UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies
Pinterest Facebook Twitter
Black Weekend | £200 FREE Haglofs Jacket. Book on Black weekend and get a free Haglofs Lim Barrier Pro Jacket worth £200. 28th November - 1st December

Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

*main trip image

Price from: £1,195

Next trip: 16th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Orkney and Shetland Isles

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

39 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.

100% Unedited Reviews

Our clients receive a feedback survey automatically after finishing their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once it's submitted the review is automatically published on our website just as soon as our database updates. We read all our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience and if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 31

4 star 7

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Nicola Roach 08/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Friendly helpful and informative
Trip Comments
My expectations were high, but my experience actually exceeded them. There were breath-taking moments when I stood close to tears captured in almost another time and world.
Accommodation and Food
Friendly helpful and informative
Your Guide
Malcolm was knowledgeable on wildlife, fauna and flora, history and geology, the weather and practically every subject under the sun- which by the way we were blessed with 4 out of 5 walking days- how did he manage to organise that? He was also skilled in planning and organising the trips, listening to individual needs and responding to requests being careful and concerned for the groups well being and helping us experience and have the most wonderful holiday!
The Bottom Line
Orkney is a special place that I had felt drawn to for a long time and my love of walking nature and history, this holiday seemed the right option for me. Although the costs seemed quite high. I felt I could not afford to put it off any longer. In fact the hotel was so sumptuous, the food so good, the expertise and skill of our guide, and the breath-taking moments when I stood transfixed in another time and world, the experience was priceless!

by Karin Andelfinger 03/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I rang several times going back and forth between hiking and cycling; great advice
Trip Comments
Well organised and flexible at the same time.
Accommodation and Food
I rang several times going back and forth between hiking and cycling; great advice
Your Guide
Malcom was doing a terrific Job; we were a very diverse group; he balanced it all out and all our needs were met; he has an incredible knowledge about wildlife (plus flowers and butterflies; my personal interests); he also managed to fit in the historic sites of Orkney; well done; great Job; putting in 12-14h days; thank you!!!!!
The Bottom Line

by Derek Cleland 02/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Beyond Excellent. The weather God chose to give us an absolutely outstanding week. The Orkney Islands and only half a day of rain the rest sunshine..windy but sunshine. Temperature perfect for walking. Difficult to pinpoint a high point as every area visited was outstanding but I'm going with the trip to Hoy. Malcolm, our guide, arranged for a taxi to take a little of the distance off of our walk and because of that we met a most interesting fellow Albert. He had lots of stories to tell in his island brogue about the old man of Hoy. As well he was very accommodating when Malcolm asked if we could stop off at the Dwarfie Stane. Ok if I have to put a low it was our first encounter with midgies.This happened at the top of Hoy at the viewpoint of the old man. Because that was our only encounter..well we got to talk about the little blighters.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
I only hope everyone got a guide like Malcolm. Very accommodating providing lots of choices as to where we should go and very good at getting the right feel about what the groups strengths and weaknesses were and then taking us to the places where we could get the most out of our experience. As with any group of more than one there will be differences of opinion. Although there weren't many incidents Malcolm was quick to put things right quickly without, in my opinion, causing any hurt feelings. Malcolm's daily plans, instructions, cautions, questions and general demeanor were and are excellent. A cautious driver as he navigated the sometimes twisty roads of Orkney while keeping his eyes peeled on the fields, skies and water for signs of wildlife..although I wish he hadn't missed the small pod of Orcas that passed close to the ferry on the way to Orkney..I think he might have been the only one of the group that did..or where they minke whales(inside joke sorry Malcolm lol).In my opinion we got an excellent guide in Malcolm and he definitely was an integral part of this trip going as well as it did.
The Bottom Line
This trip was a dream of my wife's for many years. On her bucket list as it were..when it went on her list it automatically went on mine because when it comes to trips she's a master at selection. Many of our friends and acquaintances were very envious of our plans when we told them where we were going especially the walk in the Orkney Islands. Your glossy brochures, your website and your general information were as perfect as possible, I say that because pictures are a good way of showing the possibilities of what it might be like but there is nothing like the experience of being there. We will definitely be telling everyone that asks the question "What did you do only your vacation?" about Wilderness Scotland, The Orkney Islands and of course Malcolm.

Thanks you very much for an extremely excellent vacation and if our bodies hold out you might well see us again.

All the best.

Derek and Barb Cleland

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
We look forward to seeing you next year, there is plenty more Scotland for us to show you.

by Barbara Cleland 02/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All communications were pleasant, thorough and timely.
Trip Comments
Malcolm brought an already beautiful Orkney landscape to life. The walks were challenging enough so that I felt pleased with myself but I could have walked forever. The best day was the trip to Hoy and the surprise visit to the Dwarfie Stone!! The evening of local music was awesome too. Every day was a high and the only low was going home.
Accommodation and Food
All communications were pleasant, thorough and timely.
Your Guide
Malcolm was more than excellent. He looked after our every need, answered our many questions and kept us happy for 8 solid days. His knowledge of the Orkney Islands was outstanding and he made sure we saw everything with some surprises along the way. He chatted easily with the locals so we heard some great stories. He has a great sense of humour thank heavens!
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Scotland provided us with a perfect vacation in the Orkney Islands. Each day we walked past bird colonies, rare tiny flowers, ancient sites, towering cliffs and amazing landscapes. In addition we had time for museum, cathedral, and distillery visits, with some shopping time, and leisurely lunches along the sea. Our guide, Malcolm, was very knowledgeable and ensured that we were happy the entire trip. I highly recommend this trip.

by Anna Johansson 02/09/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
A really good trip! No accidents, brilliant weather, nice group, good guide. High point for me was NOT on the itinerary, but was kindly fixed by our guide Malcolm, a visit to the Lyness museum on Hoy, which is all about W.W 1 & 2, in which I have a special interest
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Very knowledgeable and interesting; also extremely flexible.
The Bottom Line
This trip was one of the best ways to visit Orkney. The size of group ideal. It felt like a safe way to travel in quite an isolated area.

by Deborah Middleton 14/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
High point was the walk to the Old Man of Hoy - blessed with glorious weather on the day too, which no doubt influenced my view. Low point perhaps was the length of the days, complicated by many evening meals being arranged away from the hotel (so I elected to dine in-house away from the group). On reflection after returning home and reviewing our activities, I wonder whether the timetables for some days may have been able to be streamlined a bit better - with less time in transit doubling back over old ground. Just a suggestion!
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Tim tolerated the various peccadillos of the group members, including mine, with great patience and good humour. Very knowledgeable chap, and not afraid to admit when he did not know something which was very refreshing. He was also very helpful - for example taking me to a supermarket and back to the hotel again - which was much appreciated and beyond the call of duty.
The Bottom Line

by Mark Weinfeld 10/08/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I found that the number of hiking miles per day as estimated in the dossier were a great overstatement of what we actually did. My wife and I are hikers and would have enjoyed a bit more hiking. For example, the dossier estimated 12 km for one particular day, and I doubt we actually did 4 km. The decision not to hike as much, however, may have been a function of the group, some of whom were not up to it.
Trip Comments
Lots of high points. Viewing the wildlife, seeing local birds close up, hiking in the rain, the amazing coastal scenery, walking through towns and villages, hearing live music; it was all good.
Accommodation and Food
I found that the number of hiking miles per day as estimated in the dossier were a great overstatement of what we actually did. My wife and I are hikers and would have enjoyed a bit more hiking. For example, the dossier estimated 12 km for one particular day, and I doubt we actually did 4 km. The decision not to hike as much, however, may have been a function of the group, some of whom were not up to it.
Your Guide
Tim was great, absolutely great. He never stopped trying to please us, and went above and beyond what he needed to do. On the last night, after dinner, he took us out to watch the sun set over the Rings of Brognar (probably spelled this wrong). Took us to a pub one night to hear live music. Went out and bought us Irn Bru when we told him we liked it. His knowledge of flora and fauna is extensive and when I asked him an occasional detailed question he was unsure of, he had looked up the answer by the time I next saw him. He was a great guide!!
The Bottom Line
This is the second time we have traveled with you and both trips were amazing. All detailed were attended to and nothing went wrong. We did so much it was unbelievable.

by Janet Cogswell 10/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I have traveled with other companies and Wilderness Scotland is definitely the best.
Trip Comments
Walking along the sea cliffs was venturing into another world of soaring birds, pounding ocean waves echoing in caves and soft ground under your feet. It was an experience so breathtaking you put away the camera and simply experience the moment.
Accommodation and Food
I have traveled with other companies and Wilderness Scotland is definitely the best.
Your Guide
Tim simply went above and beyond to make this trip superb for everyone. From checking restaurants ahead of time for special diets to sharing great playlists of music he shepherded a group of disparate travelers with humor and efficiency. His knowledge of the local wildlife especially birds and fauna was astounding.
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Scotland provided a world class walking vacation. It was a wonderful combination of location and attention to details. Remember the Orkneys have been populated since neolithic times. There was a reason! It is a land of incredible beauty. However a trip is not just about the location. Wilderness Scotland handled all the travel details without flaw. We were met on time, made all of our travel connections and had our many special requests all graciously honoured.

by Janet Cogswell 10/08/2014

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

by Nancy Ettele 07/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The email communications were clear and concise. I made one phone call to ask a question before the trip and was answered quickly and pleasantly.
Trip Comments
We had a very compatible group and our guide was funny, organized, perceptive, and well-informed. Every day was the personal high point until the next day, which became the high point. I can't imagine how the trip could have been any better, and I had been planning to take this particular trip for 10 years. It was even better than advertised.
Accommodation and Food
The email communications were clear and concise. I made one phone call to ask a question before the trip and was answered quickly and pleasantly.
Your Guide
Tim Francis is a very funny guy - subtle but funny. He made every day of the trip fun and interesting, did the logistical work invisibly so that it all looked very smooth and easy, and showed genuine interest in every person on the trip. I am ready to go home after 8 hours of work, but Tim was willing to spend 14+ hours a day with us - evening meals with the group were as much fun as the rest of the day. He shared field books, maps, and the planning of each day's activities, so that we felt fully a part of the experience.
The Bottom Line
I have already recommended Wilderness Scotland to my friends at home. This trip was the high point of the last 10 years of my life, which is as long as I have been planning to take the trip.

Prices and Departures

82 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
16th May - 22nd May 2015
£1,195
Trip Full
11th Jul - 17th Jul 2015
£1,195
3 place(s) left
25th Jul - 31st Jul 2015
£1,195
2 place(s) left
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left

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.

Download Dossier

Prices and Departures

82 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
16th May - 22nd May 2015
£1,195
Trip Full
11th Jul - 17th Jul 2015
£1,195
3 place(s) left
25th Jul - 31st Jul 2015
£1,195
2 place(s) left
22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left

Trip Photos

orkney-walking-1orkney-walking-4orkney-walking-5orkney-walking-6orkney-walking-7orkney-walking-8orkney-walking-9orkney-walking-10orkney-walking-11orkney-walking-14orkney-walking-12orkney-walking-13orkney-walking-3
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures

 

  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier


Location


Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
Orkney is a special place that I had felt drawn to for a long time and my love of walking nature and history, this holiday seemed the right option for me. Although the costs seemed quite high. I felt I could not afford to put it off any longer. In fact the hotel was so sumptuous, the food so good, the expertise and skill of our guide, and the breath-taking moments when I stood transfixed in another time and world, the experience was priceless!

Nicola Roach
08/09/2014

5

Karin Andelfinger
03/09/2014

5

Rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 39 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Isles

5 star 31

4 star 7

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

Read All Trip Reviews