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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

The Orkney Experience

Immerse yourself in the enchanting Orkney Islands & take the world's shortest scheduled flight.

Go north and discover Scotland’s Viking and prehistoric past on these unique and wonderful islands.  See mysterious stone circles, experience the atmosphere of dwellings from 5,000 years ago, or simply enjoy this stunning landscape. While you’re here, it’s the perfect opportunity to take in the world’s shortest scheduled flight between Westray and Papa Westray.  Don’t blink – you could miss it!

Our five night Orkney Experience holiday includes maps, suggested routes, and tips and advice on what to see and do with suggestions of places to visit.

If you are interested in a longer holiday, take a look at our all-encompassing See Orkney Differently itinerary, and for a quick and convenient holiday arrive by air with our Orkney Fly-drive.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct

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Its incredibly lengthy history makes the Orkney Islands very special. The main island (Mainland) hosts a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE which includes the breathtaking Standing Stones of Stenness, some up to six metres high.  The nearby Neolithic Ring of Brodgar is particularly magical in the evening light – and gained contemporary notoriety when Billy Connolly danced naked through the stones on his “World Tour of Scotland”! Remaining remarkably intact, the 5,000 year old houses at Skara Brae offer a real insight into pre-historic village life.  For more local insights, take a look at the Viking runes at atmospheric Maeshowe which prove that graffiti isn’t a 20th century invention!

In more recent times, evocative Scapa Flow contains the melancholy relics of two World Wars, and on its banks the beautifully ornate Italian Chapel, constructed by Italian Prisoners of War over 70 years ago, is a moving place to visit.

On the island of Hoy and to the west on Mainland you will find wonderful coastal walks and sea stacks.  From May to end of July, you might stumble across cute puffins nesting on Marwick Head.

Your holiday includes a totally unique and memorable day trip –  by air, to Papa Westray on the shortest scheduled flight in the world and you’ll even get a certificate to prove you’ve taken the two minute journey!  Upon arrival, a local guide will reveal the secrets of this remote, tiny island – including reputedly the oldest stone houses in Europe…

Your Hotel

This very popular and recently modernised hotel, located on the outskirts of Kirkwall, has an authentic atmosphere and is traditionally furnished offering you the chance to find out just how comfortable Orkney chairs really are.  The restaurant boasts menus packed with local produce: your chance to try lamb with its distinctive flavour due to the seaweed diet of North Ronaldsay sheep, or to sample local seafood including mouth-watering prawns, succulent salmon and delicious stir-fried squid.  And you must pop round to see the neighbours – the world famous Highland Park distillery is right next door.


You will travel by ferry from the northern coast of Scotland. Although based on mainland Orkney, this holiday also includes a flying day-trip to tiny Papa Westray.


£545 per person in March, £665 in April & October and £725 per person in May to September.

Prices are based on two people sharing a double room ensuite for five nights (suites also available) on a bed & breakfast basis, and includes the day return flight to Papa Westray with a half day guided tour with a local guide. Ferry travel from the north coast of Scotland is also included for a car and passengers. The longer evening or overnight sailing from/to Aberdeen can also be arranged at an additional cost, which may suit if you prefer to travel by train to Aberdeen then take the ferry. We can then arrange car hire from Kirkwall.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

Exploring ancient civilisations in Orkney

Exploring ancient civilisations in Orkney

Last month I was in Orkney for the first time. I have never been that far north before. I flew from Glasgow to Kirkwall, the main town, instead of tak...


Check availability for The Orkney Experience

This holiday can be arranged from March to October.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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