Thu 15th August 2024
- Tue 20th August 2024
The Scottish Islands are a wonderful destination if you want to be by the sea. The holiday was so popular last year we are returning to do more exploring from our cosy base in Stromness. We will walk along the wild Atlantic coast, visit world heritage sites, try the amazing local food as well as home brewed beer and whisky. If you want to immerse yourself in Scottish island life then this trip is for you. This year we will pick up from Inverness and travel together on a fantastic road trip to Orkney to make the journey even more special by stopping to see various sights along the way.
Dates: Thursday August 15th to Tuesday August 20th
Get inspired with a little of Annie Lennox Orkney – Here comes the rain again
Guide: Stef Lauer
Walking Grade: 2 Goats – be prepared for Scottish summer weather which could involve rain. There are long walks of up to 17km but the ascent is not more than 400m so we have graded this 2 goats. You do need to have good fitness and be ready to be out all day.
Base: Ferry Inn at the harbour in Stromness – a traditional , very popular Orkney pub with rooms. You can be sure of an island welcome and a true Scottish experience.
Getting there : If you can get to Inverness we will pick you up from there on Thursday August 15th at 10am at the central station. If you would like to stay a night or two in Inverness we will recommend hotels.
We recommend joining us for this very special road trip to Orkney together – don’t miss it ! We will take the day aiming for the 7pm ferry from Scrabster to Stromness which gets us into Stromness at 8.30pm. We will have dinner together on the boat as we sail across the sea to reach Orkney. A beautiful journey.
Arrival in Stromness for check in and settle in. It will be 20.45 approx so perhaps a nightcap before bed!
Departure: after breakfast to catch a ferry around 11am to arrive in Inverness at around 16.00. You will be provided with a packed lunch for the journey.
Price:£1600 per person for this fully inclusive holiday:
- Bed and Breakfast in ensuite double room for solo occupancy
- Packed Lunches on 4 walking days
- All evening meals – 3 courses
- Pick up and return to Inverness
- Local transport for walks to explore the island fully
- Experienced Guide throughout your holiday
If you can bring a friend/partner and share a room their is a discount of £200 pp and the price is £1400 per person . We will discount your final bill once you have paid your deposit.
- Travel to Stromness
- Drinks from the bar
- Additional activities not in the itinerary
The Orkney Islands lie in the very north of Scotland, just off the Scottish Mainland. It feels like a world away but the islands are surprisingly well connected. We recommend joining us in Inverness and travelling together by mini bus through the north of scotland and across the sea from Scrabster to Stromness.
There are direct trains to Inverness (the Gateway to the Scottish Highlands and very well connected to London (Caledonian Sleeper overnight train), Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen)
Your journey to Orkney ends where you embark in Stromness and cross the road… and you’re home! At least for the next few days.
On our trip, we will walk on stunning beaches, visit Neolithic sites and take the ferry to experience another outlying island, Hoy. There are mysterious standing stones, Viking stories and ancient sites, marine wildlife including the elusive selkie. As well as the proud tradition of all the local produce created here – local beer, whisky and various foods all ready for you to try.
One of our favourite whiskey’s is Highland Park created and still made on Orkney. You can see a little of the magic that goes into the making of it on this video Highland Park Orkney Stories
Listen to this to get a sense of Stromness and the Orkney Islands. Written by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as a protest against the proposed construction os a uranium mine near Yesnaby which you will visit.
The itinerary may change depending on the weather and at the discretion of your guide. You will be briefed each day about your days walks.
Day 1: Thursday Arrival – meet in Inverness for a pick up at the central train station at 10am.
You will travel with your guide from Inverness through Easter Ross and Caithness to the Ferry Port of Scrabster. We will stop at a few places on the way so be prepared for short,exploratory walks – this is a wonderful start to your holiday.
We arrive around 20.45 at the Ferry Inn, the bustling second largest township on the island. Situated directly by the sea (its name meaning ‘safe haven’), it has a wonderful meandering main street, nice shops and cafes and just a lovely feel to it.
Day 2: Friday, Roadtrip
We are taking a day to explore Orkney’s Mainland and the Southern Isles by minibus today. Stopping, admiring and exploring around:
- Standing Stones of Stenness
- Ring of Brodgar
- Brough of Birsay and Earl’s Palace
- South Ronaldsay, Churchill Barriers and the Italian Chapel
- St Margarets Hope
This should give us a good overview of the thousands of years of history and heritage on this island.
Day 3: Saturday, West Mainland
Today we travel to Skara Brae which is one of the most fascinating sites in all of Scotland. A stone-built neolithic settlement on a stunning sandy beach which dates back to around 3,000 years BC. This is proper time travel!
After exploring this incredible place, we head off along the West Coast of the Mainland. Keeping the sea to our right, we have time to marvel at sandstone sea stacks, plenty of sea birds and the views across to Hoy.
Return for a late evening meal at the Ferry Inn together
Walk: Approx 6 hours, 17km, 320m ascent
Day 4: Sunday Island of Hoy
After viewing the high-lying island of Hoy from a distance yesterday, we are boarding a small passenger ferry which takes us across the water to set foot on it. Rackwick Glen reminds us of the empty glens of Scotland’s north-west but it’s the Old Man that we are seeking. The Old Man of Hoy is one of the tallest sea stacks in the whole of the UK and the destination of our walk today Perhaps we might even spot a pair of climbers tackling this magnificent cliff.
Walk: 6 hours, 17km, 400m ascent
We’re giving our legs a bit of a rest as we are exploring Orkney’s largest town, Kirkwall (population: 8,500) and learn about the history of its cathedral, St Magnus. It was built almost 900 years ago and is dedicated to one of the earliest Earls of Orkney, his life immortalised in the Icelandic Orkneyinga Sagas.
There is plenty to see around Kirkwall and we will enjoy another leisurely walk near Kirkwall.
Walk : 10km, 3 hours, 310m ascent
Day 6, Tuesday.
We’re departing after breakfast and wishing a fond Farewell to Stromness and the Orkney Islands.
Drop off at approx 16.00 at Inverness Train Station.