T11 Orkney Tour

Kirkwall - Stromness - Skara - Brae - Brodgar - Dingwall

The T11 bus tour of Orkney starts at Dingwall and stops at Skara Brae for 90 minutes and Brodgar for 30 minutes to explore archaeological sites, with the bus also passing the famous Stones of Stenness, and Scalloway.


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Travel Type:


No. of Attractions:

3 places to visit

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Journey Duration:

3 hours 45 minutes

Route Frequency:

1 service, daily – summer season only

Starting point:

Kirkwall Travel Centre

How to get here

Journey fact:

Kirkwall is 130 miles north of Aberdeen and 528 miles north of London.

Journey Overview

Wow, wow, wow! This really is a fantastic trip! The Orkney Isles is world renowned for its incredible cliffs and stone monuments from geolithic times and the T11 is a great way to see the fabulous scenery and archaeological sites. It’s a tour that starts at Dingwall and includes stops at Skara Brae for 90 minutes and Brodgar for 30 minutes to enable exploration.

The bus leaves Kirkwell Travel Centre and stops at Stromness, which was a safe haven in Viking times and a whaling and herring fishing port. It’s a town worth perusing, to learn of its fantastic maritime heritage and has lots of fascinating, tightly packed houses, lanes, piers and slipways, as well as being a pioneering powerhouse of the renewable energy industry in the islands. The Stromness Museum, in particular is well worth a visit!

Skara Brae is one of the best preserved groups of prehistoric houses in Western Europe and was uncovered by a storm in 1850 and gives an incredible glimpse of life well before Stonehenge was even built, over 5,000 years ago. There’s a great opportunity to explore the village and be entranced by how ancient homes were fitted out as well as witness many varied artefacts from archaeological excursions.

The bus also passes the famous Stones of Stenness and there’s a fascinating insight into the history of the Italian chapel on Orkney and the isles. Italian prisoners of war created this picturesque church from the local log timber in the area. They were allowed to have a church of their own to worship in, so the Italian Chapel was created. The view from the upper deck of this partly open top bus is incredible, so too the sights of Scalloway, Skaill House, Maes Howe and Ring of Brodgar, which is a Neolithic henge and stone circle. Out of the 60 standing stones that once stood, only 36 remain and date back to over 5000 years ago! There’s also fabulous commentary from the hugely knowledgeable drivers who will provide cutting-edge titbits and insight to enliven the experience even further.

A Fab Day Out!

The T11 tour starts at 10:00 and takes care in some style of your morning! Arriving back in Kirkwall at 13:45, there’s then time to have some fun. A visit to the Orkney Museum, unlocks Kirkwall’s secret past and has a fabulous collection of historical artifacts including Viking helms. The lovely St Magnus Cathedral is also worth seeing – it’s known as the ‘Light in the North’ and is the most northern-most cathedral in Scotland and was founded by the Viking Earl Rognvald. It has incredible stained glass windows and cut stone interior.

For respite, some relaxation in the idyllic Tankerness Gardens is highly recommended and is a wonderful ancient garden with fabulous flower and plant displays. If there’s still time,  a late afternoon or early evening 1 mile walk from Kirkwall along Scapa Beach is highly recommended and overlooks the Scapa Flow, an historic area holding oil tankers, large warships, and more. Today, it’s filled with windsurfers, kayakers, and swimmers! There’s plenty of fabulous accommodation and places to eat in Kirkwall if you are staying a night, or two and maybe the next day exploring the Highland Park or Scapa distilleries!

Gateway to the T11

By ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall – 4 services daily.

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How to get here...

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Places to visit & things to do on this journey

Orkney Museum

Magnus Cathedral

Scapa Beach

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