Your holiday summary

Holiday type Tours
Country United Kingdom
Travel type Fly
Price range From £535
Travel partner Brightwater Holidays
Duration 3 nights
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0330 333 6701

A Taste of Orkney by Air

The seventy or so low-lying green islands in the Orkney archipelago are steeped in a unique culture, quite unlike any other part of Scotland. Virtually every first-time visitor to Orkney experiences a kind of culture shock - a pleasing succession of impressions, where the extraordinary is commonplace, and the commonplace is frequently extraordinary. History, archaeology, crafts, wildlife, peace and tranquility - all set amid clean fresh air, is what Orkney has to offer, coupled with the warmth and friendliness of the local people who are renowned for their hospitality. Our tour of mainland Orkney is a journey through time. The Churchill Barriers and the Italian Chapel are poignant reminders of Orkney?s more recent past, while St Magnus Cathedral and the Bishop?s Palace in Kirkwall take us to the dark and turbulent times of the Middle Ages. Maeshowe and Skara Brae take us back further still, to the dawn of human settlement in these islands. We are based at the comfortable Kirkwall Hotel, where we enjoy a Grand Orkney Buffet, celebrating the outstanding local produce.

Included

  • Two nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast and one night bed and breakfast at the Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney
  • One dinner on board Serco Northlink ferry to Orkney Grand Orkney Buffet
  • Guided tours of Orkney, including the Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel and the archaeological sites at Skara Brae and Maeshowe
  • Entry to the Orkney Winery
  • Return coach and ferry travel
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour guide
Day one

We depart from London on a morning flight to Aberdeen. (Please note we can also offer flights from other regional airports to Inverness or Edinburgh however due to the flight times this may require you to have an additional night in either Inverness or Edinburgh – please contact our office for more details and a quotation). On arrival in Aberdeen we will travel northwest, stopping en-route for refreshments. We will continue to Scrabster in time to catch the evening Northlink ferry to Stromness. On arrival in Orkney we will transfer the short distance to Kirkwall where accommodation has been arranged at the comfortable Kirkwall hotel, overlooking the harbour. Dinner will be served on arrival.

Day two

Have a full Scottish breakfast. We depart this morning on a tour of the south end of mainland Orkney, crossing the Churchill Barriers, which were built after the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. The causeways are built of five and 10 ton concrete blocks and have good roads on the top connecting Burray and South Ronaldsay to the Orkney mainland. We also stop off at the Italian chapel, built on the site of a former prisoner of war camp. Several hundred Italians, captured during the North American campaign of the second world war were sent here to work on the Causeways and converted two huts into a chapel. The marvellous paintings in the interior were done by Domenico Chiocchetti, one of the prisoners who has returned several times to restore and repaint parts of the building. We round of the day with a taste of one of the finest whiskies in the world, at the Highland Park Distillery, which uses the same traditional methods of production as it did 200 years ago. Thereafter we have some free time to explore Kirkwall and its environs at leisure. Places of interest include St. Magnus Cathedral, one of Europe’s greatest architectural masterpieces, its red and yellow sandstone still vibrant after 861 years, and the Bishop’s Palace. In the evening we have arranged a "Grand Orkney Buffet" at the hotel.

Day three

Today we have an all day excursion of mainland Orkney visiting the many archaeological sites including Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in western Europe. Built before 2700 B.C. Maeshowe was raided by Vikings in the 12th Century. It houses the largest collection of runic inscriptions to be found in any one place in the world; Skara Brae, with its new visitor centre depicting the history of this world famous monument; and the standing stones of Stenness, lying to the north side of the Orphir Hills. We will return to the hotel late afternoon following our tour of the mainland. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening or, alternatively, you may wish to take up the option of dinner at Alan and Joyce Craigie’s Creel restaurant at St Margaret’s Hope. Local produce is used whenever possible, including the freshest of local fish – wolf-fish, megrim, torsk and sea-witch being some of the more unusual species available. Add to this organic salmon, prime Orkney beef and seaweed-fed lamb from North Ronaldsay, locally grown vegetables and fruit, together with the ales and whiskies of the islands and some carefully chosen wines, and you have the ingredients for a truly memorable dinner.

Day four

After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and transfer to Stromness to catch the morning ferry to Scrabster. On arrival in Scrabster we continue our homeward journey, arriving back at Aberdeen airport in time to catch our return flight to London.
Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney

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Departure date Nights Price  
18-Jul-2014 3 535.00 reserve
05-Sep-2014 3 535.00 reserve
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