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Review: Orkney


Scotland, United Kingdom

Orkney short break

  • By SilverTraveller stooriefit

    5 reviews

  • Jun 2011
  • Adult family

59 people found this review helpful

Last month we visited Orkney taking the car ferry from Scrabster on the Scottish mainland to Stromness on Orkney west mainland. The ship itself,the HAMNAVOE is a modern vessel with excellent facilities and is operated by Northlink Ferries.The crossing takes 90 minutes. Orkney has so many attractions it is difficult to decide where to begin when you have limited time available but fortunately distances on Orkney mainland are short and sometimes more than one area can be visited in a day. Archeological sites abound and the most important "Skara Brae" is a "must see" for most visitors to the island and does not disappoint.Other sites include The Standing Stones of Stenness,Maeshowe,The Tomb of The Eagles and The Ring of Brodgar. Also on most visitors lists is the world famous "Italian Chapel" built by Italian prisoners held captive on the island during the second world war.Built from any scrap materials they could find the result is stunning. We also managed to visit the island of Shapinsay part of the Orkney islands group and only a 45 minute crossing from Kirkwall,on the east mainland.AFTER booking we discovered that the small ferry to the island requires drivers to REVERSE their cars onto the boat. My two travelling companions boarded as foot passengers while I reversed the car gingerly onto the vehicle deck."Oh ye of little faith"!!

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • ESW
    over 7 years ago
    Orkney is a delightful place and the ancient remains are mindblowing. As well as those mentioned, there are also Broch of Gurness and the tidal Brough of Birsay. Take careful note of the crossing times as the tide comes in quickly over the causeway.

    We also did a trip to Rousay, taking the car on the ferry. There are some delightful cairns (each very different) including the massive great Cairn of Death at Midhowe and also Midhowe Broch.

    For a bit of more 'modern' history, the old farms at Kirbuster (complete with its central open fire place ) with the old Norse Click Mill nearby and also Corrigal are fascinating.

    The undiscovered Scotland website is a good place to start for information:

    Orkneyjar is another fascinating website with lots of information about history, folklore and traditions. Much of the information you won't find elsewhere.
  • annette-hall
    over 7 years ago
    Very useful, My husband and myself are planning a trip to Orkney this year, all comments are welcomed. Will have to check small ferries, I avoid reversing even in a supermarket car park!