirkwall, and the reception we ourselves anticipate. We retrace our steps to Nearhouse and then follow the road to Waulkmill.

From this RSPB bird reserve, we walk along the coast past Griffyelt and Hesti Geo to Scapa Beach, then on the Crantit Trail to Kirkwall. Rather than going straight to the cathedral we head to the Harbour, for the Cathedral once marked the waterfront, and pass the site of St Olaf’s Kirk where he was first taken, before approaching the Cathedral from the north. You can also download a detailed route description and gpx file for use with mapping software.

At times of exceptionally high tides, the path leading to the beach at Waulkmill may be flooded and impassable. In those circumstances, walkers are advised to return to the main road and keep on it 'till the next junction and turn right there. Tide times at Waulkmill are approximately the same as for Stromness. Please see

This project is being part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014 – 2020 Programme