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a VirtualTourist member from London


Inverness to Orkney - Scrabster or John O'Groats?

I was just wondering if it is easier to get from Inverness to Orkney via Scrabster or John O'Groats?
I have no vehicle so will be getting around by train, bus and ferry.
I see the ferries from Scrabster go to Stromness and the JOG ferries go to Kirkwall, which is the best base for traveling around the islands, boat and bus?
Thanks for any help:-)

3 Answers

answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

O, do go on the coach from Inverness! Kirkall is the better base, because it is the capital (though tiny) so you have a wider choice of buses, the possibility of bike hire (worth it, imo) and access to other islands either direct from Kirkwall itself or via buses linked to ferry times from other landing places.

It's a brilliant coach journey up to John O'Groats, then a passenger ferry ride across the Pentland Firth (not as scary as it looks from the mainland shore, honestly, and nicer than being on a huge car ferry, imo) then another lovely coach ride into Kirkwall.

Excellent value, and a very, very fond memory for me. for details of coach times/fares etc.

Have a look at my Orkney pages for info/things to do and see. Try to get to Hoy (from Stromness) on the day the ranger leads a guided walk across the island. It's a brilliant experience. has details.

It's worth taking a guided day tour of Rousay too, especially if you are fascinated by prehistory/history. I thoroughly enjoyed my day:

VT mmber Scotlandscotour offers guided tours etc in Orkney. His site is here:

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Edinburgh

i would definately say it is best to go from jog. you can get a bus from inverness bus station straight to the ferry terminal (very small). i seem to remember the trip was alot shorter than the scrabster ferry roughly 40mins. it is however a lot smaller and therefor more at risk of being cancelled if you get rough seas. the ferry goes to a place called burwick which isnt far from st margarets hope. i believe you can get a bus from burwick to kirkwall.
i havent used this service for several years but i seem to remember buying an all inclusive tkt from inverness to orkney which included all travel bus and ferry.
hope this helps,

answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Yes, the jogferry ticket includes coach from Inverness to J o'G, passenger ferry and then onward coach journey to Kirkwall. It's a lovely way to start your visit.

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