Thu 24th August 2023
- Tue 29th August 2023
The Scottish Islands are a wonderful destination if you want to revitalise by the sea. This time we are exploring the Orkney Islands from our 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 IS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST ONLY SO CALL US ON 01784 664063
Dates: Thursday August 24th to Tuesday August 29th
Guide: Stef Lauer
Walking Grade: 2 Goats
Base: Ferry Inn at the harbour in Stromness – a traditional , very popular Orkney pub with rooms. The pub is lively at weekends and will introduce you to a little live Scottish music!
Getting there : There are many ways to travel to Orkney – overland by car,train or bus or by plane. The journey can be an adventure in itself if you travel across Scotland and take the ferry across to Stromness. Full details in the link below.
Arrival: for 15.00 check in, settle in and a briefing at 17.00 with your local guide followed by a Welcome dinner together.
Departure: after breakfast. Plan travel from 10am
Price:£1770 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
- Local transport for walks to explore the island fully
- Experienced Guide
If you can bring a friend/partner and share a room their is a discount of £200 pp and the price is £1570 per person . We will discount your final bill once you have paid your deposit.
- Travel to Stromness
- Drinks from the bar
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 would recommend travelling by train and ferry. There are direct trains from Inverness (the Gateway to the Scottish Highlands and very well connected to London (Caledonian Sleeper overnight train), Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) to Thurso from where you can almost see Orkney. A short bus journey takes you to Scrabster Ferry Terminal where you’ll board the Northlink Ferry that will take you across the Pentland Firth in under 90 minutes. You embark in Stromness and cross the road… and you’re home! At least for the next few days.
Alternatively there are flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness (which in turn easily connect to London) to the islands’ main airport, Kirkwall.
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.
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, August 24 – Arrival
Meet 15.00 at the Ferry Inn in Stromness, 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.
Welcome, evening stroll & evening meal together at the Ferry Inn.
Day 2: Friday, August 25 – 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, August 26 – West Mainland
Today we’re taking the bus 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: 6 hours, 19km, 320m ascent
Day 4: 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 might also climb its highest point, Wideford Hill, on our day out today.
Walk (optional): 10km, 3 hours, 310m ascent
Day 6, Tuesday, August 29
We’re departing after breakfast and wishing a fond Farewell to Stromness and the Orkney Islands.