The Isles

There’s so much to explore in Orkneys many different isles and some are only a short boat journey away, making a day-trip possible. Cycle hire is available in Kirkwall, Orkney Ferries run regular services to the isles, or take one of the small inter-island planes from Kirkwall, with Loganair.


  • Hoy is the biggest of the isles and is home to the famous Old Man of Hoy and St Johns Head, a 3 mile walk from the spectacular Rackwick Bay. Visit Lyness Boat Museum to learn about how important Orkney was during the War. The boat leaves from Houton pier, only a few miles away from The Bothy.
  • Rousay is home to around 160 archaeological sites. Take the 25 minute ferry from Tingwall.
  • Shapinsay is also only 25 minutes away and the ferry leaves from Kirkwall. Dine at the world’s most northerly island castle Balfour Castle and they will even provide a charter boat!
  • Westray to Papa Westray (nicknamed Papay) is the shortest scheduled flight in the world (made official by the Guinness Book of World Records) and takes around 2 minutes! With a population of around 30, Papay is a tiny island. The beaches on both Papay and Westray are idyllic and the famous Pierowall fish and chips make Westray well worth a visit.