Orkney Discovery

from Inverness

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On this marvellous tour you will discover ancient cultures; prehistoric monuments and standing stones; Norse (Viking) occupation; Orkney's important role during the World Wars; the site of Scotland's gold rush; abundant wildlife and much more.

Day One: Loch Ness to Kirkwall, Orkney Isles (2 nights)

Departing from Inverness we cross the Moray Firth and drive through the Black Isle to the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths. Soon we will pass Dunrobin Castle, the grand home of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland. As we drive towards nearby Golspie you will see a statue of the First Duke on top of a nearby mountain. It was he who, enthusiastically, embraced the farming of sheep on his estate in the early 19thCentury which forced many tenants from their land. We'll hear more about the "Highland Clearances” as we drive northwards.

We board the ferry for our crossing of the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands. On our arrival it is a short drive to the famous and beautiful Italian Chapel. This ornate chapel was lovingly created by Italian prisoners of war from a simple metal hut and provides a moving legacy of World War 2. The sheltered water of Scapa Flow has witnessed major events during both World Wars as we shall hear as we make our way across the causeway towards Kirkwall, our home for the next two nights.

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Day Two: Discovering Orkney

Orkney is home to many outstanding historic treasures and today will be a unique day of discovery. On our itinerary are visits to Maeshowe*,a magnificent tomb built almost 5,000 years ago and the Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle that once comprised of 60 megaliths. The site is some 1,000 years older and three-times larger than the more famous circle at Stonehenge.

The neolithic settlement of Skara Brae * lies near the dramatic white beach of the Bay of Skaill. Uncovered by a great storm in 1850 Skara Brae is the best preserved group of prehistoric houses in Western Europe and presents a remarkable picture of life around 5,000 years ago. During our optional visit we will get a vivid impression of the realities of a prehistoric village and see ancient homes fitted with stone beds, dressers and seats.

Striking St Magnus Cathedral was founded in 1137 by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in honour of his uncle St Magnus. Our last visit of the day will take us to explore Britain's most northerly Cathedral.

Overnight Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Day Three: Orkney to Inverness

It's an early start as we board the ferry and bid a fond farewell to the Orkneys. On our arrival on the mainland we make our way southwards towards Helmsdale which sits at the mouth of the River Helmsdale and is one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Scotland.

This area abounds in wildlife so look out for the seals as we cross the Dornoch and Cromarty Firths and wend our way, once more, across the Black Isle. Enjoy the views of the Moray Firth as we cross the impressive Kessock Bridge and make our early-afternoon arrival in Inverness.

* Admission fees extra

Highlights: Black Isle, Ferry to the Orkney Islands, Italian Chapel, Scapa Flow, Kirkwall, Maeshowe, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, and Golspie

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Prices (Per Person)

Guest House
Single from £ 380.00
Twin from £ 340.00

Single from £ 450.00
Twin from £ 410.00

Accommodation Details

Product Code: HEX 00770

A child discount of £10 applies to children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive at time of travel

We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour. Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.

Seasonal price range £340 - £450
Luggage Allowance: One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)

Product code: HEX 00770

Dates of Operation

8 & 22 May, 2020
5 & 19 June, 2020
3, 17 & 31 July, 2020
14 & 28 August, 2020
11 & 25 September, 2020

Departure Information

Check in: 08:45 hrs
Departure: 09:00 hrs
From Platform 7, Inverness Bus Station
Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LT
Tour returns at: 18:30 hrs

Click here for departure map

What's included

• 2 nights accommodation in rooms with private bath/shower
• Full Scottish breakfast (days 2 & 3).
• Live commentary in English.
• Excursions as detailed in itinerary
• Transportation by air-conditioned mini/midi coach
• Ferry tickets and reservations
• Services of a tour host
• Service charges and taxes

What's NOT included

• Admission charges unless otherwise stated in the itinerary
• Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
• Gratuity to your tour host

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