Orkney lies 30 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland. There are two ways to get here- by air or by water. Travel by road will take you as far as the tip of mainland Scotland and the final leg can be made by sea.
Kirkwall airport is outside Kirkwall and is 19 miles from Stromness.
A bus service run by Stagecoach services the airport. Airport service timetable here.
Northlink Ferries run twice daily* from Scrabster (outside Thurso) to Stromness. The journey is 90 minutes. Train and bus connections link in with some ferries. *During October.
Northlink Ferries operate an overnight service between Aberdeen and Kirkwall. Note: This does not run daily.
Pentland Ferries run thrice daily from Gill’s Bay (near John O’Groats) to St Margaret’s Hope in South Ronaldsay (an hour drive from Stromness).
There are several routes to the tip of mainland Scotland. The most direct is using the A9. The 112 mile journey between Inverness and Thurso takes approximately two and a half to three hours. Map link here.
BY TRAIN & BUS
Rail and bus connections for the Northlink sailings to Stromness from Scrabster can be found here. Thurso is the nearest destination. Note: There is no bus service between Thurso and Scrabster port, booking a taxi for the short journey is recommended. See Thurso taxi info here.
By train, Inverness to Thurso / Wick is approximately a 4 hour journey.
Thurso is 2 miles from Scrabster port (Northlink Ferries) and 16 miles from Gill’s Bay port (Pentland Ferries). Wick is 17 miles from Gill’s Bay.
Stagecoach operate an Inverness to Gill’s Bay bus linking the Pentland Ferries route.
Please check all connections are valid for October.
There is a regular bus service X1 between Kirkwall and Stromness.
There are several car hire firms including WR Tullock who hold the airport franchise.
Travelling from Kirkwall Airport to Stromness takes around 30 minutes. Map link here.
The T11 Bus Service operated by Stagecoach is a hop-on, hop-off open top bus that departs from Kirkwall at 10am each day to Stromness then stops at Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar and passes the Standing Stones of Stenness before returning to Kirkwall.
More information on travelling to Orkney here at Orkney.com