Some of our customers comments –
Superb Orkney Experience
I would highly recommend Kinlay, our guide with Orkney Uncovered, to anyone visiting Orkney. The five days we spent with Kinlay were exactly what we wanted. He tailor-made the itinerary to fit our interests in such a way that each day was unique, varied and endlessly fascinating. Kinlay is attentive to the needs of his guests, highly organised – whilst remaining flexible and adapting to the conditions and circumstances in the moment. He is clearly passionate about his work, is very interesting to listen to, incredibly knowledgeable about the life, history and natural environment of Orkney as well as being incredibly adept at knowing the right time to visit places so that we often had a location to ourselves.
I cannot recommend Orkney Uncovered highly enough.
We arranged a private tour for Kinlay Francis to show just the two of us around the various sites. He was excellent – very, very informed and knowledgeable, a lot of fun to be with and obviously passionate about the place. We had an excellent day. The weather varied between appalling (strong winds and hail) and sunshine (usually all within 15 minutes) but we had great fun and we’d recommend Kinlay as a guide to anyone wanting to learn about the history of Orkney.
A prize worth waiting for
A tour of wartime Hoy and part of the Orkney Mainland, won as a prize on Facebook, was a superb experience with Orkney Uncovered. Kinlay, as guide, driver and supplier of tea and biscuits was a delightful CO. He deepened our superficial knowledge of wartime Orkney as he uncovered the hidden gems with great enthusiasm. Highly recommended.
Inspired and fascinating tour of Orkney
Orkney Uncovered was the perfect introduction to our first tour of Orkney. My wife and I, with another couple, were met off our boat by Kinlay who, during the course of a day, took us to all the principal sights of these fascinating islands. Kinlay was an excellent host (and good driver) being knowledgeable, charming and passionate about the sights we saw. The tour, like the light lunch that was presented, certainly whetted our appetites for a return to the islands again. The mind blowing highlight was Skara Brae that was a community of dwellings constructed 3100 BC….older than the pyramids. A special tour.
‘Refreshing’ private tour of Orkney.
Orkney’s mainland. Our guide was excellent and showed us around our sites on a beautifully sunny and refreshingly brisk Orkney day.
I have to say we were suprosed at how lovely Orkney is in the winter months. We spotted seals basking in the shoreline as well as a number of sea birds keeping sheltered along the cliffs. We thoroughly enjoyed out walk out to the causeway island called the Brough of Birsay and we walked up to a lighthouse to see spectacular views over the North Atlantic.
Our guide showed us how the Vikings used to live and various other nordic locations on Orkney including the Orphir Bu.
We loved seeing the stones circles and going through a walk through the scenic fishing town of Stromness.
Overall a fantastic tour for two, highly recommended to everyone wanting to get plenty of fresh air and see some history along the way.
Excellence on Orkney
We were met off the Pentalina ferry at St. Margaret’s Hope by Kinlay Francis – our guide for the day. We were warmly welcomed and ushered aboard an immaculately presented and comfortable limo-bus and within minutes of stepping ashore, our ‘Orkney Explorer’ tour commenced.
We had been to Orkney before but had taken the MAXI day tour via John O’Groats and whilst it was adequate for the casual enquirer we both felt that it lacked insight. So, what was the difference between a private tour and the generic tour?
Well, take our journey over the Churchill Barriers for example; Kinlay shared the same facts and figures about their construction as the guide on the MAXI tour but here the similarity ended. Rather than travelling straight over them to reach the next destination, Kinlay stopped and told the background story to the events that led up to their construction. He told of the German reconnaissance missions that identified a gap in the defences, how U47 slipped into Scapa Flow and how it sighted, targeted and sunk HMS Royal Oak before concluding with the story of the rise to fame and fall from grace of the commander of U47. As he told the story he referred to maps, pointed at associated environmental features, showed period photographs and encouraged us to ask questions.
This pattern continued throughout our day. Want to spend more time at a particular location? No problem! Want to skip an element and divert off the planned route to explore somewhere else? No worries! This is your tour and you can have it any way you like it.
Orkney Uncovered – Best Tour Ever!
We have traveled the 7 continents and been on countless tours. Finlay Francis gave us the best we have ever had! He is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and funny! I swear we saw all there was to see in 2 days…he was very helpful, even took me to Tesco so I could get a new memory card for my smart phone! I would highly recommend him, he was raised in Orkney and took us to all the important sights with interesting and funny facts to share! At the end of 2 days we felt we had a new friend…I hope he and his family can come visit us in Sacramento, California. Thanks Finlay, you made our trip memorable and I would recommend you to anyone who wants to know more about Orkney; you covered all and more than is written up in the August 2014 National Geography edition about Orkney!
Excellent, informative day
My wife & I wanted to learn more about Orkney’s involvement with WWI & WW2. By the time we contacted Kinlay, we had already visited some sites, including the Italian Chapel, but wished to learn much more.
We were offered, and accepted, an extensive itinerary, which covered Scapa Flow, (including the Royal Oak memorial), the Churchill Barriers, Coastal defence batteries and some airfield sites.
Kinlay collected us from our hotel in Kirkwall and treated us to a thoroughly enjoyable and hugely informative day. His knowledge of his subject is impressive and comprehensive. Kinlay also has a great ability to communicate information and answer questions clearly, which he does tirelessly and with great humour. He is also thoughtful for the comfort of his clients; we were supplied with water, stopped frequently for comfort breaks and had a light lunch en route.
If you need a Guide to show and explain wartime Orkney, look no further!
First class tour by a terrific guide with sense of humour!
We had only a day to tour Orkney due to time constraints so had to make the most of our time. Linda & I had specific things we wanted to see and Linda emailed Kinlay ahead with our requirements. Kinlay our guide was most helpful & positive from the outset and couldn’t have been more helpful on our tour.
We saw some of the important history, coastline & rare Flora as well things few other visitors would get to see. Kinlay knew his history, answered all our questions & was very helpful. Clean lovely tour car and he had towels & water & things for us ( which we didn’t need but that was thoughtful). Had a great sense of humour & regaled us with some hilarious stories!
If you want a personalised tour with specific needs, then you couldn’t do better than Kinlay. We are normally people who do our own research & touring but this time used Kinlay & were impressed.
Superb Hoy Adventurer Tour!
We had an amazing private tour with Orkney Uncovered, of the history of Hoy. Our guide Kinlay is an expert on Scapa Flow and the fleet base at Lyness. As well as covering many amazing WW1 and WW2 sites we also visited Rackwick for spectacular cliff and beach views.
We had booked our private tour many months in advance and we would highly recommend doing the same as Orkney Uncovered are very popular and rightfully so, they made our trip to the island of Hoy a memorable one, by combining our interest in military history with a number of excellent walks and scenic views.
We will definitely use Orkney uncovered again as husband and wife team, Kinlay and Kirsty to their best at making sure you are well looked after and have a great day out!