The Orkney Folklore & Storytelling Centre - A Centre for Heritage Tourism.

The Orkney Folklore & Storytelling Centre engages audiences through Orkney storytelling evenings & workshops combining island legends, lore & social customs through traditional music, song & dance. Explore local heritage by foot & join one of our town or coastal guided walks (STGA qualified guide).The Centre is located in the UNESCO world heritage site, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney 3 miles from the Ring of Brodgar & The Stenness Standing Stones & two 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

Booking essential call / email Lynn 01856 841 207 /

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.

Island Tales & Ales: An atmospheric evening of storytelling & social customs, enjoy a complementary Orkney drink whilst listening to Island Legend and Lore around the peat fire.
Sunday & Wednesdays from 8PM at the Still Whisky Bar, Stromness Hotel. Cost £10 per person. Book with Lynn or at Stromness Hotel.

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.

Family & Children's Island StoryCircles : 2 hour workshops for 2 - 6 people. Parents/children welcome to your Orkney Island adventure, make Island creatures/characters in puppets, masks & Storyboards. Cost £40 for a workshop (inc. materials & light refreshments)

A Guided Town 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, offered daily. Meeting point outside Stromness VisitOrkney Information Centre.

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.

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

Explore our outdoor creative space inspired by the four elements - Earth, Air, Fire & Water set in the ancient landscape of Via. From the old Norn word "Veeo", "Via" means "a sacred place" - discover the story of the Stones of Via & the Bronze-age burial mound. Let your imagination wander whilst sitting surrounded by sculptures & forms created from recycled materials inspired by characters of Island folklore & legends. Donations welcome for local charities or not for profit organisations connected to fishing & farming communities.

The Peatfire Tales of Orkney : The Experience

On Tuesdays & Fridays evenings you are invited to gather round our peatfire to listen to the magic of these North Atlantic Islands legends & myths. Indigenous music, rhymes, customs & dances are woven through this Island tapestry of storytelling. In our Folk Arts studio travel back with us in time to when the stories, tales & crafts of the fishing & farming Islanders were passed on from one generation to another through their 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. Group concessions offered. Booking essential

The Island Tales & Ales : The Experience

"The enchanting tongues went on & on beside the fish oil lamps,
then the grey of morning entered the crofts,
& called the Islanders back once more
to their hard work of ploughing & fishing"
George Mackay Brown

The Stromness Hotel's private Still Room Whisky Bar has a rich heritage of the fishing & farming people of Stromness sharing their daily stories about real people, real lives & real places at the end of the day over a jar of ale or nip o' whisky. Share an evening in the Still Room Whisky Bar reminiscent of a 19th Century Stromness ale house. Sit around the peat fire, at your candlelit table & enjoy a complimentary drink on us whilst listening to the legends, customs & social heritage of the Island people who worked the land & fished the sea.

Wednesday & Sunday night from 8PM to hear sea-salted tales of Stromness including smugglers, seamen, The Tales of the Tide & The Selkies songs.

Getting there
The Still Room Whisky Bar is on the second floor of the Stromness Hotel, next to the reception.

£10 per person, complimentary Orkney ale/whisky or glass of wine offered. Booking essential

Family StoryCircles : The Experience

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

Other Details

Storytelling - Tuesday and Friday from 8PM (Sunday from 8PM at Stromness Hotel)