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Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands which are located just off the northern coast of Scotland. St Magnus Cathedral stands in the centre of Kirkwall and was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney between 1108-1117. Other attractions in the town include the former Bishop's Palace and Earl's Palace, located adjacent to the cathedral. Also in the town, and containing a number of artefacts of historical importance, are two museums. Shopping in Kirkwall is mainly located on Albert Street and Bridge Street.
The town is located on the main island and is around 10 km from Finstown, 24 km from St Margaret's Hope and 26 km from Stromness. Around 3 km from Kirkwall is the Hatston Ferry Terminal which is operated by NorthLink Ferries. There are places to purchase refreshments a short distance from the terminal. Ferry services operating from the port depart to Aberdeen in Scotland, with a crossing time of around 6 hours. There are also services to Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, with a crossing time of roughly 7 hours and 45 minutes.
Lerwick is a town and port, and capital, of the Shetland Islands which are located roughly 160 km off the north coast of Scotland, 340 km to the north of the city of Aberdeen and 370 km to the west of Bergen in Norway. The town takes its name from the Old Norse and its descendent, Norn, which was spoken in Shetland until the middle of the 19th century and means 'bay of clay'. The Norwegian name for the town is Leirvik with 'leir' meaning clay and 'vik' meaning bay or inlet. There are other towns in western Norway with similar names.
The town's port is a busy fishing and ferry port that also services that support the offshore oil industry. There is an overnight passenger ferry service to Aberdeen, that calls at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. Also, the Shetlands Islands Council operate a ferry service to Out Skerries and Bressay from a terminal in the centre of town.