Pentland Ferries - Gill's Bay straight to St.Margaret's Hope
Pentland Ferries' route is the quickest and easiest way to get here. It takes you straight to St Margaret's Hope, depositing you a two minute's drive from the hotel. You can see the ferry in the picture above. (As with all the photos here, I took it myself).
Northlink Ferries - Scrabster to Stromness Northlink Ferries's crossing takes 90 minutes and is very pleasant too. As a bonus, there's a lovely view of the Old Man of Hoy to be had on the way. From Stromness to St Margaret's Hope is only 30 miles.
Northlink Ferries - Aberdeen to Kirkwall This crossing by Northlink Ferries is fun too. It takes 6 hours but saves a lot of driving.
Also, for those driving up from the South, one has motorway or dual carriageway all the way to Aberdeen. The A9 is one of the loveliest roads in the world and worth driving for its own sake, but if one has already driven several hundred miles, it's a bit of a slog to make one's up from Inverness to Thurso/John O'Groats.
It should be noted that this ferry is only 3-4 times a week and gets in to Kirkwall at 11pm.
John O'Groats Ferry – from JoG to Burwick A summer only (1 May to 30 September) foot ferry is the John O'Groats Ferry. This is a 40 minute crossing from John O'Groats to Burwick, from where it is only 7 miles to St, Margaret's Hope. Bicycles are carried free.
By train or plane to Inverness, then car Another nice way – if one doesn’t want to drive all the way – is to train or plane to Inverness and there hire a car for the beautiful drive up the A9, to one of the ferries. There are gorgeous views of heather-covered hills and of the North Sea all the way. For some strange reason, flights to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness are reasonably priced but flights to Kirkwall rather less so. FlyBe to Inverness and collect rental car at the airport is a great variant. But one can of course fly straight to Kirkwall from many UK and European airports.
By air to Kirkwall Kirkwall has a lovely little airport and one can, of course, come to the island by air all the way. FlyBe have plenty of flights to Kirkwall from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Inverness (and also Sumburgh in Shetland and Bergen in Norway).
Loganair for flights between Kirkwall and Westray, Papa Westray, Sanday, Stronsay, Eday and North Ronaldsay
Or – final option – brave it! (Full disclosure: I didn't take this picture and it's not even the Pentland Firth. It's the Bering Strait but I don't suppose the firth is much warmer!)