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This is a very long day, and for those of us who have sea issues sometimes the 45 minute trip across form John O' Groats can seem longer, but it's worth it...the Orkney's have a wealth of history, sights, and views and you really get the highlights of the Islands...some fascinating history form WWII to 3500 BC...Skara Brae never gets old - just thinking about how folks lived there is really mind boggling...Ring of Brogdar ? really reminds you of Stonehenge and they are excavating new sites just down the road...loved the WWII connections, and the Church constructed by the Italian POW's is both lovely and bittersweet...really worth the , almost impossible to do this on your own...you should do this!
Could have used a little more time in the town but you can't control the currents in the North Sea. It was an amazing day. The tour guides did a great job and ensured we had all the pertinent information. It is a definite must see...you may want to consider an overnight here there is so much to see and do.
Carol C USA
Very long day, but the sights in the Orkneys are worth the trip.
Amazing place. Starting with the coach ride from Inverness to John O'Groats Ferry, you get outstanding scenery, lots of history about MacBeth and more. The Ferry ride was very pleasant with dolphins and puffins and sunshine. The temperatures on the Orkney Islands was around 70 which they say is year-around but in the winter the winds are fierce so it doesn't seem like 70. The town we stopped in was delightful with very friendly people but the history - Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones similar to Stonehenge is something you have to see. The historians built a replica of a stone structure that the people of 5000 years ago lived in that visitors can go into and see how they slept, where their fire was, where they stored their foods, etc. The actual village has a path around the various homes of yesterday but you can't go in those - they are in the sand and the roofs are covered with grown-over grass, etc.
Long trip on the bus, followed by a brief ferry ride to the islands.
I was fortunate to sit next to a local from the island of Hoy and he pointed out points as interest along the way as well as a standing stone on the ridge of a mountain.
There was plenty of time to spend having a wander around the town before setting off on the tour around the island a the points of interest.
The weather was atrocious but there is little that can be done about that.
The archeological sites were outstanding and very well presented. The surprise was the woolly pigs.
The driver was entertaining and informative and allowed us all plenty of time foe a wander. His patience was tried at each spot with two tourists always being late.
All in all I would thoroughly recommend this tour.
Our day trip to the Orkney Islands was one we will remember for a long time to come. The bus left promptly from Inverness bus station where there is plenty of parking around for those with cars. The two and one half hour bus trip was comfortable and the guide provide us with information along the way. Ferry ride from John O'Groats was smoothly organised. Our guide/bus driver, Martin in Orkney was excellent. As a local he was able to add that little bit of local knowledge and passion for his homeland which made the trip special. We had been looking forward to seeing the archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodga and Scara Brae. I would love to have stopped at the Ness of Brodga and Maeshowe just long enough to take some photos. I would also like to have passed the Ness of Brodga when there were archeologists there working on the site. I do understand that there is a lot to fit into a one day trip such as this.
Another excellent part of our trip was the bus trip back along the Scotish coast with the green fields, blue water, castes and castle ruins. All lovely. We were so lucky to get great weather although windy in parts mostly it was a sunny and warm August day. Thank you Martin for making the day memorable.
The weather was awful but overall we had a good trip. Our guide on the Island was very good. Would be fantastic on a clear day.
Excellent trip, highly recommended. Timing of tour well organised, saw such a lot of Orkney all on one day. Learned so much from Orkney tour guide and had beautiful weather too!
Our guide Stuart Smith was great - knowledgeable, personable, and funny.
Very good tour guides, both on the way up to John O'Groats and then around Orkney. Both gave a lot of good info along the way. Also thought that meals and bookings for Skara Brae were handled excellently so we made the most of our time on the islands. A trip that will stay long in my memory.
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