New Orkney Folklore Trail app to launch in July

Orkney Folklore Trail app graphic with standing stones
Rhonda Muir, Orkneyology

In early July a free Android app will guide visitors and local people around the West Mainland of Orkney. Orcadian Tom Muir, a traditional storyteller, and his American wife Rhonda Muir are creators of and organisers of the Orkney Storytelling Festival.​ Here, they tell us more about the Orkney Folklore Trail app. 

Welcome to Scotland's Orkney Islands, to an ancient culture where mermaids and selkies swim in the seas, finmen steal their human brides, trowies and faeries need to be carefully dealt with and the terrible nucklavee haunts the shores.

We're happy to announce the upcoming release in early July of a free Android app which will guide visitors and local people around the West Mainland of Orkney.

Tom and Rhonda were contemplating how to encourage visitors and residents to explore less-known parts of the islands and experience Orkney's folklore and other local stories, when they had a fortuitous conversation with visiting researchers from Robert Gordon University, Rachael Ironside and Stewart Massie. Rachael was keen to explore ways to engage visitors with the islands’ supernatural stories, and Stewart had the skills (being a techy wizard of great skill) to envision what a digital trail might look like. So, like all great stories, they joined forces and started an adventure to create the digital Orkney Folklore Trail.

After six months of work, and with the help of another ‘Tech Wizard,’ Tim Melcherson of Sweden, the team have created a driving trail of the Orkney Mainland’s west coast folklore, beginning in Stromness. There are ten stops on this trail. As the visitor arrives at each location the stories that go with the location will ‘unlock.' Stories are narrated by Tom and enhanced by music from local musician Fionn McArthur with illustrations from Stromness treasure, the historian and illustrator Bryce Wilson.

In Orkney, many stories are linked to specific places in the landscape.

Additional information contained in the app will encourage visitors to spend time enjoying the landscape and checking out nearby places of interest, while immersing themselves in the stories that bring the beautiful scenery to life. They’ll find quick tips, rural shop locations and other helpful information at each of the stops – including where to find toilets!

The Orkney Folklore Trail will be available to download free of charge in early July.

Please follow the Orkney Folklore Trail team on Facebook at and on Twitter, Tom and Rhonda Muir's website is at