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  • See Orkney's islands from the air - image by Premysl Fojtu

Getting to Orkney by plane

Travelling to Orkney by air is simpler than you think, with direct flights from Scotland's main airports connecting with hubs throughout the UK.

The excitement of a short break or, indeed, an extended holiday in Orkney can begin before you even set foot on an island.

Arriving in Orkney by air could not be simpler, with connecting flights from several of the UK’s most popular airports – so whether you’re reading this blog in Chelsea, Oslo or Vancouver, the Orkney islands are within reach.

Loganair flights arrive in Orkney from Scotland's major airports

You can fly direct to Orkney from Scotland’s major airports, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, with Loganair, and these airports have good connections to Manchester, Birmingham, the main London airports, etc.

Travel times obviously vary depending on your starting point, but can be as short as 45 minutes from Inverness and Aberdeen or 3-4 hours from London, providing a perfect opportunity to have a thorough read of the latest Orkney visitor guides. Packed full of helpful hints on how to make the most of your time on the islands, they even include some sample draft itineraries for day trips or overnight excursions, taking in some of our most popular sites and activities.

After arriving at the airport you're so close to Orkney's Neolithic past

No matter where your journey begins, if you choose to travel by plane to Orkney you will land just 10 minutes’ drive from our main town, Kirkwall. You can pick up a hire car at the airport or travel by bus or taxi to continue your adventure.

Kirkwall is a picturesque historic town offering plenty to see and do: a taste of Orkney’s heritage and culture, great shopping with independent retailers and fabulous places to eat. The town was granted Royal Burgh status by James III of Scotland in 1486 and the town centre features the ruins of two palaces dating back to that historic time, as well as the stunning St Magnus Cathedral and the Orkney Museum, jam packed with artefacts and information.

The beautiful St Magnus Cathedral in the heart of Kirkwall, only minutes from Kirkwall airport

With its central location and good public transport links, Kirkwall provides a fantastic base from which to begin your Orkney adventure. Whether you’re looking to map out a historical journey, absorb the cultural wonders, plan a gastronomic feast, or simply take in the stunning array of wildlife, the islands have something to suit every taste.

Your flight into Kirkwall may not be the end of your adventures in the air. During your visit to Orkney you may want to take in the beauty of our outer isles, accessible on inter-island planes. You could even do the world’s shortest scheduled flight between Westray and Papa Westray, which lasts a mere 90 seconds! You’ll get a certificate to prove you did.

The Islander aircraft that will take you on your island hopping adventure! Image by Premysl Fojtu

To find out more about visiting Orkney, view our travel page and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

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