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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold Award

The Orkney Taster

Ideal as an introductory visit to explore the major pre-historic and Viking sites of Orkney.

An ideal introduction to this magical group of islands, suitable either as a short break in its own right or as an add-on to a longer stay in Scotland. You’ll travel to Orkney by ferry from the north coast of Scotland, around two hours from Inverness, and spend three nights in Kirkwall, the perfect base from which to tour and explore the Mainland, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could also choose to make a day-trip to one of the neighbouring islands, such as Rousay or Hoy, reachable by a short ferry crossing.

We also offer the alternative Orkney Fly-drive holiday for those who prefer to arrive by air.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct

Why not...

combine with a few nights in the Northern Highlands?

Prices From


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Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

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The open landscape and good roads make Orkney easy to explore, with a number of the islands joined by causeways, others easily accessible by ferry or local plane.  Wildlife flourishes here; seals bask among the rocks and birdwatching is popular.  In the summer the roadside verges are covered with wild flowers, including orchids.

The main island (Mainland) boasts a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE which includes the ancient Standing Stones of Stenness and the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar. The 5,000 year old houses at Skara Brae remain remarkably intact, and the Viking runes at Maeshowe prove that graffiti isn’t just 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 is well worth a visit.  We’ll provide plenty of recommendations for what to see and do in all directions – whether driving to the southern tip of the archipelago or hopping across to one of the other islands on a short ferry ride to explore more pre-history or find a sandy beach.

Your hotel

The owners have put tremendous effort into transforming this hotel, located on the outskirts of Kirkwall, into a high quality, comfortable and welcoming place to stay.  A genuine feel pervades the hotel, which is traditionally furnished and offers you the chance to find out just how comfortable Orkney chairs really are!  With a great reputation as a destination for locals, 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 just must pop round to see the neighbours – the world famous Highland Park distillery is right next door.


Map Orkney

The Orkney islands lie to the north of the Scottish mainland, with the main ferry ports around two hours’ from Inverness. Overnight ferry services are also available from Aberdeen.


£325 per person for March, April & October, £345 per person for May, June & September, £355 per person for July & August.

Prices based on two people sharing a double room ensuite for three nights on a bed & breakfast basis. Some suites also available.

The price includes an Historic Scotland Explorer Pass, covering entry to the main historic sites of Orkney, including Skara Brae and Maes Howe.

Ferry travel from the north coast of Scotland to Orkney is 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.


Check availability for The Orkney Taster

This holiday is available 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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