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Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

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Price from: £1,095

Next trip: 23rd August

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Orkney and Shetland Isles

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

28 review(s)
  • Discover wild walks, ancient landscapes and spectacularly weathered sea cliffs on the walking holiday of a lifetime
  • Experience the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Orkneys in the company of our knowledgeable guides
  • Enjoy Orcadian hospitality and fresh local produce at our stylish accommodation in a historic guest house

Green Graded Walking Holidays

Our Green grade walking trips involve straight forward hiking, following generally good trails with no major ascents.

These walks are pretty leisurely and will last for around 5 hours each day. The terrain underfoot will usually be on paths or hill trails, which may still be muddy or rough in places. The daily walks are mainly glen and coastal hikes, with some ascents of low level hills, up to around 1,500 feet / 450m high. So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places? Have you done this recently?

Our accommodation on Orkney is in a recently upgraded 4-star small hotel. Located on the outskirts of Kirkwall, near the world-famous Highland Park whisky distillery, the hotel overlooks Scapa Flow with its beautiful sandy beach.

The hotel has just 10 rooms, each of which is individually furbished with antiques and local artwork. The rooms are all ensuite and provide spacious, comfortable accommodation.

The hotel’s restaurant is popular with locals and has a strong focus on local Orkney produce. Naturally, any special dietary requirements can be catered for and the restaurant is fully licensed offering a selection of Orkney malts and ales. Not to mention the extensive 200 malts-strong whisky list!!

Single guests willing to share will be accommodated in a twin room with a member of the same sex. For this itinerary, there ia a supplement of £175 a single room is required.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at the fixed seating area in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip.
As lunch is not included on Day 1, you may wish to either eat lunch beforehand or bring a packed lunch to eat on the ferry. Please note that under new legislation, you must bring photo ID (passport, driving licence) with you to board the ferries. For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

by Ruth Baynton 15/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The literature describing the itinerary was too brief and could have included more information about the hotel particularly the address & phone number, ferry crossings and flora and fauna likely to be seen.
Trip Comments
It could have been improved if the vehicle was air conditioned and if we had been picked up and set down in the station car park.
Accommodation and Food
The literature describing the itinerary was too brief and could have included more information about the hotel particularly the address & phone number, ferry crossings and flora and fauna likely to be seen.
Your Guide
Eilid was a very friendly and personable guide but was not quite as experienced/well informed as other guides we have been with.
The Bottom Line
This was a truly wonderful introduction to a most beautiful haven within the British Isles. We enjoyed the variety of this holiday especially the combination of walks taking in stunning coastal scenery, wildflower meadows, bird colonies and visits to world heritage archaeological sights.

by Julian Lambley 14/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Great place to go. The walking was rather less than I expected and easier . Very pleased we saw all the historic sites i wanted. Visit to Hoy was great. Were left hanging about at Scara Brae as departure time was not heard by wife or me..
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Got on well with her. Very reliable. .She did not apparently have a lot of experience on Orkney previously . Had good knowledge of wildlife and botany though not as extensive as guide on our previous trip with Wilderness.
The Bottom Line
Liked the islands a lot. Choice of day trips was good. Ferries and connections worked very well.. Fascinating place for pre-history. Walking was very easy really.
Make sure you get room with a view or have the option to request it.

by Charlotte Chambers 07/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Philip Chambers 07/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

3Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
I think Eilid was pleasant after our previous trip I felt that her knowledge of Orkney was not as good as our previous guides knowledge
I did not a appreciate being left on the road before we reached the station at the end of the trip
It was wrong for those in the group leaving by train who had to push their cases down the narrow busy pavement
The Bottom Line
Loved the Orkneys

by Stephanie Lux 29/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It was particularly helpful to know what gear to bring.
Trip Comments
Our hike on Hoy in the sunshine was delightful.
Accommodation and Food
It was particularly helpful to know what gear to bring.
Your Guide
Keith was amazing. He is extremely knowledgeable and an excellent planner. He always made sure we know the day's agenda and welcomed any feedback we had for him. He provided us with bathroom breaks and broke the hikes up into smaller walks which was helpful for some of our group. He was especially great at pointing out the birds for us and even helped us spot puffins on Birdsay!
The Bottom Line
For me the most inspirational part was the way the whole group coalesced into a unit. We looked out for each other and really got to know each other. Keith facilitated this for us. We had a wonderful time with the other guests and enjoyed Keith's company. He knows how to be a part of the group but still give guidance and direction.

by Richard Lux 28/05/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I would have appreciated a little more info after booking. I did get all the info I wanted I just had to e-mail the office.
Trip Comments
Our guide, Keith Miller was outstanding. The hotel was very good. The weather was pretty bad. It rained every day but one. I loved the hikes along the rugged coastal cliffs.
Accommodation and Food
I would have appreciated a little more info after booking. I did get all the info I wanted I just had to e-mail the office.
Your Guide
He had a good attitude, never got frustrated, He was very knowledgeable about local history, Scotland, birds, ecology, and flowers. Keith made the trip for me.
The Bottom Line
I'm not answering the question you asked. If you had asked how the trip could have been belter I would answer that more hiking and less driving would have made it better for me. Some of the people on the trip weren't as fit as me and that tended to slow the group down. That is not something that can be controlled however. I would have liked more walking.

by Chris Parker 26/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Extremely helpful,with a pleasant personal touch.
Trip Comments
The only thing not excellent was the weather.
My high point,appropriately,was Hoy; and the weather was good.As the slowest member of the team I much appreciated everyone's patience.
Accommodation and Food
Extremely helpful,with a pleasant personal touch.
Your Guide
Keith is friendly,well organised,very well-informed,a model driver. If there is anything to criticise it is his tendency to go on a bit! Sorry,Keith.
The Bottom Line
Second to the dramatic scenery,the most enjoyable aspect was getting to know the great bunch of people attracted to this adventure.Perhaps I was unusually lucky.

by Brian Simpson 09/11/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
It was fantastic to have such an enthusiastic naturalist as a guide in the form of the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Graham Uney. This really made the trip for me and I would recommend this trip to anyone with an interest in walking, wildlife or archaeology as all bases are comprehensively covered!

by Lynn Dunikowski 15/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
It really couldn't have been better. Our guide was fun and knowledgeable and it was a great group. Lots &lots of great moments but I really liked getting up early and after a great breakfast all planning our day with Tim (our guide). And of course Orkney was fabulous.

by Ronald Barrett 11/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Our days were well-planned, always interesting and within the limits of my ability. Our guide was exceptional. See #4
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
I've traveled and hiked a lot in the UK and I've never met a better guide than Malcomb. He was the best guide imaginable. Malcomb was extremely personable and had an in-depth knowledge of just about everything, especially the natural world.
The Bottom Line

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
23rd Aug - 29th Aug 2014
£1,095
Trip Full
16th May - 22nd May 2015
£1,095
Places available
11th Jul - 17th Jul 2015
£1,095
Places available
25th Jul - 31st Jul 2015
£1,095
Places available
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,095
Places available

Trip Details

Walking in the Orkney Isles is a wonderful way to discover these islands.

Join us on a stunning and unforgettable journey to the Orkney Isles, a little-visited archipelago of some 70 small islands and skerries due north of the Scottish mainland.

This mysterious place of long days and colourful night skies is home to a wealth of sea life and sea birds, not forgetting the remarkable flora of the islands.

The unique situation and environment of the Isles have combined to create a fascinating cultural and historical tapestry of stone circles, countless invasions and occupations, isolation and extremity, all of which have left their mark through the ages.

In the company of your highly knowledgeable guide you will walk in the wildest places of Orkney, with history all around, before returning to enjoy memorable cuisine and the finest accommodation in the Isles.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Orkney Islands

Our journey to the Orkney Islands follows the north-east coast of the Highlands and onwards over the Pentland Firth. Our accommodation is situated near the major archaeological sites which secure the intrigue of these islands.

Day 2 – Rousay and the Mid Howe Broch

We drive to the Eynhallow Sound and take a local ferry to the island of Rousay. We enjoy two short walks here – the Westness Walk to the Mid Howe broch and a superb moorland walk around Faraclett Head.

Distance 8km, 4 hrs.

Day 3 – The Gloup and Mull Head

The walk starts at The Gloup, a partially collapsed sea cave from where we head north along the coast to Mull Head. Before returning to Kirkwall we visit the Italian Chapel, two Nissen huts converted into a place of worship by prisoners of war.

Distance 9km, 4 hrs.

Day 4 – The Old Man of Hoy. Scapa Flow and Rackwick Bay
A short drive along the edge of Scapa Flow takes us to Houton where we catch the ferry to the island of Hoy. Here we walk to the famous Old Man of Hoy and some of Britain’s highest seacliffs before returning to Rackwick Bay.

Distance 10km, 5hrs.

Day 5 – Coastal Walk and visit the Ring of Brodgar

We follow a coastal path from Stromness to The Ness before heading west for the Sand of Warebeth. Afterwards we may visit the Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness and Maes Howe.

Distance 12km, 5hrs.

Day 6 – Brough Head to Marwick Head, Scara Brae

From Brough Head, a superb walk follows the coast south to Marwick Head – one of the largest seabird colonies in the Northern Isles. Afterwards we visit the Stone Age village of Skara Brae, discovered in 1850 after a storm cleared away the sand dunes that were covering it.

Distance 12km, 5 hrs.

Day 7 – Return to Inverness

Following breakfast, we will return Southwards to the mainland and Inverness, via the rugged coastal scenery of the Northern tip of Scotland.

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
23rd Aug - 29th Aug 2014
£1,095
Trip Full
16th May - 22nd May 2015
£1,095
Places available
11th Jul - 17th Jul 2015
£1,095
Places available
25th Jul - 31st Jul 2015
£1,095
Places available
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,095
Places available

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

This was a truly wonderful introduction to a most beautiful haven within the British Isles. We enjoyed the variety of this holiday especially the combination of walks taking in stunning coastal scenery, wildflower meadows, bird colonies and visits to world heritage archaeological sights.

Ruth Baynton
15/07/2014

5

Liked the islands a lot. Choice of day trips was good. Ferries and connections worked very well.. Fascinating place for pre-history. Walking was very easy really.
Make sure you get room with a view or have the option to request it.

Julian Lambley
14/07/2014

4

Rated 4.6 out of 5 based on 28 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

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