5 star rating: Highly Recommended 63 Reviews

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  • Location: John O'Groats, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  11 hours (approx.)
Explore the Orkney Islands on this day trip from John O'Groats. Take the ferry and island hop across the Churchill Barriers to visit Kirkwall, home to the magnificent Viking cathedral of St Magnus. Step back 3,000 years as you enter the village of Skara Brae and on your way home drop by the Italian Chapel.


  • Day trip from John O’Groats to the Orkney Islands
  • Cross the Churchill Barriers
  • Ferry boat ride across Pentland Firth
  • Watch for seals and whales
  • Visit the villages of Storminess and Skara Brae

What You Can Expect

Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

St Magnus Cathedral, Scotland

Leaving John O'Groats, this day trip to the Orkney Islands departs every summer morning. Cross the Pentland Firth to the Islands by ferry in just 40 minutes. 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 along the way.

Island hop across the Churchill Barriers which thread together five islands to form the Eastern boundary of Scapa Flow. Visit the capital town, Kirkwall, home to the magnificent Viking cathedral of St Magnus, and the lovely little village of Storminess, last port of call for sailing ships on their way to the Americas. Then step back 3,000 years as you enter the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. This Village was hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved, until uncovered 150 years ago during a winter storm.

On your way back to the ferry in the evening there will be a stop at the Italian Chapel. Beautifully constructed inside two "nissen" huts using only basic raw materials, the beauty of the Chapel must be seen to be appreciated.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

Had the most fantastic day on Orkney!! Lucky enough to have brilliant weather and so could appreciate the beautiful views. We were given lots of interesting information by our bus driver, Stuart who was extremely informative and also very witty!! Timings for stops was perfect and the 4 of us who went on the trip felt we had a very comprehensive tour of the Islands in a day!! Thoroughly recommend!! We have also booked a trip with Viator in New York so hope it is as good.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed our tour, it is definitely a "bucket list" to do.
Luckily we had a perfect day after a period of not so good weather. However our experience was even better than we had hoped. Scara Brae was, to me, absolutely spine tingling, to look into the very homes that families lived in, up to 5000 years ago was hard to comprehend. Their level of sophication was an education to us.
The Italian Chapel was far more interesting than we realised, and, also there was a twist, there was a sequel to the story that only occurred about 8 weeks previous. Sorry but you'll have to do the tour to find out. We had reservations as to whether the extra time taken to visit the Orkneys was going to be worth it - well it was one of the highlights of our 5 week UK holiday and wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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Tour code: 2746MAXIDAY


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