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Travel to Orkney by Land and Sea
Whether you travel by car, coach or train, the main approach follows the A9 from Perth to Caithness. The A9, which has been much improved and shortened in recent years, connects from central Scotland and England's main motorway and rail networks. Duel carriageway connects Aberdeen to central Scotland.
The last leg of your northward journey will be by sea, with a choice of sailings from Aberdeen and Scrabster, Gills Bay or John O'Groats in Caithness. NorthLink Ferries provide a service through Aberdeen and Scrabster, and the timetable includes evening sailings. By car from Perth to Inverness is 114 miles through some of Scotland's most beautiful landscape. From Inverness to Scrabster is 111 miles.
Pentland Ferries' route between Gills Bay and St. Margaret's Hope adds further choice and flexibility. It takes 1 hour and runs 3 times daily (check website for winter sailings). Pentland Ferries operate a new catamaran.
John O'Groats Ferries provides a May - September passenger service to Burwick on South Ronaldsay, served by the Orkney Bus, tickets from Inverness to Kirkwall.
By train you can travel to Thurso, where a bus connects to the ferry at Scrabster, or Aberdeen where the station is near to the harbour area. There is also a coach connection from Inverness/Wick to Gills Bay. By coach you can go either to Scrabster or to John O'Groats (but remember that the John O'Groats route is a summer, passenger-only service).
Orkney by air
Kirkwall is 90 minutes from either Edinburgh or Glasgow, 45 minutes from Aberdeen and a mere half an hour from Inverness. Flybe operate flights from all of the above airports, all of which have excellent UK connections. Glasgow, Edinburgh and aberdeen also have good European connections and if you're flying in from Ireland or the USA you can fly direct to Glasgow or Prestwick. On your approach to Orkney, you'll enjoy a glimpse of the bigger picture - the many islands that surround the Mainland.
Travel Company Contact Details
- Northlink Ferries
Tel: +44 (0)845 6000 449 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.northlinkferries.co.uk
- Pentland Ferries
Tel: +44 (0)1955 11353 Email: email@example.com Web: www.pentlandferries.co.uk
- The Orkney Bus
Tel: +44 (0)1955 611353 (in partnership with John O'Groats Ferries)
- John O' Groats Ferries
Tel: +44 (0)1856 831226 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.jogferry.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)871 700 2000 Email: email@example.com Web: www.flybe.com
- Scotrail Railways Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)8457 484950 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.scotrail.co.uk
- Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)8705 505050 Email: email@example.com Web: www.citylink.co.uk
- Orkney Coaches, Kirkwall
Tel: +44 (0)1856 870555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.rapsons.co.uk
- Orkney Air Service by Loganair
Tel: +44 (0)1856 872494 Email: email@example.com Web: www.loganair.co.uk
- Orkney Ferries Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1856 872044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.orkneyferries.co.uk
- Kirkwall Airport Info Desk
Tel: +44 (0)1856 886210
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