Orkney

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Our most recommended things to do in Orkney

  • From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

    1. From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

    Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor. Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidde...

    This tour is good value, the bus driver/tour guide was very friendly, helpful and informative. The Orkney Islands have an interesting history, the Neolithic Villge was spectacular.

  • Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

    2. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

    Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

    It was good the only disappointing bit was you could hardly hear the guy due to the amount of your children when sat inside so we missed parts of the history given

  • From Inverness: 3-Day Orkney Explorer

    3. From Inverness: 3-Day Orkney Explorer

    Day 1Explore Orkney’s ancient capital, Kirkwall After an early start leaving Inverness at 08:00, travel north through the Black Isle, past the imposing Dunrobin Castle, before crossing the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Isles. Stay in Kirkwall, the modern day capital of Orkney for 2 nights. Here, you can visit Kirkwall's magnificent Viking cathedral and its historic winding streets. Day 2: Follow in the footsteps of the Vikings as you travel through Orkney Today is your chance to explore the modern and ancient wonders of this fantastic island; a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness and Maeshowe...

    waited 60 years to see it, Helen was super, really had lots of local knowledge, accomadations execellent, just had a great time thank you, ET

  • Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

    4. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

    Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and...

    Amazing tour of the Highlands and Orkney. Keith, our tour guide was professional and so knowledgeable, kept us entertained with great stories and music, attention to detail, we visited lots of beautiful and places, lochs, mountains, waterfalls and learnt tons of Scottish and British history. Thank you Keith for making this tour such an amazing experience. We will be back!

  • From Edinburgh: Orkney and The Far North 5-Day Tour

    5. From Edinburgh: Orkney and The Far North 5-Day Tour

    The 5-day tour from Edinburgh takes you on a discovery of the Scottish Highlands and the Orkney Islands. Heading north from Scotland’s capital city, you can admire the breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands and explore the history of the Orkney Islands. On day 1, travel north to Loch Ness. The spectacular tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The route then takes you through the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, the scene of the terrible massacre of the MacDonald Clan, and on through Fort William and the Great Glen to arrive at the fabled shores of Loch Ness. Stay overnight at Drumnadrochit. On day 2, head north via Inverness and the spectacular coastal scenery of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. Then, board the ferry for a memorable trip to the mysterious and magical Orkney Islands. Once you arrive, take in the stunni...

    Loved this trip. Really appreciated that Highland Experience still ran the trip even though the numbers were below the normal minimum. That meant a bit more flexibility as to timing as well. The driver was good fun and very informative and accommodating. Very much enjoyed the Highlands and loved Orkney. The Neolithic sites are wonderful but also loved the town of Kirkwall itself and just wandering the streets. As always, one could always do with more time, but we had plenty of time at each place to appreciate it. I recommend this tour. As a solo traveller, it would have been nice to be in the same B&B as other participants but that was probably because I booked not long before the trip started.

  • From Edinburgh: Orkney, Skye and the Far North 8 Day Tour

    6. From Edinburgh: Orkney, Skye and the Far North 8 Day Tour

    On day 1, travel through the Trossachs to Oban. This wide-ranging Highland and Islands tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch, Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to Kilmartin Glen. Here, you’ll be able to explore Scotland’s ancient past. With over 5,000 years of history laid out before you, you’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of the first Scots at Dunadd Hill Fort and the Temple Wood Stone Circle. Then stay overnight in Oban. On day 2, enjoy a day of high hills and history. It takes you through the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, past Ben Nevis - Britain’s tallest peak, and and stop Fort William. Taste the best seafood at Mallaig and cross over the sea to the Isle of Skye on the ferry for your second night. Stay overnight in Kyleakin. On day 3, enjoy a whole day to explore Skye’s beautiful landscape. Here the mountains and beaches beckon, so lose your...

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What people are saying about Orkney

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 88 reviews

A very well organised trip , in a comfortable coach and with a very well informed driver, passionate about his home island, who kept us passengers engaged with his facts, figures and explanations. We visited the key places expected with good time slots to get a flavour of the history and life of the island. The boat trip across can be a little rough, but our day it was perfect. Possible sighting of cetacea was not to be for us sadly.

This tour is good value, the bus driver/tour guide was very friendly, helpful and informative. The Orkney Islands have an interesting history, the Neolithic Villge was spectacular.

Great crossing on the ferry,then the bus trip took us around the islands with the driver being a very good driver as well as tour guide, all in all a very enjoyable day.

It was good the only disappointing bit was you could hardly hear the guy due to the amount of your children when sat inside so we missed parts of the history given

Great trip, coach driver really informative and friendly. Very organised and plenty of time at places of interest. Amazing views. Highly recommend.