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“Going the extra mile”
Review of Orkney Uncovered

Orkney Uncovered
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Orkney Uncovered Private Tours, provides private guided tours and small group shore excursions of the Orkney Islands. We cover all of Orkney’s history, culture, economy, food and drink. We specialise in Wartime/Scapa Flow and Ancient Orkney visiting familiar and unfamiliar sites and structures, discovering the real Orkney. All our tours are bespoke and tailored to meet our clients requirements. Orkney Uncovered Private Tours are open 365 day a year and offer professional, fun and informative private touring experience.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Biggar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
768 reviews
298 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 809 helpful votes
“Going the extra mile”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

From my initial email enquiry a couple of months in advance of our trip to Kinlay’s follow-up phone call and printed itinerary the booking was well handled. Clients obviously benefit from husband & wife team, Kinlay and Kirsty Francis having hands-on the business covering all aspects.

If you have an itinerary or attractions in mind they will endeavour to accommodate these requirements. At the time I only had a few rough ideas but Kinlay took these and built them into a route with the proviso that if I wanted to make adjustments later just to let him know.

Payment was made in advance and based on our requirements for a full day private tour for two it was £295 (+ 3.5% credit card fee).

On the day we were picked up at our guesthouse on schedule at 9.00am with Kinlay acting as guide and driver. Enroute to our first stop we had a chance for some background information and a general chat and since Kinlay has a relaxed manner this was easy going, pointing out some places of interest as we travelled along. Our tour included a variety of places of interest taking in the Broch of Gurness as it opened (and the heavens did too); Skiba Geo (near the Brough of Birsay); Yesnaby Castle and the cliffs: Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness; Churchill Barriers; the Italian Chapel and St Magnus Cathedral. In doing so we got our bearings which helped in the days ahead when we were visiting other places around Mainland - Kinlay even pointed out where we could get the car ferry to Hoy for our visit to The Old Man.

Our comfort was never too far from Kinlay’s thoughts - toilet stops en route (easy when you know where), water and biscuits, getting the vehicle doors, etc. We stopped off at the Standing Stones Hotel for lunch which was nice enough however service was very slow and in truth we’d have been happy with a picnic basket overlooking one of the many scenic spots on our travels to make best use of the time.

On the subject of meals, when we mentioned that we’d considered dining at The Foveran Restaurant but hadn’t booked, Kinlay was kind enough to phone them and arrange this for that evening. He even offered that he could pick us up and take us there from our guesthouse which we declined on the basis it was above and beyond the call of duty!

Kinlay’s speciality and passion appears to be the military history of Orkney (seldom a pillbox was missed in the passing!) but he also seems to have a great love of all things Orkney and is happy to share it with others much to our satisfaction. Having only been there for a week we now love it too.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Rantin rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinlay F, Owner at Orkney Uncovered, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Dear Brian,

Thank you very much for your well written and comprehensive review Kirsty and I really appreciate your feedback as do our future clients.

Thank you for mentioning the communication from start to finish, we do try our best to take help our clients make their trip to Orkney as hassle free as possible and we were very happy to help you both.

We certainly did cover a lot of excellent sites ranging from Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, World Wars to modern day. I am glad you enjoyed the hunt for the pillboxes and hope you enjoyed your visit out to the old Man of Hoy.

Thank you for your feedback about the Standing Stones, I agree the service was slow and I have raised this with the hotel management team to ensure future visits are mores streamlined. If you ever come back to Orkney and book another Orkney Uncovered tour, we will include a luxury picnic so you can soak up the Orkney scenery while enjoying some fine Orkney foods.

Thank you very much for your great photos, the Skiba Geo pics give a great raw look of the rocks and surrounding coastline overlooking the Atlantic.

Finally we do thank you for booking with Orkney Uncovered and we hope top welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Kinlay and Kirsty
Orkney Uncovered
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 reviews from our community

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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“First Class Guided Tour of Orkney!”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My husband I and booked a private tour with Orkney Uncovered many months in advance to make sure we had secured the services of this brilliant tour company. From first communication with Kirsty to the collection and full tour by Kinlay. This husband and wife team go out of their way to provide you with the best and most professional touring service they can.

We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about how Scapa Flow was used as a British Fleet base in the World Wars and hearing the about the terrible loss of a battleship called HMS Royal Oak which was torpedoed at the beginning of the war.

Our guide Kinlay is a mine of knowledge from Orkney's ancient megaliths to Orkney's military history. The other thing we noticed while on tour is that many people know Kinlay and he is very popular, professional, safety focused and caring (opening the car doors for us and aksing if we would like any water to stay hydrated). Its things like this that make Orkney Uncovered special.

We had a fantastic day out uncovering Orkney's delights and seal spotting and we will certainly be back to book Orkney Uncovered again. Thank you Kirsty and Kinlay you made our trip.

Visited May 2014
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Helpful?
Thank Pamela W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinlay F, Owner at Orkney Uncovered, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Dear Pamela,

Thank you very much for your excellent review we really appreciate the feedback as do our prospective clientele.

Its great that you thoroughly enjoyed your tour around Scapa Flow. Its a shame that it is an area of Orkney's history that is sometimes missed out, but more important than most given the World Wars.

I appreciate your feedback about my military history knowledge and I really happy you thoroughly enjoyed your private tour.

Thanks for booking with Orkney Uncovered and we would welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Kinlay
Orkney Uncovered
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“The Orkney Uncovered Experience!”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

My wife and I visited Orkney for the day and booked a private tour with Orkney Uncovered tours. I would say at this stage that due to the popularity of the tours we booked many months ahead. From initial contact with Kristy and Kinlay to the tour itself the customer service was first class.

Our ship was docked for the day and we decided to maximize our day on Orkney and see many amazing places. We particularly loved our walk out to a sea stack called Yesnaby castle. Beautiful views over the seas and great to get some fresh air.

Our guide Kinlay provided us with a magical tour. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and particularly loved listening to all the knowledge Kinlay has of the islands. The weather was also fantastic, beautiful sunshine and warm weather.

If you want to get away from the crowds while visiting Orkney on your cruise then we highly recommend booking with Orkney Uncovered. They provide a high level of professionalism, combined with superb knowledge and go out of their way in providing you with the want to come back to the Orkney's.

Visited May 2014
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Helpful?
Thank Randy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinlay F, Owner at Orkney Uncovered, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Hi Randy,

Thank you very much for your excellent review we really appreciate the feedback as do our prospective clientele.

I am glad you managed to get the most our of your Orkney Uncovered experience. We do strive to be the best at what we do and provide our clients with that little bit extra!

Really pleased you loved the wild cliffs of Yesnaby and the walk out to the sea stack known as Yesnaby Castle.

Thanks for booking with Orkney Uncovered and we would welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Kinlay
Orkney Uncovered
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fantastic, very informative and unique.”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Having previously had an amazing tour of Orkney's neolithic sites with Orkney Uncovered last year, we had no hesitation in choosing them again for a wartime tour this time. Kinlay planned a bespoke full day tour and gave us the chance to add or swap any part of the itinerary before our arrival on Orkney. Whilst the weather was not the best, the day was again amazing. Kinlay is an excellent guide and his knowledge is second to none and it is clear that this is a passion, not just a job and one he truly enjoys. We visited a number of amazing sites, and the wild weather at Hoxa Head really brought home how dreadful a place this would have been during the war. Some of the sites that we visited were well off the beaten track, and it is a credit to Kinlay to have discovered these gems to be able to show them to only the lucky few who get on one of these tours. We shall certainly be booking again in the future, Orkney is such an amazing place and after only 2 visits, there is still far more that we have yet to see. I cannot recommend Kinlay and Orkney Uncovered highly enough, though you will need to book well in advance. Thanks again for a fabulous day, thanks also for the food and drink and we really do look forward to touring with you again.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Midlander75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinlay F, Owner at Orkney Uncovered, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear Stephen,

Thank you very much for your fantastic review. It was my pleasure to take you and Ray on our Wartime Orkney private tour.

Yes the weather was wild, but this added to the sense of adventure and wonder about how desolate the Coast Defence Batteries would have been in WWI and WWII.

Thank you very much for adding the great pictures of Churchill Barrier No.3 and the Balfour Coast Defence Batteries, the weather makes it look very atmospheric.

I do hope you all come back up to Orkney in the future and thank you again for booking with Orkney Uncovered.

Kind regards,

Kinlay
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ringmer, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What a surprise!”
Reviewed 23 May 2014

My birthday surprise was a private specialist military tour conducted by Kinlay of Orkney Uncovered. It was a delightful day in every way. Kinlay showed my wife and I sights others will struggle to locate and explained their significance to our complete satisfaction. We were collected from our accommodation and driven around in Kinlay's comfortable people carrier. He was most friendly, knowledgeable and personalised the tour to accommodate my specific interests. Part of the day included a fantastic boat tour of Scapa Flow - again guided by Kinlay. It was excellent. I could not have wished for a better guided tour of the islands, and, as a tour guide myself, I know what is expected! The day exceeded my expectations in every way. Geoff.

Visited May 2014
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Helpful?
1 Thank Geoff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinlay F, Owner at Orkney Uncovered, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear Geoff and Anna-May,

Thank you very much for your amazing review. We are very happy to thoroughly enjoyed your tour of Orkney's Military sites from the World Wars for your Birthday surprise.

I do feel that this is an area in Orkney that is sometimes overlooked which is a shame considering we have the Worlds second largest natural harbour and wartime British Fleet base and naval anchorage of Scapa Flow.

I am glad you managed to maximise the most out of your day and it was my pleasure to meet you and Anna-May. We would welcome you back to Orkney in the future.

Kind regards,

Kinlay
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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