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“so close to orkney”

John O'Groats Ferries
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Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Summer passenger ferry from John O'Groats to Orkney Islands every day starting 1 May to 30 September each year. Up to 3 departures daily. Day Tours of Orkney Islands daily from John O'Groats & Inverness during summer months. Wildlife Cruises daily from John O'Groats at 2.30pm. Wildlife Cruises start 20 June until 31 Aug.
scottish highlands
Level Contributor
145 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“so close to orkney”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

was told to avoid at all costs as it was a tourist trap.but was up that way so had to see it.it wasnt as bad as i was told it was.yes it had the usual tratan tat shops and fast food kiosks.there is a lot of building and refurbishment going on but it all looks like it will vastly improve the area.the views to orkney made the visit for me.i didnt realise it was so close!!! Be warned the sign that points to different places which is so familiar with john o groats is only up when the photographer arrives.so i presume you can only get a photo if he takes it and charges you!!!!! there is a similar sign attached to the harbour wall by the "gift shop".

Visited August 2012
Thank bluelou60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“John O'Groats Ferries Whole Day Tour of Orkney”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2012

Excellent whole day visit to Orkney with superb tour guide/ driver Stuart. He made the day come alive with his stories of Orkney life past and present. The history of egg production and its demise was particularly amusing. The tour is very well structured to ensure passenger interest is maintained throughout the day. Scara Brae comes top of the historical sites but equally the stones in the Stenness area were fascinating. The trip to the Italian Chapel was a super ending to a memorable time on Orkney. The ferry trip of 45 minutes from John O'Groats was fairly choppy and could clearly be unpleasant on a windy day! The ferry left at 09.00 and reurned at 20.00.

Excellent value trip and thank you very much Stuart.

Visited July 2012
4 Thank hamejane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Spectactular Views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012

Having been told that John O'Groats has been commercialised, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't as bad I had expected. The "First and Last" shop sells mostly typical tourist "tat" and I felt that they were cashing in on their location. A shop full of junk in my opinion! Avoid!
Being able to have our photograph taken professionally was one special moment, although discovering that the film has to go to Lands End to be developed was a bit of a shock!
Whoever owns John O'Groats these days might want to consider the possibility of running a small shuttle bus down to Duncansby Head Lighthouse, as it is a long walk and us more senior citizens are unable to take advantage of the lovely coastal route. The cafe there also "cashes in " and the food is highly priced and not particularly appetising. I ordered Baked potatoes and asked for the cheese to be melted as this is the way I like it and this appeared to "throw" the cook. My grandson had a kids lunch box which consisted of a sandwich, packet of crisps, piece of fruit, a chocolate bar and a juice. As they only had Chilli crisps. some shortbread was offered as a subsitute. Despite being able to choose his own sandwich, my grandson was not able to eat it all as the cheese was about 2-inches thick and the bread very dry!
It was nice to see the hotel being renovated and I think this will look lovely when completed. The new wooden chalets (holiday lets) although very nice with their big picture windows, look out of place in the setting. Great views over to Stroma and the Orkneys and if you are up in that part of the country then John O'Groats is a must-see!

Visited July 2012
Thank Ilovewestlife506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
156 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“John O'Groats is well worth a visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2012

Simply, the peace and quietness here, coupled with the sounds of the Ocean, means this place is one of those spots where you can feel the world around you and just take it all in.

Visited September 2011
Thank Prius_owner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A long way to go.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2012

So what’s special about this place? Whilst every place has something unique to offer, perhaps it’s the travelling not the arrival that matters? To arrive at JO’G one has to take a trip through the highlands of Scotland - and what a journey!

The community is small and scattered, with the focal point represented by the car park, cafe and harbour. Along the road is a post office, a mile or two away and high on a hill is the lighthouse at Duncansby Head . . . and that’s about it. The impact and reward of reaching here will be very individual, as will the appreciation of the rugged coast and the general bleakness.

Charm is to be found in the wild beauty and the catalogue of interesting locations passed en route - to which one can return. No doubt the difference between a mid-winter visit and one in mid-summer is great, not simply for the crowds encountered. This corner of the world will be attractive whatever the time of year, but ‘out of season’ is fine too, if you have a mind to go there.

Road access is good, the highways of Scotland are not primitive by-ways and even in mid-winter there is a bus service. Many layers of warm clothing are necessary in cold weather and protective shell garments essential. Rugged footwear would be useful if planning to do any walking beyond the car park, the latter big enough for its purpose.

If Land’s End is literally the end of the road in the far west of Britain then the same can be said of here for the north. There is much more at L-E because it is easier of access for more tourists, but as regards inherent attractiveness, there’s not a lot to choose. The cafe may be one of the ‘Costa’ chain, even way out here, rather than the concern of local enterprise, but the quality of food and welcome is of the best. There is a gift shop too.

The purpose of visiting this remote spot would be to pause on a journey of exploration around a very beautiful and under-rated part of the British Isles. It should not be seen only as an end in itself, but a pause on that journey, an appealing, important and significant pause though. As an inspirational destination, add it to your list.

Along the coast a few miles is Dunnet Head, the most northerly point in Britain and worth a visit if passing, or as a destination that will be part of a more extensive visit to this part of Scotland. Wrap up well.

Visited January 2012
Thank EllieMaesgrandad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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