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Jessica Payne

Language: English

Qualified to guide in: Orkney

Driver guide: No

Available: All year


Phone: 07921025106

Website: N/A

Payne, Jessica.jpg

At the age of 8 my London family and I visited Orkney for the first time on holiday. My parents picked a random spot on the map and we ended up on the wild and windy shores of Westray, where amongst collecting limpet shells and searching for crabs I discovered a cow mandible submerged in a rock pool. Both repulsed and fascinated with this slimy-toothed treasure and how it possibly could have ended up here…my passion for archaeology was born and kindled by Orkney’s mysterious atmosphere and its plethora of archaeological wonders.


This passion guided my academic pursuits, my hobbies and my career and by no calculated intention life led me straight back to the origin of my interest – to live and work amongst Orkney’s ancient sites (with cow mandible ruling place of pride on my mantlepiece) nearly 20 years later. I received a 1st class degree in Classics and Archaeology from the University of Kent in 2014, earned my Tour Guiding Green Badge in 2019 and worked guiding coach tours throughout the summer. I have volunteered on archaeological projects at UHI, the Ness of Brodgar open days and for Orkney’s Young Archaeology Club.


Having worked as a custodian for Historic Environment Scotland sites across Orkney including Skara Brae, Maeshowe, Bishops and Earls Palace and the Brough of Birsay, I now work for a company called Excursions Ltd. and coordinate shore excursions for bespoke cruise liners that visit Orkney in the summer. I have tapped into the tourism network and know how to craft an experience for visitors that suites any area of interest.


My interests include cooking, animals, books and beachcombing.   


I specialise in Orkney’s archaeology, but my passion for the place stretches my knowledge across all aspects of this beautiful, enigmatic and magical island.

Services: Step on Guide, Walking Tours, Itinerary Design


Availability: All year round. Weekends and evenings – can potentially arrange times outside of these hours with advance notice.

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