Trip Details & Highlights
The Orkney Isles Archipelago is engulfing about 70 islands of which 20 are inhabited and our Orkney Explorer Walking Trip explores many of them.
Much of Orkney Mainland is low lying, making it an ideal place to pull on a pair of walking boots and tackle a trail or two. There are excellent options on the Orkney mainland, with a walk along the west coast an absolute must and the route around Mull Head in the north east being one of the finest coastal walks on Orkney.
Islands like Stronsay and Sanday offer peaceful scenery, whereas places like Hoy and Rousay are perfect for the more adventurous, with steep climbs, moorland and craggy cliffs on the agenda.
We incorporate exciting walks, history and culture, and offer an inspiring insight into the local industry and the island people.
- 9 nights accommodation in B&B/Hotel
- minimum of 8 guided walks
- All ferries throughout the trip
- Transfer throughout in comfortable 9 seater van
- All museum entry fees (Skara Brae, Tomb of the Eagles, Broch of Gurness)
- Visit of Orkney Farm with one whisky dram and shortbread
- Distillery tour and tasting
- One experienced and friendly guides (qualified mountain leader)
- Pick up / Drop off Inverness
What`s not included
- Meals other than specified
- Miscellaneous personal expenditure – drinks and souvenirs etc
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Flights or trains/bus to Inverness
- 29/09/2023 – 08/10/2023
- B&B/Hotel: £1919 pp including dinner
- B&B/Hotel: £1599 pp excluding dinner
- Single Supplement: £250 pp
AT A CLANCE
- Group size: 5 – 8
- 8 days walking
- Deposit: 20 % of full price
- Start: Inverness 12 am
- Finish: Inverness 12 pm
- Extension possible in Inverness
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
- 9 nights B&B/Hotel
- 9 breakfast
- 9 dinner (for included price)
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 – Transfer day to Orkney with a short scenic walk
After airport/station/Inverness city pickups we make our way towards the Pentland Ferries in Gill`s Bay.
Enroute we have plenty of options to slow down and relax with a beach stroll, short walk or just a photo stop break before heading for the ferry to South Ronaldsay.
We choose a short walk on this pick up day dependant on the weather and arrival times in Inverness for the group.
Walk details: Depending on weather and timing
Day 2 – South Ronaldsay & visit of the Tomb of the Eagles
Known as the Barrier Isles, Burray and South Ranaldsay lay just off the southeast of the Orkney Mainland
If time allows we end the day at a stunning beach close to St.Margaret’s Hope.
Walk details: 9 km/ 6.5 miles | approx. 3 hours | ↗ 200 m/650 ft | ↘ 200 m/650 ft
Day 3 – West-Side walk and Orkney Farm Visit
Today`s outing takes us to the incredible west side of South Ronaldsay overlooking the famous Scapa Flow.
After lunch, Marlene will take you under her wings for the afternoon and show you the workings and history of a Local Orkney Farm.
Walk details: 8 km/ 5 miles | approx. 2.5 hours | ↗ 100 m/330 ft | ↘ 100 m/330 ft
Day 4 – Italian Chapel, Scapa Distillery and Deerness Peninsula
We start the day with a visit to the Italian Chapel. The story behind it is remarkable and certainly one not to miss.
Our walk today begins at the Deerness Peninsula with startling clifftop paths, the ‘Gloup’ and is as diverse and exhilarating as anywhere in Orkney.
After exploring this quiet part of Orkney we make our way to Scapa Bay and the adjacent distillery Scapa for a wonderful whisky tasting.
Walk details: 10 km/ 6.5 miles | approx. 3.5 – 4 hours | ↗ 150 m/ 500 ft | ↘ 150 m/ 500 ft
Day 5 – Exploring the dramatic west coast of Orkney
Orkney’s signature walk exploring the outstanding western coastline of the Mainland. Beginning just outside Stromness we head north and with each step it becomes increasingly more dramatic.
The highlights are the incredible fractured cliffs of Yesnaby before our route finds us dropping down to Skara Brae.
The views from Ward Hill over Skara Brae is an oddly timeless one.
After a visit of the world famous 5000 year old village we transfer not far to the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stennes. A day of incredible variety offering unique coastal scenery and an abundance of archaeological sites.
Walk details: 13 km/ 8 miles | approx. 4 – 4.5 hours | ↗ 150 m/ 500 ft | ↘ 150 m/ 500 ft
Day 6 – Free Day
On this free day, it is entirely up to you what you want to experience.
You may want to explore the village centre of Stromness or Kirkwall with its small shops, or perhaps you would like to explore more of the history of Orkney.
Another option is to take a day trip to some of the many further islands all around Orkney Mainland.
Your guide will help you to decide and if possible will be offering transfer if needed.
Day 7 – Walk to the Old Man of Hoy
This morning we head out to Hoy, an island unlike anywhere else in Orkney. Hoy is the wildest and most rugged of all Orkney`s islands. The interior is as close to wilderness as you can find in the UK.
The rugged sea stack Old Man of Hoy and magnificent St. John`s Head is our main focus for our day out, walking in this inspiring landscape will take your breath away and is sure to leave you with long lasting memories.
Walk details: 12.5 km/ 8 miles | approx. 4.5 hours | ↗ 400 m/1300 ft | ↘ 400 m/1300 ft
Day 8 – Midhowe Broch & Chambered Cairn on Rousay
Today´s island Rousay rises abruptly from the sea into distinctively conical hills. Even the journey to the island is famous.
Eynshallow Sound has tidal races known locally as ‘roosts’ with speeds of up to 9 knots.
Our walk takes us into the heart of the so-called – ‘most important archaeological mile in Scotland’. Every important element of Orkney’s timeline is squeezed into this stretch of coast.
Depending on the ferry timetable, weather and desire we finish either the road loop or walk to the highest point of the island before returning back to the mainland and accommodation.
Walk details: 4 km/ 2.5 miles | approx. 2 hours (including visits) | ↗ 100 m/330 ft | ↘ 100 m/330 ft
Optional Walk: 5 km/ 3 miles | approx. 2 hours | ↗ 200 m/660 ft | ↘ 200 m/660 ft
Day 9 – West Coast Explorer Part Two
If we haven`t managed by now to visit the magnificent Skara Brae today is the day.
After delving into 5000 years of history we start our walk right from the beach behind the neolithic village. This is the second part of this delightful and memorable west coast walk and finishes at Birsay.
Later in the afternoon we visit the Broch of Gurness, another incredible icon of Orkney’s archaeological heritage. If time allows we may also include some time in Kirkwall for last minute shopping/ exploring.
Walk details: 12 km/ 7.5 miles | approx. 6 hours | ↗ 330 m/1080 ft | ↘ 330 m/1080 ft
Day 10 – Ferry and Transfer back to Inverness
Today is the transfer day to Inverness airport/train station or your accommodation in Inverness.
We take either the ferry from Stromness or St. Margaret`s Hope depending on timings.
If time allows, we visit some historic sites along the way on the Scottish Mainland.
Then it’s time to say our goodbyes after what is sure to be a memorable Orkney Explorer Walking Trip!
Walk details: Depending on weather and timings