Stromness is the largest settlement in the west mainland, and is the gateway to northern Scotland thanks to its ferry terminal linking Orkney to Scrabster. It's a busy fishing town with a strong community spirit, and a new found role at the centre of Scotland's marine energy industry.
The town's winding streets are full of character, and Stromness has long been a haven for artists and writers. It has a strong maritime heritage, with links to the Hudson's Bay Company, Arctic whaling fleets and the herring industry.
Now the town plays host to a number of wave energy developers, renewables companies and students. It's also a busy diving port, with a number of boats taking divers out to the wrecks on the seabed of Scapa Flow.
There are range of shops, cafes, hotels and arts and crafts shops in the town, and an industrial area at Garson. There is also the new Coplands Dock pier, which compliments the existing pier infrastructure. Stromness town centre and the retail sector are well represented by the Stromness Community Business Forum, which aims to promote business and community activities in the area. You can find more information on the Stromness website.
Stromness was also been the focus of a successful £3.5 million Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which helped to restore and refurbush the historic town centre. The scheme ended in 2014 and included the repaving of the main street with local stone.