It's time to start your adventure
A wonderful tour allowing you time to explore some of Orkney’s prehistoric marvels including the village of Skara Brae dating from c.2900bc, the magnificent burial chamber of Maes Howe complete with its 12C Viking graffiti, plus formidable standing stones and stunning beaches.
Duration 5/6 days
- Departing from your hotel in Edinburgh, today’s highlights include the majestic mountains of Glencoe, the mysterious Loch Ness and your first overnight stay, in the Highland capital, Inverness.
- Picturesquely positioned around the River Ness, Inverness has much to offer the visitor with a wide array of restaurants to meet all tastes and budgets. Good walks around the pretty River Ness and Ness Islands.
- An early start 0745, you depart Inverness to catch the lunchtime ferry over the Pentland Firth to Orkney, arriving at these highly impressive islands after one hour at sea.
- You visit the Italian Chapel, built by WW2 Italian prisoners and the WW2 Churchill Barriers. If you wish to visit Highland Park or Scapa Distillery, we can go there too.
- After an orientation of the capital town Kirkwall, we shall drop you at your Hotel. Kirkwall is an attractive town with narrow, winding streets and characteristic Orcadian architecture with a fine 12thC Cathedral at its heart.
- Today you will visit the incredibly well-preserved prehistoric village of Skara Brae, dating from around 2900BC, the burial chamber Maes Howe complete with it’s 12thC Viking graffiti (subject to availability), the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You also visit the dramatic Yesneby sea cliffs and great local beaches.
- You could stop for lunch in the second town of the Orkney Islands, Stromness. The Pier Art Centre here holds an important collection of 20th C British art, there is an impressive local museum, attractive winding cobbled streets and a colourful, busy harbour.
- You return to Kirkwall via Scapa Flow, which saw so much action during both world wars.
- You could choose to extend the length of this tour to six days at this point. You could use this extra day to explore some of the other islands, Rousay or Hoy perhaps, where you could walk to the famous Old Man of Hoy. Alternatively, you could enjoy a more local day. We will gladly accommodate your requirements.
DAY 4 OR 5
- After a little free time in Kirkwall to perhaps visit the splendid 12th C St Magnus Cathedral or look in the interesting craft and jewellery shops, you take the ferry back to the mainland.
- You now travel through the North West highlands, with its breath-taking beaches and towering mountains. It is the least populated area in the UK.
- You arrive in the picturesque harbour town and cultural centre Ullapool, a charming town with some fine seafood and cosy local bars, which is our overnight stay.
DAY 5 OR 6
- You visit the sad Culloden Battlefield and award-winning visitor centre today, the site of the final battle on UK soil and marking the bloody end of the 1745 uprising. There is interesting social history here too and a great insight into life during these incredibly tough times.
- If you would rather visit prehistoric Clava Cairns, this can be done.
- In the afternoon, you shall stop in the outdoor sports town of Aviemore with its interesting Victorian Railway station with views to the Cairngorm Mountains. Have lunch here before carrying onto the cathedral town of Dunkeld, a little gem.
- You then return to Edinburgh but make one final stop in South Queensferry to view the Forth Railway Bridge, an epic Scottish icon and UNESCO World Heritage Site, before dropping you at your hotel in the early evening. A great end to a great Prehistoric Scotland Orkney Tour.