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Glasgow to Kirkwall

memphis, tn
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Glasgow to Kirkwall

What is the suggested transportation from glasgow to Kirkwall in mid June? We love ferries and trains and buses... Or can rent a car and take a ferry. Any suggestions?

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

Quickest is to fly, obviously. But as you like trains and ferries, and if you don't mind it taking all day, you could also go by train to Thurso (change at Inverness). The ferries go from Scrabster (a short taxi or bus ride from Thurso) to Stromness on Orkney, from where you can catch a bus to Kirkwall. If you leave Glasgow about 10 am you should reach Kirkwall around 9.30 pm the same day. In June it will still be broad daylight, and there are great views all the way.

Edited: 6:02 am, March 31, 2013
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2. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

You can drive from Glasgow to Thurso in one very very long day, via Perth and Inverness. 6 hours driving, plus stops. Not recommended.

It depends whether you're wanting to get to Kirkwall in order to spend time on Orkney, or are wanting to make the journey northwards part of the holiday.

If you're going to do this in one day, then fly; or use trains to get to Thurso, as suggested.


Take a long slow car ride up the west coast, using minor roads. Loch Lomond, Oban, Glencoe, Maillaig, Skye, Applecross, Torridon, Ullapool, Durness.

Glasgow, United...
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3. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

The train journey from Inverness to Thurso is glorious. So I'd go by train then rent a car when I reached Orkney. Travelling in June should be a delight, with so much daylight for that trip.

4. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

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The Stunning...
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5. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

I would either hire a car, drive to Gills Bay and catch the ferry (Pentland Ferries) (I would drive the direct route rather than the West Coast unless you have 2 or 3 spare days to explore the West Coast as it's almost a holiday in itself) or Train to Thurso and then hire a car in Orkney. If possible I would definitely hire a car whilst in Orkney

Edited: 1:24 pm, March 31, 2013
Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

You can also travel by overnight ferry (northlinkferries.co.uk) from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. Aberdeen is easily reached by bus (megabus.com) from Buchanan Street Bus Station in Glasgow (or by train)

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

the last time we went to Orkney, we went in one very long trip from Madison WI via St. Louis to London, to Edinburgh to Inverness to Kirkwall. Leaving at 3 in the afternoon and arriving around 6 PM the next day in Kirkwall. We spent several days there and then took pubic transport--ferry from Stromness to Scrabster and bus to Inverness where we rented a car. It was a great trip. Another time we took the train to Inverness and then then next day took the train to Thurso, walked to Scrabster and the ferry to Stromness. We returned to Glasgow via ferry to train to Skye and then a bus to Glasgow.

I point out these different ways as there are lots of choices. The train rides are beautiful. But it's also good to have the time in Orkney which is a fantastic place. When I make my next trip my inclination will be to once again go straight through to Orkney and then take my time going back south.


Coatbridge, United...
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8. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

I get the train from Glasgow Queen St to Aberdeen so that I'm in Aberdeen in plenty of time for the boat which leaves at 5 pm. The trains run at 41 minutes past every hour and take roughly 2 hours 40 mins. An off peak return will cost 58 pounds (off peak is after 9 am) Try to spend a couple of hours in Aberdeen as it's a fabulous city.

The ferry to Kirkwall is Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sunday. You need to book onto the boat an hour before departure and you need to take photographic id with you e.g. a drivers' licence, passport etc. It costs 24.60 pounds for an adult (return is the cost of 2 single tickets).

You get into Kirkwall at midnight so make arrangements with wherever you are staying. Most B&B's, hostels and hotels work around the boat times so usually isn't a problem.

I've been several times and the crossings were fine except once. I was Ill, the whole 7 hours where a nightmare!

Always been tempted to get the ferry from Scrabster to Stromness. Much quicker but it was much more expensive.



ps..I normally cycle which is free but I do know it costs an absolute fortune to take a car.

9. Re: Glasgow to Kirkwall

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