Magnus 900 Launched with Easter Weekend of Events

Full details and information for events between 15 – 17 April.

Questions about these events can be asked in the comments box at the bottom of the page and will be responded to as quickly as possible.

Saturday 15 April

Re-enactment of the martyrdom of Magnus

(Please note this event is now full due to ferry capacity- if you would like your name to be placed on a reserve list please contact us)

We begin the weekend with a special opportunity to visit to the island of Egilsay, the place of Magnus’ martyrdom. The visit will begin with a short moment of prayer at the St Magnus memorial cairn before volunteers lead a re-enactment of the martyrdom. Guests are invited to participate in the script in support of either Magnus or Hakon whilst the Mayfield Singers perform a number of special musical elements at St Magnus Church. If you would like to play a part in the event then find out more by contacting at the Centre for Nordic Studies.

The Egilsay community will be providing light refreshments and there will the opportunity to have a go at some viking inspired games and to further explore the island.

Important event information:

  • Ferry departs Tingwall 08:40 and returns to Tingwall at 14.30
  • These events are free of charge however Ferry tickets must be booked and paid for in advance by calling Orkney Ferries on 01856 872044 (Tingwall – 751360) stating ‘Magnus 900’
  • Please note ferry tickets are very limited
  • Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing

7 Waves (St Magnus Church Birsay, 15.30)

Artists Erlend Brown and Dave Jackson will unveil a new installation based on George Mackay Brown’s “Tryst on Egilsay”. The 7 poems have provided the inspiration and visual imagery for the large fabric waves which will be suspended from the ceiling of St Magnus Church during the remainder of the summer before touring to Shetland.

A Jar of Light (Birsay Community Hall, 18.30)

(Please note this event is now fully booked)

Join us at the Birsay Community Hall for a very special evening. The Birsay Drama Group will present A Jar of Light specially written for Magnus 900 by Orkney writer Pamela Beasant. The evening will include a traditional Orkney supper followed by music from Kirsty Drever  and Jake Watson, Camron Dowell and members of the Song Shop Choir.

Important event information:

  • This event is free of charge thanks to support from the Big Lottery’s Celebrate Fund
  • Free tickets are available from Monday 27 March from Palace Stores(Birsay) as well as Orkney Islands Council Customer Services – Kirkwall and Warehouse Buildings – Stromness
  • Tickets will be allocated on a first come first serve basis
  • Donations on the evening are welcomed

Sunday 16 April (St Magnus Day)

Easter Sunday/St Magnus Day Service (St Magnus Cathedral, 11.15)

Official launch of the St Magnus Way (Broch of Gurnness, 14.00)

The St Magnus Way is a new 53 mile walk inspired by the Magnus story. The walk will be officially launched by Rev Ron Ferguson at 14.00 at the Broch of Gurness with the opportunity to complete a 4 mile circular walk, finishing at Evie Kirk for refreshments and a opportuntiy to hear a little more about the development of the walk.

Important event information:

  • Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing

St Magnus Day Service (St Magnus Church, Birsay, 19.30)

Join the 21st annual  St Magnus Day service at St Magnus Church. The service will be taken by Reverend David McNeish and Reverend Roy Cordukes. The praise will be led by the Stromness Church Choir.

Monday 17 April

St Magnus Way – Gurness to Birsay (Meet Broch of Gurness car park, 10.00)

This is the first opportunity to walk stage 1 of the newly created St Magnus Way. Join us for a pilgrimage of 12.5 miles that takes in some of Orkney’s finest scenery and coastline, retracing the route by which Magnus’ body was transferred from Egilsay to his place of burial in Birsay. Share in the story and learn more about this fascinating part of Orkney’s medieval history.

Important event information:

  • The route from Gurness to Birsay is 12.5 miles and includes walking on rough coastline, fields and minor roads
  • Approx time 4 -5 hours
  • Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing
  • Please bring your own lunch and refreshments

The Inspiration of Magnus (St Magnus Church Birsay, 19.30) 

The St Magnus Church Birsay Trust host an evening of Music, Visual Arts and Literature including contributions from The Orkney Schola, Shona McInnes, Alison Gray, Gaby Barnby, John Mooney, Fionn McArthur, Paul Francis and Gilbert Markus.

Important event information:

  • This is a free event, donations will be welcomed on the evening

Extra Information

The Birsay Bay Tea Rooms will be open until 18.30 each day between 15 – 17 April



  1. Can the Barony Mill Birsay special OPEN DAY 16th April (times tbc) please be included in the details of extra places to visit during the weekend of events. Free tours..all ages welcome.


  2. On Monday 17th April, after the 12 mile walk – how would one return to one’s transport if left at Gurness please? Will there be transport available? I would very much like to attend and just thinking through the logisitics, otherwise I will have to walk back again!


  3. Please advise if on the Monday 17th April with the first stage of the St Magnus way, after walking 12 miles, are there any arrangements to get walkers back to their cars left at Gurness please? Thank you.


  4. Helen and orkneymagpie, there are no formal transport arrangements however we advise that you leave your cars at the Birsay Hall and we will ensure that someone collects you on route to Gurness. Please be at the hall no later than 9.30. Thank you


    • Thanks, Antony – you will be aware by now that Helen Woodsford-Dean and orkneymagpie are one and the same – I had a bit of an issue posting a comment yesterday and ended up posting twice inadvertently.


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