Orkney Discovery ‘Delux’

Discover the beautiful and charismatic Orkney archipelago. During this relaxed holiday you will enjoy easy walks, visits to all archaeological sites, and time to emerge yourself in the many local arts and crafts. To top it off you will stay, dine and enjoy a wee dram in the Lynnfield Hotel; arguably the best hotel on the island

The unhurried pace of life on Orkney is highly seductive, and you will soon have forgotten the hustle and bustle of normal life. Our exploration of the islands will take us on a beautiful coastal walk to the Stone Age village of Skara Brae. On one of the days, we sail to most north-easterly island of Westray. Here we walk to the lonely lighthouse of Noup Head and visit the ruin of Noltland Castle, built-in 1560. Orkney is world famous for its archaeological treasures and a visit to the Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Ring of Brodgar and the burial tomb Maeshowe is part of the programme. During the week you will also have the chance to visit the workshops of some of professional arts, crafts and design people that thrive here.

Orkney also offers an incredible array of wildflowers and birdlife, including puffins. The abundance of seascapes also affords the chance to see otters, seals and dolphins, and on land, you may spot the mountain hare. All in all, a memorable holiday that gets you under the skin of the real Orkney.

Highlights

  • Fabulous coastal walking
  • Famed archaeological sites of Skara Brae and Ring of Brogar
  • Abundant bird and marine life
  • Top quality 4* hotel accommodation & delightful Orcadian hospitality

At a Glance

From £1,495 per person
Single room: from £300 (limited number available)

Grade
Easy
AccommodationSingle centre trip. 6 nights top quality 4* hotel
Duration7 Days
LocationNorthern Isles
StartInverness Station @ 14.30
FinishInverness Station @ 15.30
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Route Map


View Orkney Odessey in a larger map

Book your Trip

At a Glance

From £1,495 per person
Single room: from £300 (limited number available)

Grade
Easy
AccommodationSingle centre trip. 6 nights top quality 4* hotel
Duration7 Days
LocationNorthern Isles
StartInverness Station @ 14.30
FinishInverness Station @ 15.30

Orkney Discovery ‘Delux’

7 days | AVAILABLE | Ref: OOD0121

19 June 2021 · £1495

BOOK NOW

Orkney Discovery ‘Delux’

7 days | AVAILABLE | Ref: OOD0221

14 August 2021 · £1495

BOOK NOW


Itinerary

The itinerary for each day’s walk is given below however; alternative walks may be undertaken depending upon the weather and group fitness.  On such a day, the leader will carefully choose an alternative guided by the group interest.

Day 1 – Travel to Orkney

Meeting in Inverness Rail Station at 14.30. Drive along the Northeast coast of the Highlands to Scrabster where our ferry sails across the Pentland Firth to Stromness, transfer to hotel in Kirkwall.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel in Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: No meals (basic meals available on the ferry)


Day 2 – Deerness (Mainland)

The peninsula of Deerness is the easternmost part of the Mainland. Our walk brings us to the Brough of Deerness – a Viking Age settlement of top of a sea stack – and The Gloup, an impressive collapsed sea cave that produces strange gurgling noises! From here we follow the coastline around Mull Head. After a short drive, we have a pleasant walk to the Convenanters’ Memorial, which commemorates 200 prisoners who perished off the coast in 1679. After our walk, we visit the beautiful Italian Chapel. The Chapel was built by Italian prisoners of war, who helpt constructing the famous Churchill Barriers during Word War II. Afterwards in Kirkwall, you have time to visit the beautiful St Magnus Cathedral, Tankerness House, home of the Orkney Museum and Highland Park Distillery.

DISTANCE: 6km
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel in Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 3 – Isle of Westray

Today we take the ferry to Westray in the far northwest, a fantastic voyage out along the old Viking sea route called the Swan’s Path. We start our exploration with a short walk to the Castle of Burrian sea stack area, which is fantastic for viewing puffins between April and mid-August. We continue to the northwest of the island for our walk to the lighthouse of Noup Head, a place second only to St Kilda in numbers of breeding seabirds. We will enjoy stunning clifftop views and the open ground is often beautifully carpeted with yellow, white and purple wildflowers. On our way back to the ferry we visit the ruins of Noltland Castle, built around 1560 for Mary Queen of Scots.

DISTANCE: 6km
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 4 – West Mainland & Skara Brae

We start the day with an enjoyable coastal walk from Yesnaby, which finishes at the site of 5000-year old Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved and impressive Neolithic villages in Europe. In the afternoon, we visit Brough Head; the far northwest tip of the Mainland. Here you will find the tidal island Brough of Birsay from where the 9th Century the Vikings created a base from which to launch raids on the Hebrides and Ireland’s monasteries. From here we have a short pleasant walk to Skiba Geo, with its 19th-century fishing hut. It was here where the local fishermen stored their boats over the winter. We finish this exciting day with a visit to the Earl’s Palace, a 16th-century castle build by Robert Steward Earl of Orkney.

DISTANCE: 6km
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel in Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: Breakfast, Dinner


DAY 5 – UNESCO World Heritage Site & Stromness

On small stretch on land between the Loch of Stennis and the Loch of Harray on Orkney’s Mainland, we will find the archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness, the burial tomb Maeshowe. Together with Skara Brae, they form the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage site. This morning we will explore all these extraordinary 5000-year old sites, including the ongoing Ness of Brodgar Excavation.

In the afternoon we will visit the pretty town of Stromness, Orkney’s second biggest town and home of Orkneys most famous poet George Mackay Brown.

DISTANCE: 3km
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel in Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 6 – Isle of Rousay

The isle of Rousay is known as “The Egypt of the North” due to its proliferation of archaeological monuments. A short drive from the ferry brings us to the start of the Westerness Heritage Walk. This amazing coastal walk takes you through time from the first Stone Age settlers, to the Pictish Iron Age, the Vikings and the time of the Earls. The two most known sites are the large Midhowe Neolithic Chambered Cairn and the Midhowe Iron Age Broch Tower.

In the afternoon we walk around Faraclett Head in the northeast of the island. We will enjoy wonderful views towards the islands of Westray, Eday and Egilsay

DISTANCE: 6km
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel in Kirkwall
MEALS PROVIDED: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 7 – Travel back to Inverness

Transfer from Kirkwall to Stromness ferry terminal (11 am departure). From Scrabster we will drive south to Inverness. Arrival time approx.15.30. If you fly back from Kirkwall you will have to make your own way – by taxi or bus – to the airport.


What's Included

Included:

  • 6 nights bed and breakfast in 4* hotel
  • 5 x dinner
  • 5 x packed lunches
  • Guiding services of qualified and experienced NWF leader
  • Transfers from/back to Inverness
  • Ferry ticket to/from Orkney
  • Day trips to the islands Westray & Rousay
  • Entree to Skara Brae & Maeshowe

Excluded:

  • Travel to Inverness
  • Travel insurance
  • Miscellaneous expenses like drinks, entrance fees etc

Accommodation

Please find below details of our prefered accommodation for this holiday.

Lynnfield Hotel

During this holiday you stay at the quality Lynnfield Hotel – arguably the best hotel in Orkney. This small country hotel is privately owned/run and you can be sure of the best traditional Orcadian hospitality. The hotel is located on the outskirts of the ancient Royal Burgh of Kirkwall and offers individually decorated rooms and a relaxed stay. The hotel restaurant provides exceptional food using the finest local produce. We love it!