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Private Tour Private Tour of Orkney

Price
£0.00 per person
Duration
7 Day/ 6 Nights
Destination
Scotland
Travellers
1

Private Tour of Orkney

Looking to explore a place rich in history, with fantastic sea views, wildlife, landscapes, and architecture? You are in the right place. On top of that Kirkwall’s town centre has been named the Most Beautiful High Street in 2019. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this beautiful island’s magic
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What's included

Destination
Departure Location
Kirkwall -Orkney
Return Location
Kirkwall -Orkney
Price includes
    • Hotels as mentioned as per the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned as per the itinerary
    • Entrances as mentioned as per the itinerary
Price does not include
    • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Items of a personal nature ie Laundry, phone calls etc
    • Any Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Tips
    • Personal Travel and Accident Insurance

Day 1 Kirkwall (-/-/-)

Start your exciting journey by taking the Ferry over the sea to Orkney. As you set off from Gills Bay in Caithness you will see the islands of Stroma and Swona in the distance. Both common and grey seals bask on the shores of the islands. Be sure to look out for the now-famous feral cattle of Swona which, left to run wild over thirty years ago, are now a recognised breed.

You may well pass both whirlpools and eddies on your journey, depending on the tide and wind. The whirlpool Swelkie according to Viking legend, is caused by a sea witch turning the mill wheels to grind the salt to keep the sea salty!

Overnight in Kirkwall

Included: Ferry, bedroom and breakfast

Day 2 Kirkwall(B/-/-)

On this day you will explore Orkney. Orkney’s remarkably well-preserved archaeological and historical sites reflect over 5,000 years of human interaction with the island landscape.

Earl’s Palace, Birsay

This 16th-century courtyard castle was built by Earl Robert Stewart, half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scots. The palace was designed in a Renaissance style, with towers, a turnpike staircase, and four wings surrounding the large central courtyard.
The palace was only in use for a short time. It’s estimated it was built between 1569 and 1574, but the overthrow of the Stewart earls in 1615 saw its story come to an end. By 1700, the roof was missing, and the once-grand palace was in ruin.

Skaill House

It is the finest 17th-century mansion in Orkney.

Overlooking the spectacular Bay of Skaill, the house was originally built in 1620 by Bishop Graham and has been added to by successive Lairds over the centuries. Just a short distance from the house lies the neolithic village of Skara Brae, and the southern wing of Skaill House stands on a pre-Norse burial ground.

The house was opened to the public in 1997 after careful restoration work and is very much the family home as it was in the 1950s. Captain Cook’s dinner service, Neolithic and Iron Age find Stanley Cursiter paintings, the bishop’s original bed, and many other items of interest collected by the twelve Lairds of Skaill can be seen around the house.

Skara Brae

Skara Brae was first uncovered by a storm in 1850, it remains a place of discovery today. Visit a replica Neolithic house to see how its full interior might have looked. Then follow the path that overlooks the ancient buildings, imagining what life was like for the farmers, hunters, and fishermen who lived here.

Overnight at Kirkwall

Included: excursion, bedroom and breakfast, English speaking guide

Day 3 Kirkwall (B/-/-)

Another lovely day for you to explore Kirkwall’s beautiful history.

St Magnus Cathedral

The Cathedral dominates the skyline of Kirkwall. It is the most northerly cathedral in the United Kingdom, a fine example of Romanesque architecture built for the bishops of Orkney when the islands were ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney.

It is owned by the burgh of Kirkwall as a result of an act of King James III of Scotland, following Orkney’s annexation by the Scottish Crown in 1468. It has its own dungeon. Construction began in 1137, and it was added over the next 300 years.

Bishop’s Palace

is one of the best-preserved buildings from this era. Kirkwall also retains its distinctive medieval street plan.

The Earl’s Palace

was added much later, in the early 1600s. Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, had the ambitious plan to make the Bishop’s Palace part of a splendid palace complex, ‘The Palace of the Yards’.

The Orkney Museum

tells the story of Orkney, from the Stone Age to the Picts and Vikings, right through to the present day. The Museum’s collection is of international importance and it has a changing temporary exhibition program.

Kirkwall’s harbourfront

is another spot to stop and see the world go by. Overlooked by some of the town’s best restaurants and pubs, you can watch the local fishing fleet heading in and out of Kirkwall Bay. Nearby, the Orkney Distillery offers award-winning gins and tours, and the Orkney Wireless Museum is a tiny treasure trove of audio equipment from years gone by.

Overnight in Kirkwall

Included: excursion, bedroom and breakfast, English speaking guide

Day 4 Kirkwall- Westray (B/-/-)

Start the day with an early morning ferry from Kirkwall to Rapness in Westray. This journey takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes and will give you a chance to take in the beautiful scenery from the boat.

Spend the day exploring the sights of the island of Westray. It’s a bustling, vibrant place, known as the ‘Queen o’ the Isles’, you can find stunning sea cliffs, sandy beaches, some of Orkney’s most talented food producers, and a rich history to explore.

The 12th century Cross Kirk at Tuquoy is also well worth a visit. Another must-see historical site is the imposing Noltland Castle, a fortress built during the 16th century and full of menacing character – including musket holes in the walls!

Visit Noup Head and its beautiful lighthouse, perched over the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs here are an RSPB reserve and home to breeding seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes, and gannets.

At the opposite end of the island, the Castle O’Burrian is arguably the finest place in Orkney to spot puffins during their brief stay onshore between late April and early August.

Overnight in Kirkwall

Included: excursion, bedroom and breakfast, English speaking guide

Day 5 Westray- Kirkwall (B/-/-)

Starting the day with another early morning ferry from Westray back to Kirkwall.

The Ring of Brodgar

It is arguably the most iconic symbol of Orkney’s prehistoric past. It is a site of ritual and ceremony, and hauntingly beautiful. The Ring of Brodgar is an archaeological treasure and without doubt one of the islands’ most visited attractions. It is one of the most photographed attractions in Orkney – particularly at sunset.

Nearby, the solitary Comet Stone keeps a watchful eye, while just one mile from the site The Standing Stones of Stenness cast their spell. Four giant megaliths, at a towering six metres, date back to 3100BC making it one of the oldest stones circles in Britain. Close by, the Barnhouse settlement reveals an excavated group of house dwellings dating from 3300-2600BC.

The Italian Chapel

Consists of two Nissen huts transformed into a beautiful chapel by Domenico Chiocchetti and his colleagues, Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa and transported to the island of Lamb Holm in Orkney.

Overnight in Kirkwall

Included: excursion, bedroom and breakfast, English speaking guide

Day 6 Kirkwall (B/-/-)

More to explore. You will enjoy your last day of exploring some more of Orkney’s hidden gems.

The Broch of Gurness

It is perched on the edge of the Orkney’s West mainland – part of a coastline that, at one point, would have been lined with brochs. Across Eynhallow Sound you can see another well-preserved example at Midhowe in Rousay.

From here it’s a short drive to Tingwall to take the 25-minute ferry journey to the island of Rousay. Rousay has been called the “Egypt of the North” because of the density of its prehistoric sites. The island has been inhabited for over 5000 years and there are five well-presented monuments that are maintained by Historic Scotland Blackhammer Cairn, Midhowe Cairn, traverse Tuick and Knowe of Yarso.

Rousay’s wild and relatively untouched landscape offers plenty of reasons to visit. The main road encircles the island and is perfect for a challenging cycle. Make sure you stop off at the Sourin Brae viewpoint for some spectacular views. There are also some excellent coastal walks at Sacquoy Head and Faraclett Head. Another path following an old peat track takes you inland to Muckle Water, the largest loch in Rousay. Expect to see plenty of wildlife on your travels here. The RSPB reserve at Trumland features red-throated divers, hen harriers, short-eared owls, and much more.

After a lovely day take the short ferry back to Tingwall and returns to Kirkwall for your last night on Orkney.

Overnight in Kirkwall

Included: excursion, bedroom and breakfast, English speaking guide

Day 7 Leaving Kirkwall (B/-/-)

After a great holiday and hopefully a great last night sleep in Kirkwall , you will take the Ferry over the sea to the mainland. There will be ample opportunity on the trip to catch a glimpse of island wildlife – seabirds, seals, and, perhaps, a pod of dolphins, pilot whales, or even an occasional Orca. You will sail past cliffs that are inhabited by large seabirds’ colonies including puffins, fulmars, great skua, razorbills, guillemots, and gannets.

Included: Ferry

If you would like to extend your holiday, please get in touch with us and we can arrange that for you!

More about this tour

Further details for Private Tour of Orkney


Product Type:
Tour/Cruise including overnight stay
Essential Info:
No essential info for this tour

Tour Suitability


soloYes
couplesYes
childrenNo
groupsYes
wheelchairsNo
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