Hamnavoe Hostel

Gateway to UNESCO heritage site: The heart of Neolithic Orkney.

Gazing out over the Stromness marina and harbour, Hamnavoe hostel represents a comfortable and economical stay in Orkney. Stromness is Orkney’s second town and has all the facilities you would want for a base of exploration as well as a charming old fashioned seafront. The fishing boats bob under the harbour wall – promising (and delivering!) fresh produce. The ferry rolls in, dwarfing the fishing boats but offering access to the other Orcadian islands. 

Hamnavoe hostel itself is a relatively modern building rammed with facilities and comforts. Visitors have posted online reviews claiming it is “The cleanest hostel I’ve ever visited,” and praising its amazing location. 

Now, down to what I regard as the major attraction (brushing aside the wildlife, solitude, landscape and hospitality). Orkney is home to a UNESCO world heritage site: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Ranking alongside The Taj Mahal, Stonehenge and The Great Barrier Reef, only not thronged with people.

The UNESCO website describes it thus:

“The group of monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney consists of a remarkably well-preserved settlement, a large chambered tomb, and two stone circles with surrounding henges, together with a number of associated burial and ceremonial sites. The group constitutes a major relict cultural landscape graphically depicting life five thousand years ago in this remote archipelago.”

Now I reckon this sounds great. A chance to immerse myself in ancient culture amid which has been preserved by its glorious isolation. I’m going to book a room at Hamnavoe right away.