What you should know before hiring a car in Kirkwall
|Kirkwall city centre|
|Kirkwall Airport (KOI): 2 mi from city centre|
Car hires in Kirkwall: practical information
Where to rent a car in Kirkwall
The Orkney Islands will definitely enchant. Spectacular landscapes are just around the corner if you rent a car in Kirkwall. Whether you’re arriving via Northlink Ferry or via flights to Kirkwall Airport, a car hire here goes a long, long way. If you pick up your car hire from the airport, it is strongly recommended to book it in advance. Europcar and Avis have locations at the airport.
Kirkwall is a small city so you’ll find that the best place to pick up a rental car is at the airport, just a stone’s throw from the city centre. Europcar has a location on Castle Street while Drive Orkney Car & Van Hire has a location at Hatston Industrial Estate.
Driving in Kirkwall: parking and other tips
Driving in the Orkney Islands and in Kirkwall is relatively easy. The island popular isn’t overly large so you’ll find that the roads are easy to navigate. The only thing you need to watch out for are the petrol stations. They are few and sometimes far between so always keep your talk at least half full. Not all towns have a petrol station.
Parking is generally stress-free. In Kirkwall it’s easy enough to find parking on the street or on a residential side street during the day. Most B&Bs don’t have parking available so if you’re looking for a more secure parking place for your Kirkwall car hire, book a room at a hotel.
Road trips from Kirkwall: what to do, what to see
Shapinsay is one of the smaller Orkney Islands and an easy one to visit while on holidays in Kirkwall. There are several ferries a day from Kirkwall and you can bring your rental car right on the ferry. Most of the sights are within easy reach on this island, which is only 6km by 5km. Don’t miss Balfour Castle and the Gatehouse!
Welcome to neolithic Orkney! The village of Stenness is located about halfway between Kirkwall and Stomness and is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage neolithic sights. Maeshowe is a 5,000 year old tomb, the oldest and finest in North-western Europe! The Standing Stones of Stenness date back to around 2,500 BC while the Barnhouse is what remains of a neolithic village.
Stromness is on mainland just a bit further than Stenness. This traditional fishing town was once little more than a scattering of houses but today it has a lovely atmosphere and small-town feel to it. Wander the twisting lanes and old stone houses and don’t miss a stop at the Stromness Museum.