Cycling The Orkneys - Day 1 of 3- John O'Groats to Stromness

Road Cycling
Jul 18

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Event booking closes on Jul 17 at 18:00:00
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Hilly cycling carrying gear

Join Will on a 3 day mini break cycling around the Orkney Islands.  Based in Stormness, we will spend three days visiting the sights around the Mainland and the isle of Hoy.  

Today's itinerary is to catch the ferry to Burwick from John O'Groats and spend the day cycling to Stromness, a total distance of 83 km.   You can view the route here

You will need to carry everything you need for your three day excursion.  We only need to carry our belongings the first day, after which we can leave them at the hotel in Stromness.

The ferry leaves John O'Groats at 8:45, takes 40 minutes and costs £21.  No need to book and bicycles travel free.  Be at the ferry terminal 30 minutes before departure. 

Today we will be visiting;

  • Tomb of the Eagles and Bank's Chambered Tomb - a couple neolithic tombs
  • The Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm.  The chapel was built by Italian POWs during World War Two.
  • The Churchill Barriers.  "It was the sinking – by German submarine attack - of HMS Royal Oak in October 1939 with the loss of 833 lives, that prompted then First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, to order the building of a series of causeways – the Churchill Barriers – to block off the eastern approaches to the naval anchorage of Scapa Flow."
  • Some of the original block ships are visible from the Church Barriers including The Reginald.  It was built in Glasgow in 1878 and was sunk on 15th September 1915. The stern section of the ship, which lies on its port side is said to be one of the most distinctive views of any of the block ships."
  • Bishops Castle and Earls Palace in Kirkwall; medieval ruin dating back to 1100 and palace built 1600s.

Accommodation suggestions in Stormness:

Keep costs down by getting twin rooms or sharing.

Getting there and back again

The nearest train station is in Thurso, approximately 30 km cycle away. 

Will's return plan is to catch a ferry from Stormness to Scrabster on which is a short cycle to Thurso.  From there he is getting a train to Inverness and catching the Caledonian Sleeper train that evening to Crewe.  

Day 2 event is here.

Day 3 event is here.


If you have any questions regarding equipment etc email

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