An Island Heritage Centre offering a blended digital & live events programme of Orkney Storytelling, Story Circles and the social customs of the past Orkney Islanders who worked the land and fished the seas.

The events offered are as follows:

  • See .....A Storytelling Landscape... 4th heading on the menu


In order that our visitors can continue to enjoy their unique Orkney islands experience at the Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre the following Scottish Government guidelines for indoor visitor centres are still in place.

  • Hand sanitisers available
  • Each guest booking is given their own small candlelit table
  • Online payments preferred, however, if making a cash payment, please bring the exact amount so there is minimal contact in exchange

The Orkney Folklore & Storytelling Centre engages audiences through Orkney Island storytelling Evenings and Heritage events that combine legend,lore & social customs with traditional music,song & dance...The StoryCircles Workshop afternoons are for children and families to create and explore making their own Island stories and characters....The Power of Story Courses are for anyone working in education, special education,mental health and social care,to explore the ancient Oral tradition of storytelling through experiential Sensory & Communication Arts programmes.

Explore local heritage by foot & join one of our Stromness Heritage Tales Guided Walk or Scapa Flow Guided Coastal Walks led by a STGA qualified Tour Guide OFFERED DAILY - CHOOSE YOUR OWN TIME - BOOKING ESSENTIAL

The Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre is located in the middle of UNESCO World Heritage Site - 'The Heart of Neolithic Orkney' just 3 miles from the Ring of Brodgar & The Stenness Standing Stones & 2 miles from Skara Brae the Stone Age Village

"We cannot live life fully without the treasury our ancestors have left us"
George Mackay Brown

The Folklore & Storytelling Centre: Events, Workshops & Guided Walks

To book, phone Lynn 01856 841 207 or email

Peatfire Tales of Orkney: A magical evening of storytelling & social customs around our peat fire.
Tuesdays & Fridays from 8PM - for 8:30PM storytelling start. Adults £10/children £6.

Private group bookings : 6 - 35 guests offering a bespoke "A Taste of Orkney" tailored to group interests. Includes Island Legend & Lore, Social Customs, Traditional Orkney dance & music.

Handfasting & Wedding groups welcome.

Children and Family StoryCircles : 2 hour workshop sessions for 2 - 6 people. Parents/children welcome to your Orkney Island adventure, become a 'Teller Of Tales' make Island creatures/characters in puppets, masks & Storyboards. Cost ££50 for for a session (inc. all craft/art materials and an Orkney treat)

A Guided StromnessTown Walk (STGA qualified) - Stromness Heritage Tales - The 400 year history of the local seafaring characters & Stromness maritime heritage. £7 per person, 1.5 hours duration approx, easy walking offered daily. Meeting point outside The Stromness Hotel at the Pier Head.

A Guided Coastal Walk (STGA qualified) Scapa Flow History & Wartime Heritage Walk - where natural beauty meets island history at the Northwest entrance of Scapa Flow.
£7 per person, 1.5 hours duration approx, offered daily Meeting point Stromness Museum, Alfred Street.

Small, private groups welcome, both walks can be combined by arrangement.Under present Scottish Government Covid-19 Guidelines 8 people is the maximum number of visitors per walk.

The Folklore & Storytelling Centre Experience

As a centre of Orkney Heritage Tourism we welcome you to listen to the Orkney Islands oral traditions of storytelling, ballads, sagas, song & poetry with a particular emphasis on the Island fishing & farming peoples & their traditions. Discover who these "Fisherman With Ploughs" are as George Mackay Brown called them in his "Poem Cycle". Experience the past Islander's sea legends, crofting tales, customs & beliefs, how their Island calendar & partnership with this ancient landscape & surrounding seas has shaped today's social landscape on these North Atlantic Islands.

Folklore & Heritage Library
Sit in candlelight by the peat fire & browse through the local social customs & heritage, exploring the old Orkney books, newspapers, prints & photographs.

The Hamnavoe Room
Listen to local Orkney music or dialect while exploring contemporary Orkney writer's books including George Mackay Brown & Gregor Lamb or Island craft books & the children's Orkney books such as Faraway World: An Orkney Boyhood by W. Towrie Cutt.

Folk Arts Studio
"A time in the old Orkney crofts with their cruisie lamps under the rafters,
the feeblest of glimmers, with the old soft mouths at the edge of darkness.
telling their spells & stories over & over again"
George Mackay Brown

Gather round our big peat fire surrounded by wall murals & collages of the Islands' legends & myths alongside the masks, puppets & models of Orkney folkloric characters & creatures. Here is where we transport you with our stories & music by the light of the peat fire. From 8PM

The Garden of Island Legend & Lore
"Memory loves to linger,
around that sacred spot,
recalling scenes that's by-gone,
but cannot be forgot"
John Merriman, Via, 13 January 1891

The Peatfire Tales of Orkney: The Experience

On Tuesday,Fridayand Sunday evenings you are invited to gather around our peatfire to listen to the magic of these North Atlantic Islands legends & myths,social customs, ballads and dances are woven through this Island tapestry of storytelling. In our Folk Arts studio travel back with us in time to when the legends,folk tales,crafts and work traditions of the fishing & farming Islanders were passed on from one generation to another through their ancient oral traditions.

You are welcome to come from 8PM to enjoy the Heritage Library, Hamavoe Room & Garden of Legend & Lore, Peatfire tales commences at 8:30PM in the Folk Arts studio

A light refreshment of juice will be offered at the interval

Getting there
Main road A965 turn onto the Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones road (Ring of Stones to your left) & proceed to the road end (aprox 3miles) at T junction follow sign (Left 600m... Peatfire Tales evenings of Storytelling.) Centre is opposite Clumly Loch

Adult £10 / children £6 (5-12 years) Group concessions offered. 10% concessions given to senior citizens. Booking essential

Come along as a family or small group (2 - 6 people) to enjoy your Orkney Island adventure creating your own Storyboards & Storymaps, bringing folklore & legend character/creatures to life through mask & puppet making

Workshops are led by Lynn Barbour who has extensive experience in communication arts, drama & dance along with the design of mask & puppet theatre. Lynn has developed creative learning programmes to use storytelling as a tool to help stretch the imagination & build the confidence in children who have difficulties in social skills, education & communication.

Workshops are interactive where children & adults alike can create their own stories, tell their own tales, sing their own songs & rhymes...Leave Orkney with your own folklore inspired puppet or mask.

All materials are provided & include recycled & locally sourced items. Light Orkney refreshments provided also including Orkney fudge & biscuits.

£40 all inclusive workshop

Guided Heritage Walks: The Experience

A Guided Town Walk (STGA qualified) - Stromness Heritage Tales

"Stromness is a ballad in stone.
It has its own legends & lore...
most of them sea-salted."
George Mackay Brown

Explore the old pier & hidden closes, listen to the Stromness Maritime heritage & town history, discovering the local seafaring characters from the last 400 years.
£7 per person,1.5 hours duration approx.
Daily, booking essential call/email 01856 841 207 / Meeting point outside Stromness VisitOrkney information centre

A Guided Coastal Walk (STGA qualified) - Scapa Flow History & Wartime Heritage Walk

Walk along the West Shore path from the Stromness Museum, stand at the North West Entrance of Scapa Flow where natural beauty meets Island history. Discover the wartime heritage of these North Atlantic Islands from the Napoleonic wars through to the Second World War. Photograph Hoy, the High Island & Graemsay, the Green Island.
£7 per person, 1.5 hours duration approx.
Daily, booking essential call/email 01856 841 207 / Meeting point Stromness Museum, Alfred Street.

Small, private groups welcome, both walks can be combined by arrangement.

Highlands and Islands Stories and Social Customs

A bespoke evening/afternoon exclusively for private groups/ To comply with COVID-19 guidlines, the maximum number in a group is 8 people. Booking times by arrangement.