Walking in Scotland
Orkney & Shetland Islands

Maximum group size - 15
No single supplement!

Walking in Scotland
Orkney & Shetland Islands

Maximum group size - 15
No single supplement!

Walking is perhaps the best way to experience Scotland’s most northerly islands, as it allows you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, while offering a unique and intimate insight into local culture and history.

On this exciting new tour, designed for experienced walkers, we will enjoy moderate walks covering a daily average of 12-15km and a maximum ascent of 1300ft – distances and ascents which should pose no difficulties for regular walkers.

Pristine natural landscapes, peace and tranquility, wide open spaces and lung-fulls of fresh air – Orkney and Shetland will provide all of this and more as we island hop from the quaint crofting communities of Orkney to the Scandanavian style fjords and voes of Shetland. This will be an experience like no other, whether tramping the dramatic coastline or exploring ruined settlements and mysterious lochs.

This tour program also includes a couple of nights in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, touring included.

Tour Highlights:

• Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh
• Royal Yacht Britannia
• Stepping back in time in the footsteps of Neolithic man at Skara Brae
• The rugged rocky architecture of the spectacular Old Man of Hoy
• Hiking through a land rich in Viking history and Orcadian hospitality
• The Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlements in Shetland – one of the most important and inspirational archaeological sites in Scotland
• Eshaness – one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines

*** Participants must be able to complete up to 17 km of walking on varied terrain.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Glasgow.

Day 2: Edinburgh

We arrive in Glasgow and transfer to Edinburgh, with a stop at The Kelpies - the world's largest equine sculptures. Our guided walking tour will take us through the vision of artist Andy Scott and how history impacted his design of these breath-taking sculptures. We arrive at our centrally located hotel in Edinburgh, and this evening is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Edinburgh

Our city tour shows us the Old and New towns, as well as Leith - Edinburgh’s exciting new waterfront development. Here we visit the award-winning Royal Yacht Britannia, which for over 40 years served as the floating residence of The Queen and the Royal Family (they sailed over 1,000,000 miles on the yacht). There will be free time to explore the historic sites and roam Edinburgh’s ancient streets.

Day 4: Orkney

We take a short flight to Kirkwall, Orkney. Orkney is special - as far as the eye can see. Across its 70 islands, Orkney is spellbinding, invigorating, relaxing and welcoming. Our home for the next 4 nights is the The Merkister, and our hosts, the MacDonald family, will ensure that our time at their inn will enhance our memory of our visit to Orkney.

Day 5: Birsay / Ring of Brodgar (Walk 13km with 400 ft ascent)

Our first walk on the island of Orkney begins on a superb cliff-top path from the island of Birsay, to the protected nature reserve of Marwick Bay and The Loons. Later we explore the Ring of Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness and the Neolithic chambered cairn of Maes Howe.

Day 6: Skara Brae and Stromness (Walk 16km with 890 ft ascent)

We begin with a visit to the impressive, ancient settlement of Skara Brae, now a UNESCO site of special heritage. Then we walk along the coast above the spectacular sea cliffs of Yesnaby. This walk is renowned for its spectacular Old Red Sandstone coastal cliff scenery which includes sea stacks, blowholes, geos and frequently boiling seas. Our walk ends on the outskirts of Stromness.

Day 7: Isle of Hoy (Walk 14.5km with 1050 ft ascent)

We visit the island of Hoy, and enjoy a magnificent walk out to the famous sea stack of the “Old Man of Hoy” - a famous 450-foot sea stack (perhaps Orkney's most famous landmark). We return via the mysterious “Dwarfie Stone” - a 5,000-year-old, 28-foot-long monument thought to be Britain’s only example of a rock-cut tomb.

Day 8: Shetland – Sumburgh Head and Jarlshof (Walk 5km with 200 ft ascent)

We leave Orkney and head north to Shetland. Upon arrival we visit Sumburgh Head Nature Reserve - the most southerly point of mainland Shetland. This elevated viewpoint affords extensive views over Shetland and of Fair Isle to the south. We will also witness an amazing sea bird spectacle as thousands of birds come ashore to nest on the cliffs. From here we descend to the inspirational archaeological site of Jarlshof which was continuously inhabited from 2500BC through 1600AD. We then take a scenic transfer to our hotel - Busta House, noted for its historic elegance, tranquility and unique hospitality, with fine cuisine, wines, malts and rugged, romantic vistas.

Day 9: The Eshaness Peninsula (Walk 17km with 500 ft ascent)

We circumnavigate the beautiful Eshaness peninsula, with a stop to learn about Shetland’s heritage at the Tangwick Haa Museum. Our walk today will feature numerous wildlife watching opportunities as we wander past colonies of thousands of seabirds during the breeding season. We may also be lucky enough to spot seals today - both Common and Grey seals are often seen bobbing up and down in the bay.

Day 10: Muckle Roe (Walk 13.5km with 850 ft ascent)

On this rugged and remote walk we will discover the red granite coastline of the Muckle Roe - a fitting finale to appreciate the incredible walks we’ve taken, as we admire the windswept isolation and beauty of Shetland.

Day 11: Stirlingshire

We take the short flight back to Edinburgh, and then transfer to our 18th century inn, situated on the pretty village green in the conservation village of Drymen. Here we will enjoy a delicious Farewell Dinner including traditional Scottish entertainment - a perfect way to celebrate the end of this fabulous tour!

Day 12: Home

We transfer to the Glasgow Airport for our flight home.

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Tour Dates & Prices
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Cost per person: $5197
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See what our value added tours include!
Home pick-up and drop-off (from most Canadian cities).

All airfare and all airport taxes.

Carefully selected accommodations).

All gratuities (for hotels, drivers, guides & cruise staff).

Most meals.
Insurance for cancellation and health while outside Canada.
Services of one of our cheerful experienced Tour Managers.

All prices guaranteed in Canadian funds.

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