The George Mackay Brown Trail

The streets uncoiled like a sailor’s rope from North to South
And closes swarmed up the side of the hill
Among garden and clouds,
And closes stepped down to the harbour
And the nets and whitemaas.

from ‘Per Mare’ – a pageant written by George Mackay Brown, performed in Stromness in 1967

Stromness under Brinkie’s Brae 

In 2021, the centenary of the birth of the writer, the Orkney Arts Society devised the George Mackay Brown Trail, which leads visitors and others on three walks through the town and surrounding countryside, passing along the way places associated with the writer and which feature at times in his writing.

The walks can be done in succession or separately. They lead through the town, up Brinkie’s Brae, and along the West Shore coastal track to the kirkyard at Warbeth where GMB is buried.

The trail leaflet contains a map, gives directions along the route, and includes notes on each stage along the way with which GMB had a connection.

It was produced by the Orkney Arts Society in partnership with Stromness Museum and with the support of The George Mackay Brown Fellowship. 

To mark the launch of the George Mackay Brown Trail the Orkney Arts Society will hold two free events:

A peedie drift of sand through the hour glass

An evening of George Mackay Brown’s prose and poetry

at Stromness Parish Church

on Tuesday 12 April at 7:30 pm

hosted by Cameron Stout 

with readings by Orkney Voices

The event is free, but donations will be invited.

Tickets may be booked in advance at 

or at the door.

The George Mackay Brown Trail 

A Guided Walk

On Saturday 23 April at 2pm

starting at the John Rae statue at the Pier Head.

Please note, places will be limited for reasons of safety,

so please book in advance at

The event is free, but donations will be invited.

You can download the George Mackay Brown Trail PDF here.


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