***This tour is available to book however the ferry timetables have not yet been published so the timings/itinerary may be subject to slight alteration***
Our day tour from Inverness takes in the highlights of Orkney including, Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Italian Chapel and the beautiful towns of Kirkwall and Stromness. We also get amazing views from the ferry including the Old Man of Hoy and St Johns Head (the highest cliffs in the UK).
This is a big day out with an early start but it will definitely pay off as this tour allows you to do more in a day than most people would do in two or three!
As a 5-star VisitScotland rated operator who are Number 1 in Inverness on TripAdvisor, if you want to see Orkney, make sure you see it the WOW way!
Luxury mini-coach with A/C, Wifi & USBs
Family run local business
Free cancellation up to 7 days prior to departure
Easy and convenient online booking
The Orkney tour itinerary
The Journey Begins
Upon arrival at Inverness Bus Station you will be greeted by the WOW Scotland team. You will board our luxury mini-coach ready for departure promptly at 5.30am. The early starts is essential and what makes our tour different from others on offer. It allows us to see more of the island and spend more time exploring too!
North Coast 500
Our journey to the ferry takes us along the route of the world famous North Coast 500. The journey starts with the rolling farmland of the Black Isle before taking the coastal route north from Easter Ross with sea views to one side, and mountains to the other. En-route we will pass through the towns Golspie and Brora where we will stop for a quick comfort stop.
Crossing to Orkney - Pentland Ferries
Upon arrival at the North Coast of Scotland we will board the MV Pentalina for the one hour crossing to Orkney.
As you depart you will see the islands of Stroma and Swona in the distance. Both Common seals and grey seals can often be seen basking on these islands’ shores. Also, keep your eyes peeled for feral cattle of Swona which have been roaming free on the island for over 30 years!
Wildlife lovers should definitely pack a pair of binoculars as it is possible to see orca, dolphins minke whales and evening basking sharks! There are also a whole plethora of birds which next close by including puffins, fulmars, great skua, razor bills, guillemots and gannets.
As we approach South Ronaldsay you will pass the abandoned gun towers and lookout posts of the Hoxa Head, which give an eerie remainder of Orkney’s role during both WW1 and WW2. Shortly after this the village of St Margaret’s hope comes into view and our Orkney adventure begins!
St Margaret's Hope and Churchill Barriers
When we arrive at St Margarets Hope you reboard the coach and head north. We island hop from South Ronaldsay to Lambs Holm, via Burray and Gilms Holm courtesy of the Churchill Barriers.
Our first stop will be on the island of Lamb Holm to visit the Italian Chapel, Built by Italian POWs during WW2, this fabulous church is constructed out of two Nissen huts and one can’t help but be impressed by the ingenuity of its parishioners. Entrance is £3 for adults and free for children under 12.
In Kirkwall, the island’s capital, we have one hour to explore. Here you will find many local gift and craft shops, as well as the historic St Magnus Cathedral.
Ring of Brodgar
The Ring of Brodgar is in the heart of neolithic Orkney and needs to be seen to be believed. The awe-inspiring standing stone circle was originally made up of 60 stones, up to 4 metres in height. Today just 36 survive although that is more than enough to give you a sense of importance of the site. We typically have around 45 minutes to explore the stones.
At over 5000 years old, Skara Brae is one of the best preserved stone age villages in Europe! We will spend around 90 minutes here. Entrance is £7.50 for adults, £4.50 children and £6 concessions and free for Historic Scotland Members.
Our day on Orkney will culminate in a visit to second biggest settlement on the island, Stromness. Here you will have around 45 minutes to explore the many lanes, nooks and crannies that abound in this fascinating town.
Northlink Ferry and the Old Man of Hoy
Our journey back from Orkney takes us past the island of Hoy, famous for it’s sea cliffs and it’s iconic sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy. You’ll then have time to enjoy the great facilities onboard, it’s really more like a mini-cruise ship than a ferry! You can enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant, followed by some drinks in the onboard bar where you can sample some of the fantastic beers and whiskies that Orkney is famed for.
Journey back to Inverness
On our journey back to Inverness will we return back via the North Coast 500 route. Your guide will keep you entertained with stories and history which will help make the last leg of the journey fly past!
When you book onto the Orkney Tour you are booking the following:
5 Star VisitScotland rated tour company
The most time on Orkney of any day tour from Inverness
All ferry travel included in price
Number 1 Inverness tour company, with a 5 star-rating, on TripAdvisor
A company you can trust; member of both Visit Scotland and Visit Loch Ness
WIFI on board
Free cancellation up to 7 days prior to departure
Locally owned and operated
Small family run company
Don’t Miss your chance with WOW. Last year we were traveling in Scotland and booked a one day tour with WOW. We had a wonderful time so when we decided to travel Scotland again this year, and include Orkney in our travels, the choice was a natural one – we chose “WOW” again.
Travelling to Skye with Gordon was a truly memorable experience. He exudes the Highland spirit and has a delightful way of expressing himself. We got our money’s worth and more. We’d been herded around Orkney with another bus tour operator a few days before and the WOW tour was a night and day difference.
I would not hesitate to take one of their tours again, and when we next visit Scotland, we will use them for a trip to Orkney!
I’m not sure if it’s logistically plausible, but it would be great to see this company get into Orkney tours. The guides I had with another company left a lot to be desired. The sights alone made the tour worth it, but I’m sure it would have been 100x better with WOWScotland in charge.