Getting About in Orkney
trip to Orkney is not complete without a visit to one or more of the islands,
as well as visiting all the interesting places on the Mainland. Since
each island is different, with its own charm and the inter-island transport
system is good, it is both easy and interesting to visit all of the islands
as well as the Mainland parishes.
the number of routes and operators the system is rather complex, and intending
users are strongly advised to procure the latest timetables from the Tourist
Office, or direct from the operators.
Orkney Ferries operates ro-ro services to most of the islands, while British Airways Express operate flights to most of the North Isles. Bus services meet ferries at Stromness, Houton and Burwick, and there are services from Kirkwall to Stromness, Dounby, Tingwall, Houton, Deerness, and St Margaret's Hope. Minibus services are available on some of the islands, and taxis, hire cars and bicycles are available on the Mainland and on many of the Islands.
internal sea transport operator is Orkney
Ferries, which operates to most inhabited Islands from
Kirkwall, Tingwall, Houton and Stromness. Orkney Ferries publishes a detailed
timetable annually with full details of all services. Further information
can be had by calling their head office at the Pierhead, Kirkwall, Tel
(01856) 872044, Fax (01856) 872921.
are ro-ro except those to Papay, North Ronaldsay and Graemsay, where vehicles
are handled by crane. The modern fleet of ships runs frequent daily services
to all islands except North Ronaldsay, which is once or twice weekly.
The services run as follows:
from Kirkwall for Westray, Papa Westray, Eday, Sanday, Stronsay and North Ronaldsay.
telephone (01856) 872044
from Tingwall in Evie for Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre.
telephone (01856) 751360
from Houton in Orphir for Hoy and Flotta.
telephone (01856) 811397
from Stromness for Graemsay and North Hoy
telephone (01856) 850624
There are two levels of fares to the islands. Tickets for the inner islands
of Hoy, Flotta, Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Shapinsay are cheaper than those
to the Outer Isles of Westray, Eday, Sanday, Stronsay and North Ronaldsay.
All fares are very reasonable, and a reduction of 25% is available for
10 journey tickets. Since these apply to all islands in the same price
band it is quite easy to use up 10 tickets in a holiday!
Orkney Ferries advertisements and posters for further information.
operators also have boats available for hire. Please ask at the Tourist
Office or locally for the latest information.
TRANSPORT AND BUS TOURS
Services Several operators run scheduled bus services
on the Mainland. Details of all these services are published in a useful
timetable by the Orkney Islands Council, and may be found at the Tourist
Tours of Orkney Mainland Both general and special-interest tours are available. Please ceheck with Orkney Tourist Board for the latest information and contact numbers.
Hire Orkney is very much a car-orientated society, and
independent transport makes it much easier to see the areas not served
by public transport. Several firms have cars for hire, including those
advertising here. It is also possible to hire cars in many of the islands.
Details about services are available from the Tourist Board. In particular
a car is essential to reach many of the most interesting places on the
Mainland as public transport only serves the main population centres.
Taxis are available throughout Orkney, either for normal hires, or tours.
See advertisements for telephone numbers. Please check in "The Orcadian"
or ask at the Tourist office for further information. There are taxi ranks
at the Pier Head, and Broad Street in Kirkwall and in Stromness at the
Hire Orkney, being relatively flat, is good country for
cycling - but note the wind direction before setting off - it could be
much harder getting back! While the main Kirkwall-Stromness road can be
rather busy, there are many secondary roads which are very quiet. On a
nice day there is no better way to absorb the rhythm of the countryside
than from a bike.
can be hired on the Mainland in Kirkwall at Two-Wheeled
Orkney, Tel (01856) 873097
and in Stromness at Orkney Cycle Hire,
Tel (01856) 850255. They may also be hired on many of the other islands.
Please check under the particular island, or ask at the Tourist Office
or locally for further information.
deals exist for visitors, including the Orkney
Adventure ticket which allows visits to up to three islands
at a very special price. Also available is the Sightseer
Fare, bookable 30 minutes
before departure, which allows a discount of 50% and is an excellent way
to have an aerial tour of the North Isles.
Telephone numbers Loganair Tel (01856) 872494, Fax (01856) 872420
or the local travel agent, Ridgway Travel, Tel (01856) 873359, Fax (01856)
872680 for further details. Details of all internal flights can also be
had on British Airways central inquiries and reservation number Tel 0345
For further details or to book, contact Susan or Geordie:
Daytime Tel 07796858569; Evenings and weekends Tel 01856 870208