Maxi Day Tours of Orkney
From John O'Groats
Maxi and mini tours are the perfect day out for anyone staying in the Northern Highlands.
Starting at John o’ Groats, the Ferry takes just 40 minutes to cover the old sea route to Orkney across the famous Pentland Firth which links the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea. The Firth is rich in marine wild life and the many isolated islands provide secure breeding places for thousands of sea birds. Look out for seals and whales.
Your coach will be waiting for you at Burwick ready to drive you across the Churchill Barriers which were built in the 1940s and thread five islands together to form the eastern boundary of Scapa Flow. Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow with beautiful views of the Hoy hills across the water.
Stromness is surely one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Walk through the winding main street and visit the museum which features Orkney's connection with whaling and the early development of the Hudson's Bay Company, also photographs of the First World War German fleet. The Pier Arts Centre is also well worth a visit.
Then on to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae (2,500 BC) which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved, for thousands of years and was only rediscovered 100 years ago. This site is operated by Historic Scotland , who charge an admission fee of £6.70 (seniors £5.40) which includes entry to Skaill House. It is possible to buy this this entrance ticket at the ferry office or onboard the ferry. (It is also possible to buy an explorer pass to cover access to all their sites from Historic Scotland).
Our route then takes us on to a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness with a photo stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.
This is followed by a two hour stop at Kirkwall (pop. 7000). Kirkwall is the capital town of Orkney. See the St Magnus Cathedral founded in 1137 by Earl Rognvald, and Tankerness House Museum/Gardens. Plenty of shops, look out for woollens, jewellery, fudges, cheeses and bere bannocks. Attractive harbour nearby.
On return to Burwick stop at the Italian Chapel, beautifully decorated inside two WWII Nissen huts.
1st May to 30th September, 9.00am – 7.45pm