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  1. #1
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    Travelling from the South East to Scapa

    I am just about to book a week in Scapa 2022!

    I will be travelling from the South East and will be travelling on my own.

    Iíve been to Scapa a couple of times before and have always travelled from Scrabster to Stromness but was wondering if there is a better alternative route?

    The drive to Scrabster is going to be a long old slap on my own and even longer on the way back!

    Has anyone else ever travelled the other routes? Is it worth a ferry from Aberdeen?


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  2. #2
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    I have done the Aberdeen ferry, would pick it over the longer drive any day.

    There is a long stay carpark in Aberdeen if you don't want to take your car over, but you will need to get from Kirkwall to stromness when you get there.

    On the way to Scapa you can get away without a cabin. I would recommend somewhere to sleep on the way back as you leave kirkwall around 11pm getting back into Aberdeen about 7.


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  3. #3
    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    +1 for the Aberdeen option - the ferry is actually very nice (for a ferry) and the cabins are not stupid money (done it both with and without a cabin and the cabin is certainly worth it). Northlink have a deal with the car park 5 minutes away. Try the "posh" restaurant - really good food
    Last edited by Energy58; 29-09-2021 at 07:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Team Starburst Ian@1904's Avatar
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    I travel from Bedfordshire, stop overnight in Inverness, 2.5 hour drive to Scrabster on the Saturday morning.

  5. #5
    Coastal Member dwhitlow's Avatar
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    On my first trip to Scapa I left the car at Scrabster but on all others I paid to have my car with me. Gas bank (and booster pump) in the car with transport for non-diving days are worth the cost.

    My solo trips from Harrow I travelled overnight to get the morning ferry from Gills Bay. I packed a sleeping bag, a flask of coffee, and all the provisions for the journey, and left in good time to reach the petrol station near Carlisle before their 9pm close. To break the journey I paused at Inverness to top up the tank and enjoyed an almost empty road for much of the way. It's also worth stopping in the highlands and switching everything off to experience the total blackness (although snow ruined that one year). Likely arrival at Gills Bay was 4am and into the sleeping bag with an alarm to catch the ferry. Short ferry journey with a scenic journey through the islands arriving at the boat long before anyone else and therefore getting first choice of rooms and deck space.

    For the return journey the Friday ferry from Aberdeen, and a cabin, is definitely the optimal route.

  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone!

    I have always travelled to Inverness, stayed over and then headed on from there the following morning.

    I have used the Pentland ferry and the Northlink although when we used the Pentland it suddenly went out of service without warning and we were so lucky to get a space on the Northlink for the journey back!

    I will have to look at the cost, which may change my mind as Iíll be buying two singles but, I might get the ferry from Scrabster on the way thereÖ.thereís a bakery in the Highlands that I have always stopped off at and the staff always comment on how far we have travelled. I always say, ďSee you again in a couple of years!Ē I canít remember what itís called but I do know it has a red sign and the food is fantastic, I will know it as soon as I see it. I lay money on it many a diver has made a pit stop there!

    Maybe the Aberdeen ferry on the way back, Iíll have to check the timings.

    Thank you again everyone 👍


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  7. #7
    TDF Member DaveBarber's Avatar
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    I've flown up twice. Very civilised.

    Its a good option if you know someone else on the trip driving up in a van who can take your bottles and a dive bag.

    The bus from the airport to stromness is very easy, plus you get to see some of Orkney.

  8. #8
    Established TDF Member Finless's Avatar
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    We (one boat load from the OOCDC club) flew up from Gatwick. We got a free whisky on the turbo prop from mainland to island.

  9. #9
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    Depends whether you like sitting on a ferry for hours or sitting in a car for hours, it's a zero sum game. Ferries bore the arse off me and I really can't be bothered with driving into Aberdeen, I've been stuck enough times in its random traffic in my old job, so I just drive north.

    Whenever I make the trek I usually build some extra time into the journey and make it into a road trip on the way up. I like history and the route has tonnes of places to visit. On the way back I tan it straight through with just piss stops.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  10. #10
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    Last time from south east (Essex). Going up all the way to thurso think we left at 6am and hotel for the night, then in morning ferry from gills bay with car.

    Coming home the original plan was first ferry on sat morning from Stromness to scrabster then drive the whole way home. This changed since we was back on land on the friday in time to get the last ferry so we changed it and drove home. Got home about 5 in the morning.


 
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