See 5,000 year old sites in the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney, stroll along idyllic beaches and dramatic sea cliffs, get up close to amazing wildlife and reconnect with nature in Orkney. Discover Orkney Islands and find information on Orkney holidays, how to travel to Orkney, Orkney map, and more.
Map of Orkney
Travel to and around Orkney
Getting to Orkney
There are three ferry routes, with several daily sailings. Pentland Ferries from Gill's Bay to St Margaret's Hope, Orkney (one hour) is the quickest sailing, and the most environmentally-friendly passenger ferry of its type in Scotland, thanks to the new purpose-built catamaran MV Alfred.
You can also sail with NorthLink Ferries for 1.5 hours from Scrabster to Stromness in Orkney, or from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, Orkney for 7 hours and onto Lerwick in Shetland.
During the summer, there is a fourth ferry route for foot passengers from John O’Groats to Burwick.
You can take public transport up north to the Orkney islands – you can travel to Aberdeen and Thurso by Scotrail train. You can then catch the ferry over to the islands.
Planes also fly direct to Kirkwall from Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness with Loganair, with flights lasting up to one hour. There are connections from Birmingham, Belfast City, Bristol, Exeter, Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Teesside.
Getting around Orkney
Many people arrive in Orkney in their own car or hired vehicle. Orkney has quiet roads and an excellent inter-island ferry service. Electric vehicle drivers will find multiple public charging points across the islands. You can find petrol stations in Kirkwall, Stromness and Dounby as well as petrol pumps on some of the outer islands.
There are several car-hire firms and taxi services on Orkney if you don't have a vehicle.
Bike hire is widely available in Orkney. Bicycles can be hired in both Kirkwall and Stromness and outer islands such as North Ronaldsay and Stronsay.
Bus and coach
Prefer to travel by bus? Orkney's local bus services will help you reach most corners of the Orkney mainland. The network can be used to visit iconic sites such as the Ring of Brodgar and Italian Chapel. The outer islands often have local bus services too.
Looking to hop around several islands? Check out services from Orkney Ferries which are accessible from four ports on the Orkney mainland.
For an exciting sightseeing adventure, you could even hop onboard an inter-island flight with Loganair. These flights reach six islands from Kirkwall Airport, including the shortest scheduled flight in the world, between Westray and Papa Westray.
A tip from your local expert
Step back 5000 years with a visit to western Europe’s best preserved prehistoric village. Skara Brae is older than Stonehenge and gives you a true insight into the lives of people who are long gone.
Assistant iCentre Manager, Kirkwall
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