Tested Travel visited Orkney Islands as a day trip. Leaving from Inverness at 7:00 am, we made it there and back by 7:30 pm. We still can't believe how much we packed into one day!
Located off the north coast of the mainland, Orkney is a grouping of 70 wind-swept islands, 20 of which are inhabited. Orkney is home to a diverse culture, farms, lots of sheep and cows, standing stones, and prehistoric dwellings.
Top Sites: Some of our favorite places are both on the beaten and off the beaten path!
Eats: Tested Travel made a quick one-day visit to the Orkney Islands and thus did not get a chance to sample many of the mainland's restaurants. We did, however, hit two really great spots.
Good to Knows: These are a few tidbits that are just helpful (or fun) to know!
Tested Travel visited Orkney as a day trip from Inverness.
We booked the Inverness to Orkney Day Tour with John O'Groats Ferry Company. The bus leaves from Inverness around 7:15 am and returns around 9:00 pm. The bus heads straight from Inverness to John O'Groats dock. Here you can take a picture of the famous John O'Groats signpost.
The Orkney Ferry takes you across the Penland Firth to Kirkwall. It is a short walk from the dock at Kirkwall to the Kirkwall bus depot where you continue the remainder of your trip.
Our tour visited Skara Brae (see post), Churchill Barriers, Scapa Flow (see post), the Ring of Brodgar (see post), the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Italian Chapel (see post). A few of the stops require an additional entrance fee.
On the way back, there is an hour-long stop at Kirkwall. Here you can tour the Cathedral or just grab lunch (see the post on Indian Garden restaurant).
Even in summer, the trip to and Round Orkney can be chilly!
Tested Travel visited Orkney in August. We were glad to have on long pants and coats. But, we needed more for warmth! Fortunately, there was a small shop at the dock at John O'Groats and we could buy scarves and mittens. Be sure to plan ahead!