Fri. 19th – Wed. 24th April 2019 – Orkney & Shetland Island hopping tour

Please note, if you don’t have enough time, we offer the option, to just visit Orkney or just visit Shetland on this tour for a discount and you then travel oneway by public transport.

  • The ultimate for nature & wildlife lovers, we will be island hopping to Unst for a walk to Hermaness  the UK’s most northerly cliffs experiencing wild & remote nature, beaches, cliffs, wildlife galore, Eshaness cliffs, Sumburgh, ancient Jarlshof, Vikings, absolutely beautiful Scalloway, lots of islands, fjords, peninsulas great beaches, cliffs, wildlife, walks with 16 hours of daylight to explore  £129 pp
  • minimum passenger number to run the tour: 3

Extras:

  • £16.61 per student / £18.45 per adult for the Scrabster/Scottish mainland to Stromness/Orkney ferry on 19th April
  • £17.50 pp for the night of 19th/20th April at the pre-booked Kirkwall SYHA hostel
  • £15.12 per student / £16.80 per adult for the Kirkwall/Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland overnight ferry on the night of 20th/21st April*
  • £12 for each night x 2 nights = £24 per person for the pre-booked central & cosy Sail Loft hostel in stunning Voe on Shetland for the 21st to the 23rd April
  • £25.20 per student / £28 per adult for the Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen/Scottish mainland overnight ferry*

*On top of the ferry fare, you might opt for a sleeping pod or a cabin, alternatively just a reclining seat is fine

£129.00 per person for the 6 day guided tour with mini-bus/driver/guide

 

Day 1

From Stirling to Scrabster on the Northcoast/Pentland Firth, we will have a great choice of many places to stop along the way or drive past, subject to the groups preferences

* Gleneagles golf hotel, most expensive in Scotland drive by

* Victorian Pitlochry drive through

* Faskally fairy tale / Enchanted forest

* Blair Castle

* House of Bruar

* Dalwhinnie whisky distillery (good one for WC/coffee)

* Awesome 300 year Carrbridge (from the time before Culloden)

* Cairngorm nationalpark

* Clava Cairns/Craig na Dunn

* Culloden battle field (ideal also for lunch/WC)

* Kessoch bridge over Moray/Beauly Firth to Black Isle

* Historic Dornoch and casthedral (Madonna the Popstar got her son baptised

there)

* Loch Fleet seal colony

* Dunrobin castle

* Ancient cairns

* Duncansby cliffs

* Dunnet and other beaches

We will be catching the 7pm ferry from Scrabster/near Thurso to Stromness on Orkney

Day 2

We stay in quaint and historic Kirkwall or Stromness with a full day on the Orkney mainland plus all the other connected islands along the Churchill barriers and Scapa Flow, the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness , Skara Brae, the Yesnaeby sea cliffs, the broch of Birsay tidal islands with Neolithic, Pictish & Viking history, visit the stunning cathedral and top landmark in Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital, the almost 900 years old stunning St. Magnus cathedral dedicated to Orkney’s own saint, beaches, willdlife and a lot more

We will be taking the 23.45 pm Kirkwall / Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland ferry, arriving at 7am.

Day 3

Our ferry is due to arrive at 7am into Lerwick and today we will visit the South mainland of Shetland, the tombola beach of St. Ninian’s isle, Sumburgh head, the cliffs, the lighthouse and if you wish the neollithic Jarlshof settlement. Depending on your preferences, the weather and ferries, there is also the option to visit Mousa island with its best preserved broch or heading over to Bressay and Noss. Scalloway is the ancient capital of Shetland and it is stunning, beautiful and has a colourful harbour and one of the best museums on Shetland. From Hamnavoe and East & West Burra there are stunning views, walks and beaches.

We are heading north on a spectacular route towards the beautiful village of Voe, near to shops and facilities, as our base for the next 2 nights.

Day 4

Today we are taking the scenic journey over to the Northern Isles of Yell and Unst and will spend the bulk of today on the UK’s most northerly island, where we have picturesque fishing villages such as Uyeasound, Baltasound and Haroldswick with a lot to explore, including beaches, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre, etc. The very reason for our visit to Unst however is the roughly 3 hours walk to visit the Hermaness nature reserve for a truly unique wilderness and wildlife experience looking down the sheer cliffs to watch thousands of seabirds – one of the UK;’s largest sea bird colony – soar. We will of course see puffins (Tammy Nories), skuas (Bonxies), guillemots, arctic terns and lots of majestic gannets as well and be able to catch a glimpse of the Muckle Flugga lighthouse and rocks – we are further north than Bergen in Norway, which is a lot closer than Aberdeen and we will  enjoy over 18 hours of daylight.

There will be plenty for us to visit on our way back south through Unst, Yell and back to the Northern mainland of Shetland.

Day 5

Today we are heading towards the stunning seacliffs of Eashanes, go for some walks, marvel at natural arches and want to take in as much as possible of the Northern (Rhona’s Voe,) and Western mainland (Walls and the stunning route towards Papa Stour with stunning views of Foula – with the UK’s highest 400 m sheer cliffs  in the distance – , great views, fjords, stunning wee villages. We always see seals, but with some luck might spot some otters and whales as well. In the early afternoon we are heading back towards the Lerwick  area to catch our overnight ferry.

It will be a stunning journey again past the South mainland and in the early hours we will pass the magical Fair Isle again on the way back.

We will be taking the 19.00 pm Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen ferry arriving at 7.30 am.

Day 6

The ferry arrives back into Aberdeen at 7am and depending on the weather and the group’s wishes there is the beautiful coastal route, but also the stunning inland mountain route back to Stirling with plenty of new places to explore along the coast, beaches (Lunan bay and St. Cyrus), cliffs north of historic Arbroath towns to stop at plus in Aberdeen, we can visit the Beach boulevard, Aberdeen harbour “the largest in Scotland”, beautiful Footdee and maybe even Old Aberdeen and the University.

North of Aberdeen, if you have the time and wish to visit, we also have the longest beach, sand dunes and great cliffs and  sand dunes and can visit a nature reserve with a big seal colony, if you wish.

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EXTRAS TO PAY:

* food, drink, entrance fees (castles, museums, attractions, etc. – for example the Scalloway museum, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre)

* Inter-islander ferries http://www.shetland.gov.uk/ferries/documents/April2017A4FaresSheet.pdf
£5.40 per passenger return journey
we will be taking at least 2 of those (Shetland mainland – Yell & Yell – Unst) and possibly more.

  • Accommodation on Orkney:

1 night pre-booked SYHA hostel in Kirkwall

https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/hostels/kirkwall/

* Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:
2 nights pre-booked and confirmed for £12 per person per night:
Voe Sail Loft Shetland Camping bod
(or alternatively you might wish to book your own alternative accommodation in Voe)
– hostel type bunk house sleeping bag required – (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, I you would have to bring your home bedding – duvet, sheet, etc.)
Facilities
Showers, toilet facilities, water heater, solid fuel fire, crockery, basic cooking utensils, fridge, microwave, kettle, compact cooker with grill, oven and 2 hotplates.
Please note that electricity is provided by a coin meter which accepts £1.00 coins only. Guests are required to pay for their own electricity.

 

  • 2 overnight ferries (Orkney to Shetland and Shetland to Aberdeen):

*
* cheapest option = reclining seats £3.50 oneway x 2 = £7
* sleeping pod £18 oneway x 2 = £36
* bed in shared outer 2 berth cabin £52 x 2 = £104
* bed in shared inner 4 berth cabin £34.50 x 2 = £69
* inner 2 berth £72 x 2 = £144
* inner 4 berth £100 x 2 = £200
* 4 berth with TV £110 x 2 = £220
* Outer 2 berth £103 x 2 = £206
* Executive cabin £131 x 2 = £262
* Premium Outer 2 berth £131 x 2 = £262

(These overnight accommodation prices are based on the May 2018 rates – for up-to-date info check https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/)

 

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