The Parish of Dunkeld Handbell Ringers

Our Journey To The North – June, 2009

Day 1

Five cars, laden with handbell equipment, 12 ringers and four helpers travel from Dunkeld to The Royal Burgh of Dornoch. The first concert of the tour took place in Dornoch Cathedral, the 13th Century Parish Church, before a most appreciative audience, with a retiring collection towards the upkeep of The Cathedral

Dornoch Cathedral


Day 2

Continued the journey to Thurso, on the northern mainland of Scotland, and boarded the ferry MV Hamnavoe for the crossing to Stromness, Orkney.

Ferry MV Hamnavoe

Some of the Group on the Ferry

Sailed past the distinctive 449feet high red sandstone sea stack of The Old Man of Hoy.


Stromness Parish Church

Concert in Stromness Parish Church, with a retiring collection for The Thyolo (Malawi) Project – a great audience. In Viking times Stromness was called Hamnavoe (the name of our ferry), which means “a peaceful or safe harbour”



Day 3

Free time during the day to explore!

Crossed the Churchill Barriers to visit The Italian Chapel on the island of Lamb Holm.

The chapel was created from two Nissen huts by Italian WW II Prisoners of War. It is truly a magnificent work of art, which the Orcadians promised to care for when the prisoners of war left Orkney in 1945.

Some of the Group outside the chapel

Caroline inside the chapel

Also explored Kirkwall, the islands’ capital, and St. Magnus Cathedral, one of Orkney’s most distinctive landmarks. Construction began in 1137 to build the “finest Church the North had ever seen”, which now belongs to the people of Kirkwall.

St Magnus Cathedral

Evening concert in the East Church’s King Street Halls. A few members of The City of Kirkwall Pipe Band also performed in this concert, the retiring collection being for the Band’s funds. The hall was full and the audience included children who ring in a handchime group at a Kirkwall Primary School.

East Church Kirkwall

Ringers in the East Church Kirkwall

Day 4

Visit The Ring of Brodgar – one of the best preserved stone circles in the UK and thought to date from around 2,500 – 2,000 BC

Some of the group at the

Ring of Bodgar


Skara Brae

Also visited The Bay of Skaill, on the shores of which is Skara Brae, the best preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe. Skara Brae , approximately 5,000 years old, was inhabited before the Egyptian Pyramids were built and flourished many centuries before the construction of Stonehenge.


Day 5

Journey home after a fantastic tour.

Orkney is a wonderful place to visit. There are many, many interesting places, the people are friendly and welcoming, our accommodation was superb, the food is delicious, the art and craft work is of an extremely high standard and, to our great satisfaction, everyone loved the handbell music.