Getting here and around

How to reach Orkney and getting around whilst here.

Getting Here

You can reach our islands by sea or by air. Depending on where your journey begins and how you'd like to travel, you'll find more information on reaching us using the following links:

By Boat

Pentland Ferries - Gills Bay to St. Margaret's Hope with up to 3 return journeys a day. The journey takes around an hour and this is the shortest route by sea with a vehicle.

Northlink Ferries - Regular sailings from Scrabster to Stromness, Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick to Kirkwall.

John O' Groats Ferry - John O' Groats to Burwick. Carries foot passengers only and operates between May and September.

By Plane

Loganair are the only airline covering routes to and from Orkney. Direct flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness & Sumburgh are available year-round.

By Bus

Citylink have a coach network servicing all of the above ferry ports.

The Orkney Bus operates an express service daily between Inverness and Kirkwall (May to September) utilising the John O' Groats Ferry.

By Train

Scotrail - Timetables and tickets for Scotland's rail network

Getting Around


Having your own transport allows the most flexibility when exploring Orkney. Take yours over on a ferry or hire one whilst here (be sure to book well in advance if you can, particularly during the busy summer months).


Most of the main sites on Orkney's Mainland and linked South Isles can be reached using public buses operated by Stagecoach. Kirkwall Bus Station is only a couple of minutes walk from all Kirkwall Apartments.


Ferry services to the outlying islands are operated by Orkney Ferries. The Kirkwall Terminal can be reached by walking less than 5 minutes from all apartments.

  • From Kirkwall, ferries connect you to Shapinsay, Westray, Papa Westray, Stronsay, Eday, Sanday and North Ronaldsay.
  • Ferries to Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre depart from Tingwall Pier in the West Mainland.
  • Ferries to the South Isles of Graemsay, Flotta & Hoy depart from Stromness or Houton.

It is advisable to book in advance (both ways!) particularly if taking a vehicle.

By Plane

Loganair operates Orkney's inter-island air service flying between Kirkwall and the North Isles of Westray, Papa Westray, Stronsay, Eday, Sanday and North Ronaldsay. The flight to Papa Westray via Westray is the world's shortest scheduled flight taking less than 2 minutes!

Private Tours

There are many good tour operators offering private tours tailored to your interests. From Orkney's maritime history to archeology, nature to food and drink. (Or a mixture of all these and more!)