We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Neolithic sights in one day

Pevensey, United...
Level Contributor
89 posts
45 reviews
Save Topic
Neolithic sights in one day

Ive read about the ancient heritage of Orkney. Can someone recommend a way to visit some in a one day trip from Kirkwall. Probably about 4 hours at our disposal. I have seen standing stones before so maybe those aren't top of the list .

How many and how, could 2 people view some of Orkneys other ancient sites , or some of them . Any advice?

One of us is reasonably good walker the other less so, Would this limit the choice eg we've been told Skara Baeg includes 600m walk over rough ground involving 2 hours of walking and standing .

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

4 hours isn't long if this is your total time including travel from and back to Kirkwall. Why just this window available? Are you already on Orkney and have transport or is this the time you have available from your cruise ship? Transport is key to what you can do. How are you planning to get around? When is your trip?

June to August this summer there is an open top bus starting and finishing in Kirkwall, running twice a day on a circuit that would get you to Skara Brae and Ring of Brodgar.

https:/…discover-orkney-open-top-bus

You could book a driver guide and create an itinerary.

If you have your own transport you could manage Maeshowe (which must be booked in advance), Skara Brae and a drive past the Ring of Brodgar and the Stenness standing stones. I always find the Stenness stones impressive due to their sheer size. If visiting July or August you could stop by the dig at Ness of Brodgar.

Maeshowe is an hour long visit but you need to arrive ahead of your booking time.

Who told you about Skara Brae (I presume you mean Skara Brae). You can spend 2 hours there you can spend a lot less. The actual Skara Brae is about 500m from the visitor centre entrance. But is a perfectly flat, even path between them. Walking around the houses takes about 20-30 minutes realistically to have a good look.You can spend more. Its a small site, not huge. The path around the houses is slightly uneven, but not dangerously so. There is also a replica house at the visitor centre which can be an addition to, or an alternative to, walking around outside.

Edited: 3:37 am, July 02, 2017
Pevensey, United...
Level Contributor
89 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

Thank you for the useful info. We are coming by cruise ship but their itineries didn't quite match our wishes.

The tours from the ship take about 41/2hrs but I believe the return time to the ship would be 3pm for departure at 4pm .

We have read about tour guide trips or could work out an itinerary with a taxi local firm. I have read quite a bit about the sites from Neil Olive'rs Ancient History of Britain.

A taxi to the sights that you mention would be perfect and we could book (or taxi firm book) the Maeshowe visit. The trip is early September.

The other alternative would be a guided tour. If time permits.

Our cruise line seems to be mega cautious on ''safety'' matters. I'm partially hearing and need a fitness to travel cert:. Ive spent 12 days at sea in the Atlantic, Egypt a week after the revolution, Congo - possible incursions, Zimbawe with not a hint of unsuitabitity. This line thinks Skara Braea long walk, 600m, and hints at it being rugged with lots of standing.

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

Ha ha, that sounds like a cruise line that's been sued somewhere along the line........or the passengers are generally particularly elderly! Yes, you have to walk around and there's no seats so wheelchairs and those very wobbly on their legs won't be great there. But, it's not a difficult walk.

If you make contact with a local guide they'll be very used your advising where mobility issues are an issue.

Maeshowe also requires standing for the entire visit and a walk through an entry tunnel where you have you bend a bit as it's low height. Again, contact a guide, advise your relative mobilities and they should keep you right.

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

I hate my tablet auto correct. Couple of errors - just wrong words, not facts - in there I can't edit now.

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

PS, I'm intrigued, what's the cruise line?

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

PS, just thinking about 6000 year old villages having level pavements, visitor benches and being wheelchair friendly for cruise passengers....you might like this poem, apparently written by a WW2 serviceman who wasn't impressed about being billeted in Orkney......https://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~tf/poem24.html.

Orkney is a wonderful, friendly place where I could happily spend all my holiday time. Shame you've only got a day!

Edited: 3:18 pm, July 02, 2017
Level Contributor
274 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

Sorry to post on your thread... do you where the cruise port stops and are some of these site within walking distance...

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
Level Contributor
1,896 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

Hi Sandra,

Most cruise ships dock at Hatston which is on the edge of an industrial estate about a 2 mile walk in to the centre of Kirkwall, partly through the industrlal estate (quite safe!). A very few small ships can dock at the Kirkwall pier a couple minutes from the High Street.

None of the neolithic sites are in walking distance from either pier. To visit any you need to:

- go on a cruise ship tour

- arrange your own guide with transport (arrange well in advance)

- arrange for a rental car and drive yourself (arrange well in advance)

- hire a taxi (arrange in advance)

- use the bus service linked to in my post #1 above

Pevensey, United...
Level Contributor
89 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

but there is a caf that hubby can retreat to? :-)

Pevensey, United...
Level Contributor
89 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Neolithic sights in one day

Very helpful. We will either do taxi or bus. Ive read a lot about the sites so or though a guide might be informative I think we will phone a taxi company or bus co. this week for Sept. ..

PS couldn't see the link to the bus services.

Edited: 11:56 am, July 03, 2017