Q. Can I contact you to book a guide?
Q. What information should I supply when contacting a guide?
A. Please supply as much information as possible - at least the date(s) of your tour, whether a half or full day or extended tour is required, the number in your party, and any special interests you may have.
Q. How much does a tour cost?
A. We do not set guiding fees - please see our 'Bookings' page for illustrative tour prices
Q. Do I have to pay in advance and what happens if I cancel my tour?
A. Each guide has their own payment and cancellation policy. Most guides will require payment in advance and operate a sliding scale of cancellation fees. Fees and terms should be agreed with your guide on booking.
Q. I've come across someone calling themselves an 'Orkney tour guide' but they're not listed on your website - are they qualified?
A. Only someone who has completed the Orkney Regional Affiliate course of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) and been awarded the Green Badge is a qualified Orkney Tourist Guide and entitled to describe themselves as such.
Yellow Badge Guides are qualified by the STGA to guide in Stromness, but are NOT qualified to guide elsewhere.
Blue Badge Guides, who hold the STGA qualification for the whole of Scotland, are qualified to guide in Orkney.
All current STGA members are listed on the STGA website and should also hold a current STGA membership card and are therefore covered by STGA public liability & professional indemnity insurance - you should ask to see it if you are in any doubt. There is no legal requirement in this country that a guide should be either trained, properly qualified or insured - hence there is nothing to stop anyone calling themselves a guide and offering tours of Orkney or anywhere else.
Q. Can I hire a vehicle whilst I'm in Orkney and have one of your guides drive it for me?
A. No - this is illegal. However you are welcome to drive yourself, whether in a hire car or your own vehicle, and take one of our guides as a 'step-on' guide. We do also have members who are driver-guides with their own appropriately insured and licensed vehicle.
Q. How can I tell if my driver-guide's vehicle has the necessary licences & insurance?
A. Driver-guides are required by law to hold either a private hire vehicle licence (red plate) or a taxi licence (yellow plate) for vehicles up to 8 seats, issued by the Orkney Islands Council. The current list of holders can be checked on the Orkney Islands Council website. These plates show the vehicle's registration number and the number of passengers it is licenced to carry and should be affixed to the vehicle - if these are not present the vehicle is NOT licensed to carrying paying passengers and those passengers will NOT be insured in the event of an accident, and the driver of the vehicle will be committing a criminal offence.
For vehicles above 8 passengers there should be a licence affixed to the front windscreen at the left hand side issued by the Department of Transport. Again if this is not present the vehicle is not licensed.