Orkney’s capital Kirkwall has a sense of magic, having stood for hundreds of years, and today you will discover a wonderful selection of craft shops, restaurants and cafés. This bustling market town and Royal Burgh was founded by Vikings around 1035. The original town is one of the best preserved examples of an ancient Norse town. The distinctive red sandstone of St Magnus Cathedral known as the ‘Light in the North’ was founded in 1137 by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in honour of his uncle St Magnus.