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Journey Planner
  • The MV Pentalina catamaran ferry at St Margaret's Hope, South Ronaldsay, Orkney
    The MV Pentalina catamaran ferry at St Margaret's Hope, South Ronaldsay, Orkney
  • Photograph out of the window during a flight over North Ronaldsay to Kirkwall
    Flying over North Ronaldsay to Kirkwall
  • Golfers putting on a green at Stromness Golf Club with the hills of Hoy in the distance
    Stromness Golf Club with ferry in the distance

Located just off the north coast of Scotland and accessible seven day a week, travelling to Orkney is surprisingly easy. This archipelago of around 70 islands is closer than you think.

By land and sea

By car

If you wish to drive for as much of the journey as possible head north to the ferry ports of either Aberdeen, Scrabster, Gills Bay or John o' Groats.

NorthLink Ferries and Pentland Ferries allow you to take your car, so you can drive around Orkney.

You can find out up-to-date traffic information from Traffic Scotland, and plan your route with Transport Direct.

By bus

Citylink buses run to Aberdeen, Thurso and Gills Bay, with ongoing ferry connections to Orkney. From June to the start of September, there is the option of the Orkney Bus, which journeys direct from Inverness to Kirkwall, utilising the John O’Groats Ferry link.

By train

Travel by train to Aberdeen or Thurso, where you can catch a ferry to Orkney from the harbours. More information on train timetables can be found on the ScotRail or National Rail websites. 

By ferry

Unless you are travelling by plane, you will complete your journey to Orkney by ferry.

NorthLink Ferries has services between Aberdeen and Kirkwall (6 hrs) and Scrabster and Stromness (90 mins). Pentland Ferries operates from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope (60 mins). In the summer, there is also a John O’Groats Ferry passenger-only service between John O’Groats and Burwick in South Ronaldsay (40 mins). The frequency of sailings depends on the season, so please check the ferry operators’ websites before starting off.

By air

Flying to Orkney couldn’t be easier, with regular Flybe flights operated by Loganair. You can travel from airports in Glasgow (1 hr 20 mins), Edinburgh (1 hr 20 mins), Aberdeen (50 mins), Inverness (45 mins) and Shetland (35 mins).

Travel agents

  • Orcadian Wildlife offer tailor-made wildlife and history tours to small groups of people up to a maximum of four guests.
  • Orkney Archaeology Tours offer all-inclusive hotel based small group holidays and private tours led by professional archaeologists who are also qualified Orkney Tourist Guides.
  • Scapa Travel are an experienced local travel agent, specialising in tailor-made itineraries to Orkney, to suit individual requirements.
  • McKinlay Kidd offer award-winning, tailor-made holidays and short breaks across Scotland.
  • Wildabout Orkney offer an exciting portfolio of guided and self-drive holidays to Orkney.
  • Hart Holidays is a specialist tour operator for wonderful self-drive holidays to the Scottish islands and across Scotland.