Island Hopping – Reach for the Sky

The inter-islands air service is rightly famous in Orkney and beyond. For fifty years, these eight seater BN Islander planes have been providing an essential lifeline service for the outer islands. Operated on fixed timetable by Loganair, these busy aircraft fly in most weathers and carry farmers, teachers, residents, vets and just about everyone else (and their dog, sometimes…).

Rarely climbing above a few hundred feet, the flights are exhilarating and, while not exactly comfortable or luxurious, are a great way to see the land and seascapes of Orkney and beyond. A clear day will offer glimpses of Fair Isle and Shetland to the North and the massive Scottish mountains to the South.

Perhaps best known is the short hop between Westray and Papa Westray. This is claimed to be the shortest scheduled airline flight in the world. It is a believable claim – when the wind is right it can be done in well under two minutes.

You can experience all this for yourself. It is a great way to visit the north isles if you are short of time. If there is an empty seat, you can even do a round trip just for the ride. Generally, advanced booking for all flights is essential – this is a well used service. Flights leave from Kirkwall airport which is just a few minutes drive from Highland Park House and go to Sanday, Stronsay, Eday, North Ronaldsay, Westray and Papa Westray. Extra flights can be chartered by arrangement.

Contact details for Loganair are on the transport links page of this website.


You can view a film of the Westray flight here:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *