City or Place

Kirkwall, SCT - Postcode - KW15 1DT - Post Codes & Zip Codes List


City/Location/Ward Kirkwall
County/District/Region Orkney
States or Province or Territories Scotland
States or Province or Territories Abbrieviation SCT
Postcode KW15 1DT


Item Description
Latitude 58.98
Longitude -2.962



Kirkwall is located in Orkney


Orkney (or the Orkney Islands) is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, located off the north coast of Great Britain. There are about 70 islands in Orkney, about 20 of which are inhabited. It is located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the coast of Caithness. The largest island, called the Mainland, is 523 square kilometers (202 square miles) in size, making it the sixth-largest island in Scotland and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. Kirkwall is the largest city on Orkney and the seat of government. 

Orkney is not only a historic county, but also a constituency in the Scottish Parliament, a lieutenancy area, and a council area of Scotland. Orkney Islands Council is the local governing body; it's one of only three in all of Scotland where independents make up a simple majority of the council's elected officials.

Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples, and later the Picts, have lived on the islands for at least 8,500 years. In 875, the Norsemen colonized and eventually annexed Orkney, making it part of the Kingdom of Norway. After the family of James III of Scotland's bride, Margaret of Denmark, failed to pay the dowry promised to the king, the Parliament of Scotland absorbed the Earldom of Orkney into the Kingdom of Scotland in 1472. 

North Isles and South Isles are the two main classifications for the remaining islands, both of which are distinct from the Mainland. Most of the land is farmed because of the mild climate and rich soils; agriculture is the country's primary industry. A growing portion of Orkney's electricity comes from renewable sources like the island's plentiful wind and marine energy, which means that the island produces more electricity each year than it consumes.

Orcadians are the native inhabitants of the islands; they have their own unique dialect of Scots and a long tradition of folklore. The "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is one of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe. Both marine and avian life abound on Orkney.


The Pentland Firth is a ten-kilometer-wide (6-mile-wide) seaway between Brough Ness on the island of South Ronaldsay and Duncansby Head in Caithness, which separates Orkney from the mainland of Scotland. Orkney is located at 58°41′–59°24′ north, 2°22′–3°26′ west, and has an area of 975 km2 (about 80 km/50 mi northeast–southwest and 47 km/29 mi east–west) (376 sq mi).

The Fair Isle Channel separates Orkney from the Shetland Islands, which are located further away.

The islands are mostly flat, but they do have some rugged cliffs on their western shores and some sharply rising sandstone hills on Mainland, Rousay, and Hoy (including Orkney's highest point, Ward Hill). Almost every island has a loch, but the rivers and streams that connect them are merely drainage channels. The islands are separated from one another and the mainland by narrow channels, or "sounds" or "firths," which run along the indented coastlines. 

Many of the islands are surrounded by swift tidal currents that are prone to whirlpools and are known locally as "roosts." The strong winds are partially to blame for the islands' lack of trees.


Orkney's soil is rich and productive, so farming takes up the majority of the island's space and accounts for a quarter of the population's income and employment in 2008. Grazing animals take up more than 90% of farmland, with only 4% (or 4,200 ha) used for cereal production and only 134% (or 340 ha) used for woods (330 acres).

In 2001, 345 people were employed in the fishing industry, which accounts for about 3.5% of the economically active population of the islands. The modern fishing industry focuses on herring, white fish, lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish as well as salmon fish farming.

According to a 2009 study, traditional industries are responsible for the export of beef, cheese, whisky, beer, fish, and other seafood. Other industries like tourism, food and drink production, jewelry and knit goods, as well as construction and oil transportation via the Flotta oil terminal, have also seen expansion in recent years. Of all the jobs in the islands, 17.5% are in retail; the public sector employs about a third of the people who live there. Orkney is home to two different distilleries that produce Scotch whisky (Scapa distillery and the Highland Park distillery).

In 2007, out of the 1,420 businesses that were registered for VAT, 55% were engaged in agriculture, forestry, and fishing; 12% were engaged in manufacturing and construction; 12% were engaged in wholesale and retail trade; and 5% were engaged in the hotel and restaurant industry. An additional 5% pertained to some sort of public service. About half of these companies (55%) have between 5 and 49 employees. 

An updated report on the economy's most crucial factors was released in September of 2020.

It's estimated that there are 1,500 different establishments on the island. Over 90% of these businesses have fewer than 10 workers. Around 5,000 of these jobs are estimated to be part-time, for a total of around 11,000. There isn't much industry aside from the processing of food and drink (think cheese and whisky), and there aren't any major private employers besides the Flotta oil terminal. Off the coast of Orkney, fishing contributes about half as much to employment as agriculture does in Shetland.

The report voiced concern over the decline in "business activity, travel and tourism" caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish government unveiled a new plan on 1 February 2021, following the conclusion of previous funding programs. To "provide the equivalent of Level 4 support to eligible businesses in Orkney and other island areas," the Island Equivalent Payment Fund was established.


Scotland, UK Description

Scotland is the most northern of the UK's four constituent countries, occupying roughly one-third of the island. In the 5th century CE, Irish Celts settled on the west coast of Britain, naming it "Scotland." Scotland's name comes from the Latin Scotia, meaning "land of the Scots." Caledonia is a term frequently used to refer to Scotland, particularly in poetry. Caledonii was the Roman name for a tribe that lived in what is now northwest Scotland.

Scotland's harsh climate and extreme weather conditions have made it difficult for many generations to live there, but they have cherished it for its natural beauty and unique culture. During the Scottish Enlightenment, philosophers like Francis Hutcheson and Adam Smith forged important contributions to political and practical theories of progress. Scottish inventors, engineers, and businessmen like Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt, Andrew Carnegie, and John McAdam helped Scotland's influence far beyond its borders.

Scotland-England relations have been strained since the two countries united in 1707 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Despite heavy English influence, Scotland has long maintained its independence, clinging to historical fact and legend to preserve national identity and the Scots dialect of English.


Geographical Description of Scotland

The Aegean, Atlantic, North, and English Channels border Scotland's southern, western, and northern borders, as well as its eastern border. The west coast is dotted with large islands ranging in size from small rocks to the massive Lewis and Harris, Skye, and Mull landmasses (sea lochs or fjords). Orkney and Shetland islands are located north of Scotland. 274 miles (441 kilometers) from Cape Wrath to the Mull of Galloway, and 154 miles wide from Applecross in the western Highlands to Buchan Ness in the eastern Grampians. Scotland's mainland has two halves: north and south (248 km). With only 30 miles of land separating the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth, Scotland's two major estuarine inlets on its west and east coasts, from the sea, the vast majority of places are within 40 to 50 miles (65 to 80 kilometers) of the sea.

The Highlands are in the north, the Midland Valley (Central Lowlands) is in the middle, and the Southern Uplands are in the south. (The latter two are part of the Lowlands cultural region, which includes the former two.) Low-lying areas run the length of the Midland Valley and the US east coast. The east coast's smoother outline contrasts with the west coast's rugged outline, resulting in a topographic as well as a north-south divide. The Glen Mor (Glen Albyn) fault line separates the Highlands from the rest of the country. To the north of Glen Mor is an ancient plateau eroded into a series of peaks of similar height separated by glens carved by glaciers (valleys). The Lewisian Complex rocks have been worn down by severe glaciation to form a hummocky landscape punctuated by small lochs and protruding rocks from thin, acidic soil. The magnificent Torridonian sandstone mountains have weathered into sheer cliffs, rock terraces, and pinnacles.

The Grampian Mountains are located southeast of Glen Mor, though there are intrusions such as the Cairngorm Mountains' granitic masses. The Grampians are less rocky and rugged than the Northwest Mountains, being more rounded and grassy, with larger plateau areas. The area has some of Britain's highest mountains, including Ben Nevis (4,406 feet), which has cliffs and pinnacles that make climbing difficult (1,343 metres). Rannoch Moor, a desolate expanse of bogs and granitic rocks punctuated by narrow, deep lochs such as Rannoch and Ericht, is the most striking example (Rannoch Moor is the most striking of these). The Highland Boundary Fault runs northeast-southwest from Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen, to Helensburgh on the River Clyde, passing through Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest freshwater body. The southern boundary of the Midland Valley is divided by a fault that runs from northeast to southwest, beginning with the Lammermuir and Moorfoot hills. It's misleading to call this part of Scotland the Lowlands because, while it's low compared to other parts of Scotland, it's not flat. Volcanic hills like the Sidlaws, Ochils, Campsies, and Pentlands dominate the landscape (579 metres). The Southern Uplands are not as high as the Highlands. Glaciation has created narrow, flat valleys that divide rolling mountains into sections. The gently sloping, grassy, and rounded hills just east of Nithsdale open up into fertile Merse farming land to the south. With time, the landscape west of Nithsdale becomes more rugged, with granitic intrusions around Loch Doon, and the soil becomes more peaty and wet. Merrick's high moorlands and hills can support a sheep farm at 2,766 feet (843 metres) above sea level. The uplands slope down to the Solway Firth's coastal plains in the south and the machair and Mull of Galloway in the west.


The Economy of Scotland

As a result of the problems that plagued many European countries during the 1970s and 1980s, including the widespread failure of heavy industries, Scotland's economy suffered greatly during this period. Unemployment became a significant issue, particularly in areas where major industries were in decline at the same time. A variety of measures were implemented by successive governments to improve the situation. Because of the extraction of North Sea oil and natural gas, as well as the development of high-technology industries and other economic sectors, Scotland's economy began to prosper during the 1980s.

Scotland's economy remains small but open, accounting for approximately 5% of the total export revenue of the United Kingdom. Aside from London and the eastern regions of England, no other region in the United Kingdom has a higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita than the West Midlands, and its unemployment rate is relatively low. To be sure, wealth distribution in Scotland is not evenly distributed, and the average unemployment rate conceals pockets of significantly higher unemployment in specific regions and localities. Scottish economic development, education, and training are all overseen by the Scottish Parliament, despite the fact that the British government has control over macroeconomic policy in the country. This includes central government spending, interest rates, and monetary policy in Scotland.

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