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Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

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Price from: £1,195

Next trip: 22nd August

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Orkney and Shetland Isles

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

51 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.

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 42

4 star 8

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Dianne Edgar 22/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
info arrived on time, and any queries were clearly explained.
Trip Comments
great combination of walking in stunning scenery, learning about birds and plants, understanding history and archaology, and comfortable accommodation and food.
Accommodation and Food
lovely hotel and delicious food with good choice
Your Guide
Kirsty is once again a star! She structures the day so that you do everything but never feel rushed. She is flexible and listens. And i am currently adopting her first lunch, second lunch concept!
The Bottom Line
This is my fourth trip with Wilderness Scotland, and I will be back for more. It is a brilliant way to discover remote parts of Scotland , enjoy the scenery, and learn about the wildlife and history of the areas we visit.

by Liz Waddy 21/07/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
You're never short of food on Wilderness Scotland holidays!
Your Guide
Friendly and knowledgeable. Kirsty modified the itinerary as necessary to meet everyone's requirements.
The Bottom Line
An excellent introduction to Orkney

by Paul Davies 21/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Dealt with room request very satisfactorily.
Trip Comments
There was so much of interest but the day trip to Hoy stood out for me.
Accommodation and Food
I would rate this somewhere in between good and excellent. The room was extremely comfortable and the bathroom excellent. With a few minor touches the accommodation could have been classed as luxurious, e.g. better quality pillows, proper coffee and a choice of teas.
The dinners in the hotel were very good, if rather too 'nouvelle cuisine' - one scallop for a starter! The vegetables were the same every night, neeps and potato dauphinoise, tasty but didn't complement the dishes. Also little change in the menu. Breakfasts were satisfactory. For the most part the service was inexplicably slow.
Wifi went down for a couple of days - no explanation and management seemed disinterested.
We also ate at the Kirkwall Hotel and Luciano's, and The Ferry Inn at Stromness. Would recommend all three for value, good food and service.
Your Guide
Ken was very professional. Took note of everyone's interests. Well informed on the history of the islands, the sea birds and wild life. Worked hard to make the holiday an unforgettable experience and was really good company too.
The Bottom Line
Our trip to the Orkney Islands was a rich experience of the dramatic scenery and wildlife. The prehistoric sites are incredible. We learnt so much too about the naval history which was very moving. Thoroughly recommended.

by Anne Peters 20/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Wilderness Scotland was quite helpful, answering our questions promptly and thoughtfully.
Trip Comments
While our day on Hoy probably ranks as the highlight of our trip, A very close second was the rainy, cold, windy (did I say rainy?) day we visited Scara Brae and the Kitchener memorial.
Accommodation and Food
The accommodations were very good. Our room was comfortable. The food was good and we especially enjoyed the lounge full of books and maps.
Your Guide
Ken did a great job. His knowledge of the history, prehistory and natural history of the area, together with his humor, patience and management skills made him a great guide. Add to that, he accommodated the varying interests and temperaments of our group in a way that made the trip more interesting and enjoyable at least for me and probably for us all.
The Bottom Line
An absolutely great trip. I would happily sign up for another Wilderness Scotland holiday.

by Michael Proctor 20/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
While we have walked in Scotland on our own on several prior vacations we had never vacationed anywhere as part of a tour group. We therefore approached this vacation with some trepidation and hedged our bets with some self guided days before and after the group travel. The guided trip to Orkney exceeded all of our expectations. The trip was well planned and well organized. Our guide Ken was knowledgeable, patient and pleasant and did a good job of helping our diverse group mesh. Rather than being inflexible slave to prearranged schedule Ken made a real effort to make sure everyone was getting what they wanted out of the trip and made adjustments as he sized up group needs/preferences and based on weather.
Accommodation and Food
The Hotel was very nice and comfortable and staff very attentive. Would happily go back. Food at the Hotel was very good. Our only complaint, and it is a small one, is that the dinner menu was pretty limited in choices and did not change much from day to day so by the time we had our 3rd dinner at hotel some of us were repeating dinner choices. The food was all good so that was not a special hardship but over a space of a short vacation some greater variety would have been nice.
Your Guide
Ken Keith was great. He was attentive to everyone and made everyone feel like the trip was their trip as opposed to being slave to group itinerary. Rather than being slave to schedule (other than obvious need to meet Ferry schedules ) Ken was flexible and allowed the group to room to find its collective pace. The trip is accurately graded as an "easy" walk but even at that level some of the group were in better shape than others and somehow Ken kept the pace at a level where the stronger walkers were not held back and the weaker walkers were not overmatched and I don't think anyone ever felt they were being held back or made to feel they were holding up the group
The Bottom Line

by Peter West 18/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Everything was smoothly managed. All good.
Trip Comments
Interesting architecture. Good group. Very good transport. Great!
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation was excellent. Food in the hotel was good but overpriced and portions not big enough for me.
Your Guide
Couldn't ask for more. Ken was everything a first rate guide should be.
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip. Highly recommended. Thanx.

by John Osborne 16/07/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The only uncertainty I felt was about the accommodation as at one point it seemed I might be obliged as a single traveller to share. As it turned out this did not happen and I had a stupendous room but I would not commit to another holiday unless I could be sure of having a room to myself. I realise that with limited accommodation in the places you stay that this is a thorny problem to resolve but there seemed to be some lack of clarity at the time of booking. I'm sure from talking to others in the group that they had no wish to share either.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your comments, on most of our trips we offer two single rooms that are secured with a supplement but they are available on a first come first served basis, in some of the remoter locations we use this isn't always possible.
Trip Comments
Lots of highlights as there was so much to appreciate in the seascapes and the ancient sites as well as the companionship in the group
Accommodation and Food
It had not been clear to me that not all meals were included in the
overall cost. It was good to have the option to eat elsewhere but ii think we should have been informed before arrival that these additional costs would be incurred.
Your Guide
Ken,lke Kirsty on the previous holiday,was an excellent guide and a leader we trusted and liked giving his time to everyone
The Bottom Line
A thoroughly enjoyable and well-organised holiday. I came away with a great appreciation of the special feeling to be gained from visiting Orkney.

by Fiona Shoesmith 14/07/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
more vegetarian choice would be nice
Your Guide
Professional but friendly with it.
The Bottom Line
Normally arrange trips like this myself and travel solo. Enjoyed not having to organise anything and it was nice to have good company.

by Lilian Breakell 13/07/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Jonna Reeder 03/06/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Overall fine. Asked for information about a "blind" roommate (forced to shared as all singles booked) - and received almost no information. Fortunately, the roommate pairing worked well.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We are unable to share personal information about other clients due to the Data Protection Act and out of basic respect for clients privacy which is why additional information on your roommate was not provided.

We can only offer limited single rooms on trips as single occupancy does not support the accommodations that we work with in remote environments. They have to make their living through the summer months and for every single occupancy room we book, they lose some room revenue alongside potential revenue for dining at the accommodation as well. Some accommodation are more flexible on this than others but we place a limit across all of our trip on single rooms offered for this reason.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
See comments under trip for food.
For lodging (4-star): I would have been fine with the 3-star place where our guide stayed - and an appropriate lower cost. This is especially because we are away for fairly long days, so the benefit of the 4-star isn't as much to trip guests. No real complaint - just note for future.
Your Guide
Kirsty did a wonderful job - knew lots & wasn't afraid to say she'd have to look up some obscure fact. She was responsive to the group - and regularly checked on us as individuals.
The Bottom Line
It depends on the person - Wilderness Scotland is very good, but not for everyone. Some people wouldn't cope with the weather & trails.

Prices and Departures

80 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,195
1 place(s) left
14th May - 20th May 2016
£1,195
Places available
25th Jun - 1st Jul 2016
£1,195
Places available
9th Jul - 15th Jul 2016
£1,195
Places available
30th Jul - 5th Aug 2016
£1,195
Places available
20th Aug - 26th Aug 2016
£1,195
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

80 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,195
1 place(s) left
14th May - 20th May 2016
£1,195
Places available
25th Jun - 1st Jul 2016
£1,195
Places available
9th Jul - 15th Jul 2016
£1,195
Places available
30th Jul - 5th Aug 2016
£1,195
Places available
20th Aug - 26th Aug 2016
£1,195
Places available

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
This is my fourth trip with Wilderness Scotland, and I will be back for more. It is a brilliant way to discover remote parts of Scotland , enjoy the scenery, and learn about the wildlife and history of the areas we visit.

Dianne Edgar
22/07/2015

5

An excellent introduction to Orkney

Liz Waddy
21/07/2015

5

Rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 51 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

5 star 42

4 star 8

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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