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OrkneyNature & adventure

Our most recommended Orkney Nature & adventure

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. Depart 8.45am. 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 hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years. Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats 6.15pm with incredible memories of your excursion.

Orkney: Historical and Wildlife Boat Coastal Speedboat Tour

2. Orkney: Historical and Wildlife Boat Coastal Speedboat Tour

From Kirkwall Harbour, experience Orkney in a new and thrilling way as you tour the surrounding islands on a guided coastal boat excursion. Be amazed by local scenery and gaze at a variety of wildlife and bird species which can include seals, dolphins and whales. Get an up-close view like no other! Meet your guide and board the boat at Kirkwall harbor and head for the mainland Our tour guides are very experienced with all the safety training needed and are commercially endorsed by RYA/MCA. Leaving Kiikwall harbour you will visit - Mainland - Hatston Pier Shapinsay - Balfour Castle Shapinsay - Balfour village Helliar Holm - Lighthouse Shapinsay - Galtness battery Sweyn Holm - Wildlife watch Gairsay - Seal colony Midsound Baa - Wildlife watch Finestown - Island history Return to Kirkwall harbour

Orkney: 2-Hour Shapinsay Island Speedboat Tour

3. Orkney: 2-Hour Shapinsay Island Speedboat Tour

Sail from Kirkwall harbor to the island of Shapinsay to take in the sights, including Balfour Castle and the village of Balfour. Check out a tall lighthouse on Helliar Holm, an uninhabited island. Take photos with highland cows, and visit an eco-friendly store, and a local beach. Leave Kirkwall harbor at Hatston Pier and take a ferry to Shapinsay, one of the Orkney Islands. When you arrive, get off your boat and explore the island. See Balfour village, at Elwick Bay. Visit Balfour Castle, a listed building built in the Scottish baronial style of architecture. Then, gaze at a lighthouse, which is 42 ft (13 meters) tall on the uninhabited island of Helliar Holm. Afterward, tour the beautiful coast of Shapinsay, and take some photos of the rugged scenery. Finally, return to Kirkwall harbor to finish your adventure.

Orkney Personalized Trike Tour

4. Orkney Personalized Trike Tour

Orkney is filled with breath taking views, a rich and long history as well as a friendly, vibrant community. Our standard tours give you a brilliant in-depth look at different aspects of Orkney past and present, but if you can't choose which one is perfect for you, maybe spend more time at fewer sites or want to do a bit of everything then this personalised tour is just the right tour for you. This is our most popular tour, as we combine the various ages of history together into one personilised tour based on your specific requests, as Orkney cannot be grouped into just one time period or area as its historical tapestry weaves its way into all areas of Orkney. Orkney is also blessed with breath taking views and wildlife and has a friendly, vibrant community where you can take time to savour the good things in life. Our standard tours give a brilliant in-depth look at these different aspects of Orkney past and present, but if you can't choose which one is perfect for you. With maybe spend more time at fewer sites or if you want to do a bit of everything then we can organise a personalised tour just for you So by booking this tour you get both the pleasure of visiting some of the interesting places on Orkney, and at the same time you experiencing the thrill of riding on a motorbike, but in complete safety driven by an experienced Advanced driver. so its really two tours for the price of One. We also "Pick up and drop off" at your ship, ferry, Hotel or a prearranged place. Warm weatherproof clothing is recommended as Orkney is much colder and windier than many expect on their first visit. after all we are a group of Islands off the north coast of Scotland and not known for its high temperatures. Please remember there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

5. 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 remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the 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, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: 8-Day Skye, Orkney & North Coast 500 Tour

6. From Edinburgh: 8-Day Skye, Orkney & North Coast 500 Tour

DAY1: Edinburgh-Inverness Our first stop of the day is Dunkeld in the heart of Perthshire. Then we make our way to the Highland Folk Museum, Britain's first open-aired museum. Next, we stop at one of the most somber locations in Scotland, Culloden Battlefield, setting for the final Jacobite Uprising of 1746. Visit one of the inspirations behind Outlander - the Clava Cairns - known for being a bronze age burial ground. Arrive in Inverness in the evening for an overnight stay. DAY2: Inverness-Orkney The incredibly beautiful Dunrobin Castle traces its origins back to the 13th century, recognised as one of Britain's oldest inhabited houses. Experience the rugged charm of Scotland’s very own “route 66”. We head to Orkney by ferry for our last leg of the day. Upon arrival your guide drives you to Kirkwall, where you settle in for the night. DAY3: Orkney The breathtaking Italian Chapel was built during WWII using two Nissen huts. The Ring of Brodgar is a vast and mysterious archaeological gem, and the most iconic site in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Visit Skara Brae, an incredibly well-preserved neolithic village consisting of 10 houses. Next, we visit Stromness, the second largest settlement in Orkney. We spend the afternoon exploring Orkney. DAY4: Orkney-Ullapool We hop on a ferry back to the mainland. We continue our journey along the North Coast 500. Smoo Cave is one of the top natural attractions on the North Coast 500 and epic example of Scottish geology. We make a stop in Durness to visit Sango Sands beach. Marvel at the scenery and mild-blowing geology of the North-West Highlands with a walk through Knockan Crag Nature Reserve. DAY5: Ullapool-Portree Our first stop of the day is at Corrieshalloch Gorge. Next we stop at the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan which has links to both clans MacKenzie and MacRae. We arrive in Skye for lunch, visiting Portree and the Old Man of Storr. Next we stop to admire Kilt Rock. Marvel at the breathtaking Mealt Waterfall. DAY6: Portree-Oban We arrive in Mallaig to board the Jacobite Steam Train. The West Highland Line between Mallaig and Ft. William is famous for its beautiful scenery and dreamy sands of the west coast. Glencoe is dominated by majestic mountains which completely contrast the vast and flat expanse of its neighbouring Rannoch Moor. Your guide will take you through Glencoe’s sad history; you will feel like you have been transported through time. DAY7: Oban-Oban Today is your free day to explore the charming fishing village of Oban! DAY8: Oban-Edinburgh We visit St. Conan’s Kirk sits at the heart of Dalmally’s local community. Kilchurn Castle was built in the mid-1400s by Sir Colin Campbell, the 1st Lord of Glenorchy, and sits dramatically on a rocky peninsula. We make a stop at the impressive Falls of Dochart which run through Killin. Our final stop is in Falkirk to see the Kelpies; a fantastic equine landmark. Our tour concludes in Edinburgh after an unforgettable 8 days.

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What people are saying about Orkney

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 51 reviews

We had a great time on this tour which was very well organised from start to finish. Booking was simple and everything was professionally handled by the competent staff. Our coach driver was very skilled with a dry wit which kept us both informed and entertained. Overall, a great day-out which we would highly recommend to give a taster of all the great sites and towns on Orkney.

Great day out - our guide was awesome. He was professional and took great pride in showing us around- I’m sorry I don’t remember his name! We had a ball and learned so much- do it if you can. You won’t regret it!

Booking the trip was straightforward with no problems encountered. The ferry sailings were on time and the crew were pleasant and helpful.

Very knowledgeable and entertaining driver/guide. He allowed plenty of time for photo opportunities.

Great info from Jodi. So enthusiastic and thorough. Would love to comeback some day.