ORKNEY-L Archives

Archiver > ORKNEY > 2007-01 > 1170196570

From: "Heather Johnson" <>
Subject: [ORKNEY] To Hoy by car
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 22:36:10 +0000
In-Reply-To: <45BF88EF.4070003@virgin.net>

Hi there

Just to throw in my two-pennies worth .......... if you want to go to Hoy by
car, it is seriously adviseable to book. This is a very busy crossing :-)


>From: Norman Tulloch <>
>Subject: Re: [ORKNEY] driving in Orkney for family sites
>Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 18:05:35 +0000
>Sorry, but I think what you're planning just wouldn't work.
>I'm not sure how much you know about Orkney and travel to it and between
>the various islands, so it may be that I'm about to tell you things you
>already know. If so, I apologise for that.
>There are three ferry routes from the north of Scotland to Orkney that
>might make a day trip possible. These are:
>1. Northlink Ferries from Scrabster (near Thurso) to Stromness. Journey
>time 1 hr 30 mins. Cars and foot passengers. The main ferry to Orkney.
>2. The John o' Groats to Orkney ferry. This lands at Burwick at the
>south end of South Ronaldsay which is 17 miles from Kirkwall. Foot
>passengers only. Journey time 40 minutes. A bus can then take you from
>Burwick to Kirkwall in 45 minutes. The company offers day tours of some
>of the main sites on Orkney, though the schedule sounds a bit of a rush
>to me and I don't think it would give you more than some fleeting
>impressions of the place. Still, as a brief introduction to Orkney, I
>suppose such a tour might be useful.
>The service runs only in the summer. The earliest ferry leaves John o'
>Groats at 09:00, so I guess you could get into Kirkwall at around 10:30
>3. Pentland Ferries from Gills Bay (near John o' Groats) to St
>Margaret's Hope in South Ronaldsay. Mainly a vehicle ferry. Crossing
>time 1 hour. I don't know if buses to Kirkwall connect with this service.
>However, having got yourself to Orkney, you'd then need to get a ferry
>to Hoy.
>There are two ferry services to Hoy.
>The first is for foot passengers only and runs between Stromness and
>Moaness in the north of Hoy. Crossing time about 20 minutes. Three trips
>to Hoy most days.
>The second runs from Houton in Orphir to Lyness and Longhope in the
>south of Hoy. It's a ro-ro (roll on, roll of) vehicle ferry); it makes
>around six crossings a day to Hoy, though usually fewer at the weekends.
> Crossing time about 45 minutes.
>I had thought you might be able to take the Northlink ferry to
>Stromness, catch the ferry to the north of Hoy and then get a taxi to
>drive you around on Hoy. However, that wouldn't work. The first
>Northlink ferry arrives in Stromness at about 10:15 but the ferry to the
>north of Hoy leaves at 10:00 so that you couldn't possibly catch it.
>I think you should spend *at least* two days on Orkney, preferably more.
>Spend one day looking round the Mainland, perhaps taking one of the bus
>tours or else by hiring a car. The roads are mostly quiet so driving
>isn't likely to be too alarming. Spend another day on Hoy, either by
>crossing from Houton with your rented car or by taking the ferry to
>north Hoy and getting some sort of taxi on Hoy. It would be easy to
>spend an interesting day on Hoy: as well as visiting the various places
>you're interested in, I'd certainly go to Rackwick and take a walk up to
>the Old Man of Hoy if there was time. Watch out for the bonxies (great
>skuas), though!
>Several of these ferry services would need to be booked in advance, by
>the way, particularly if you were to take a car on them.
>Have you got a copy of the Orkney tourist guide? It's a good-looking
>publication and contains a lot of useful information. You can order one
>on-line at http://www.visitorkney.com
>I hope you enjoy your trip. Give yourself enough time to look at things
>properly, though!
>Norman Tulloch
>Jackie Middleton wrote:
> > I'm having some debate with my sister about driving through Orkney to
> > various sites of genealogical interest. I'm thinking about driving from
> > Kirkwall over to Hoy. The distances in Hoy/Walls of Lyness, Thurvoe,
> > Melsetter & Osmundwall aren't that great and could easily be done in one
> > even coming over via ferry from the mainland. Granted...I've never been
> > am just assuming from the ordinance survey maps that I have.
> >
> > Could someone more familiar with the area let me know if we're on the
> > track? It might come to us booking a taxi for several hours to cover
> > places as I don't have a driver's licence and my sister is very hesitant
> > drive on the other side of the road.
> >
> > Thanks.
> > Jackie
> > Toronto, Canada
> >
> >
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