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walking tours orkney islands

Walking Scotland’s Orkney Islands

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Discover the beautiful landscapes, world-famous archaeological sites and birdlife of the Orkney Isles. Highlights include clifftop walks, wildflowers, puffin colonies, fresh seafood and Skara Brae - without doubt, the finest Stone Age village in Europe. Along the way, we enjoy generous Orcadian hospitality and experience the relaxed pace of island life.

  • Ancient History - Discover Iron Age villages and Neolithic sites including Skara Brae
  • Orcadian and Norse traditions - Unearth the Orkney's history, heritage and local traditions
  • Breathtaking landscapes - Explore some of Britain's most pristine regions on foot

Included meals

Breakfast: 6

Explore Tour Leader

Accommodation

6 nights comfortable hotel

Walking grade:

Leisurely and Moderate

Group Size:

Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

The trip starts at Inverness Rail Station at 14.00. After meeting we have a scenic drive (3hrs) along the northeast coast of the Highlands to Scrabster port, where our ferry sails (1.5hrs) across the Pentland Firth to Stromness town on Mainland, the principal island of Orkney. From here we drive to our hotel base for the holiday in the historic town of Kirkwall. It is possible to eat on the ferry and the expected arrival time at the hotel is around 21.00. The Tour Leader plans to meet for the introductory briefing upon arrival in the hotel, or after check in.

Kirkwall is situated on the northern coast of Mainland and is the largest settlement and administrative capital of the Orkneys with a population of about 9,300. At its heart stands St. Magnus Cathedral, which was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson, one of the Norse earls of Orkney (1108-1117), who became its patron saint. Next to the Cathedral are the ruins of the former Bishop's Palace and Earl's Palace. Kirkwall has many 17th-18th century houses and other structures in the local vernacular style.

It is possible to reach Kirkwall by flight or ferry from Aberdeen. Please advise us at time of booking if you intend on making your own way to the hotel.

Please note that the order of days may be changed around in accordance with the weather and ferry schedules.

Departures on 11May24, 8Jun24, 06Jul24 and 14Sep24 stay at The Albert Hotel. Departures on 25May24, 29Jun24, 20Jul24, 03Aug24, 17 Aug24 and 31Aug24 stay at The Orkney Hotel .

Accommodation:

The Orkney Hotel (or similar)

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals provided: none.

We take the ferry from Kirkwall harbour to Westray in the far northwest, a fantastic voyage out along the old Viking sea route called the Swan's Path that will take about 1.5 hours. It is the second largest of the Orkney Isles, affectionately known as the 'Queen o' the Isles', with a population of just 600 people. Today's highlight is a circular walk out to Noup Head to see one of the largest seabird colonies in the British Isles, second only to St Kilda. Here we'll find guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill, shag and fulmar as well as wild flowers, caves and lighthouses. Puffins are normally seen on Westray between the end of April and mid-August. The open ground above the cliffs offers superb views and is often beautifully carpeted with yellow, white and purple flowers. From here we continue our walk south along the west coast of Westray. After the walk we visit Noltland Castle ruins, built around 1560 for Mary Queen of Scots. If time permits we may visit Pierowall village before catching the ferry back to Kirkwall.

Today's leisurely-graded walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 9 kilometres/5.60 miles along grassy clifftop trails with a total ascent and descent of 200 metres/656 feet.

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

The Deerness Peninsula is on the easternmost part of the Mainland. Here we start our first walk and before long reach the Brough of Deerness - a well-preserved Viking Age settlement on top of a sea stack - and an impressive collapsed sea cave called the Gloup that produces strange gurgling noises! From here we continue along the coastline around Mull Head until we reach the Covenanters Memorial - commemorating 200 prisoners who perished off the coast in 1679. Finally our walk brings us back to the vehicles. Later we drive to see the simple Italian Chapel (small fee for entry) on Lambholm Island, built by POWs in WWII, and discover more wartime history at the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow. We will usually be back in Kirkwall late afternoon, where you can visit St Magnus Cathedral (closes 5pm).

Today's leisurely-graded walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 10 kilometres/6.20 miles along grassy trails with a total ascent and descent of 150 metres/492 feet.

We start the day with a short drive back to Stromness where we start our walk northwards following the west coastline of Mainland that is dominated by cliffs, and on the trail we pass the impressive sea stacks of Yesnaby and North Gaulton. Along the way look out for the Primula Scotia (Scottish Primrose), Orkney's most famous flowering plant. The walk finishes at the site of 5000-year-old Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Neolithic villages in Europe. There is the option to visit Skail House, a 17th Century Laird's manor house. If time permits, we may drive a short distance to visit the Earl's Palace - remains of a 16th century castle built by Robert Steward Earl of Orkney and or include a stop at the Kirbuster Museum (1595 house, FOC).

Today's moderately-graded walk will take approximately 4-5 hours and will cover a distance of 12.5 kilometres/7.80 miles along grassy clifftop trails, sometimes boggy, with a total ascent and descent of 300 metres/984 feet.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

On a small stretch on land between the Loch of Stennis and the Loch of Harray on Orkney's Mainland we will find the archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness (both older than Stonehenge). Together with Skara Brae, they form the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage site. This morning we will explore all these extraordinary 5000-year-old sites, including the ongoing Ness of Brodgar Excavation should time permit (opens July-August). We will also visit the pretty town of Stromness, Orkney's second biggest town and home of Orkneys most famous poet George Mackay Brown. You may choose to visit the highly recognised Arts Pier Centre. Later in the afternoon we will travel back to Kirkwall where you have time to visit the Orkney Museum that is housed in one of Scotland's best-preserved 16th century town-houses - Tankerness House and gardens - displaying prehistoric, Pictish and Viking collections of international importance.

Today is a relaxed day with around 3 kilometres/1.90 miles walking between the Neolithic sites.

After breakfast we drive a short distance to Tingwall port to catch the ferry across the waters to Rousay Island - known as 'The Egypt of the North' due to its proliferation of archaeological monuments. While there we will visit the large Midhowe Neolithic chambered cairn and Midhowe Iron age Broch Tower. We walk over the moors to Knitchen Hill and Blochnie Hill; the highest point on the island at 275m/902ft. This walk is also partly within the RSPB owned Trumland reserve where we may see raptors and the short-eared owl. Depending on time and weather condition we might choose for a lovely walk at Faraclett Head in the far northwest of the island. Both walks provide magnificent views over the seaboard and of the nearby islands Egilsay and Wyre. We return later this afternoon to Kirkwall.

Today's moderately graded walk will take approximately 3-4 hours and will cover a distance of 9 kilometres/5.60 miles on moorland paths, sometimes boggy in places, with a total ascent and descent of 350 metres/1148 feet.

After checking out of the hotel we drive back to Stromness ferry terminal for the 11am departure. If you intend to fly back from Kirkwall, you will have to make your own way - by taxi or bus - to the airport. From Scrabster we will drive south to Inverness arriving at the rail station at about 4.30pm where the trip ends. We do not recommend booking an onward flight from Inverness before 7pm.

  • Walking Information

Daily distances

Total distance : 43.5 kilometres

Trip information

The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT

Optional activities the following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. please note: these activities are booked and paid for locally and do not form part of your explore holiday contract..

Highland Park whisky distillery (one hour tour 15 GBP) - £30 pp 1.15 hours Orkney Distillery (Gin) 20 GBP Italian Chapel 3.50 GBP Stromness Museum - 6 GBP can be paid cash or card

Orkney has a cool temperate climate and you can expect changeable weather from sunshine to windy days and rain. A good quality waterproof jacket and trousers are essential. We recommend hiking trousers, plenty of layers, warm hat and gloves and sunhat. If the forecast is good T shirts and shorts will be fine. Come prepared!

Bring a broken in pair of walking boots/walking shoes and a comfortable pair of shoes for about town. Can be wet underfoot at times.

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a waterproof rucksack large enough to carry what you need for the day - waterproofs, warm layer, water, picnic, sun-cream, phone etc.

You will need a small rucksack, thermos or water bottle. Binoculars can be good for wildlife spotting. Insect repellent, suncream, good quality sunglasses and a lip salve with sun protection are all useful. You may find walking poles helpful. Gaiters can be useful when it's wet.

Food and drink The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Foreign exchange, transport information.

Ferry, Minibus, On Foot

Accommodation notes

Departures on 25May24, 29Jun24, 20Jul24, 03Aug24, 17 Aug24 and 31Aug24 stay at the comfortable 3-star Orkney Hotel in the centre of Kirkwall nearby all amenities. Dating back to 1670, the hotel offers every modern convenience, while retaining its original features and charms. The hotel has a recently refurbished bar area for socialising in the evening. Departures on 11May24, 8Jun24, 06Jul24 and 14Sep24 stay at The Albert Hotel in the centre of Kirkwall nearby all amenities. Facilities include a bar and rooms are modern, comfortable and en-suite.

Arrival and departure information

Transfers to and from our accommodation are not provided for this trip. If you are planning to arrive or depart by train, this information may be useful to you. Whilst we are unable to make a reservation for you, we have provided contact numbers to enable you to make a direct booking. Arriving from Inverness Airport: There are a number of taxi companies that can be hailed from the airport to take you to Inverness train station to start the trip. Alternatively, you may pre-book with: Taxi Inverness: 01463 800 069 Inverness Airport Taxi: 01463 264 064 The journey should take around 20 minutes. Alternatively the Jet Bus line 11 is an airport shuttle that takes you to Inverness, stopping close to the central railway station.

Government Travel Safety Advice

Under 18 immigration guidance.

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information. Booking Conditions  

Visa and Passport Information

UK: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846 . It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.  

Booking conditions

Minimum age restrictions, your safety and enjoyment on tour, your tour leader, find out more about trip transfer terms and conditions before you book. booking a land only package with explore.

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.  You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.   For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom. Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Flight information.

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display the price of the tour only. Please call us or select the flight option during the online checkout to receive a quote for a flight inclusive package. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

Vaccinations.

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

walking tours orkney islands

Dates, prices and booking

Add a flight with explore.

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee

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McKenzie Mountaineering

Orkney Explorer Walking Trip

Trip details & highlights.

walking tours orkney islands

  • Travel in an extra small group (max. 8 guests)
  • Visit of world-famous Skara Brae , Ring of Brodgar, Stones to Stennes & Tomb of the Eagle
  • Explore and learn about life and work on a local farm
  • Walk along the highest cliffs of the UK
  • Admire the Old Man of Hoy from close up

Trip Details

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.

What`s included

  • 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
  • 27/09/2024 – 06/10/2024
  • 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

walking tours orkney islands

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

walking tours orkney islands

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

Today we visit the breathtakingly Tomb of the Eagles before we explore the Eastside South Ronaldsay from Newark Bay to Ham Geo.

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

walking tours orkney islands

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

walking tours orkney islands

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

Orkney Explorer Walking Trip

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

walking tours orkney islands

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.

Orkney Explorer Walking Trip

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

walking tours orkney islands

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

walking tours orkney islands

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

Orkney Explorer Walking Trip

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

Gallery Orkney Explorer Walking Trip

walking tours orkney islands

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walking tours orkney islands

Scotland Walking Holidays

Guided walking holidays in Scotland

walking tours orkney islands

Orkney Walking Tour

This walking tour will give you the chance to fully experience the Orkney Islands. Our walks take us to Birsay, Rousay, Yesnaby, Hoy and Deerness, and we will visit many of the numerous historic and ancient monuments including Skara Brae, Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and the Ness of Brodgar excavations.

Tour features:

  • Tour starts in Glasgow
  • Professional guide
  • Small group, 4-8 participants
  • Attractive, well thought out walking programme, comprising of no more than 6 miles or 4 hrs a day.
  • Attractive programme of visits to places of interest: museums, archaeological sites, cultural sites. Entry fees included.
  • Train journey from Glasgow to Scrabster return
  • Ferry from Scrabster to Stromness return.
  • Six nights accommodation in Bed and breakfast accommodation in Kirkwall.
  • Packed lunches on walking days.
  • Minibus transport

walking tours orkney islands

Accommodation

This is either in  carefully selected Bed & Breakfast accommodation or Guest Houses . You can rely on the quality of the accommodation that we find for you – its comfort, its food and the professionalism and welcoming nature of those who run it. The B&Bs and guest houses we use are more personal and the quality of the accommodation is as good or even better than of hotels in the same category. Double and twin rooms that are occupied by two people always have an  en suite or private bathroom . If you have particular requirements or prefer to stay in a 4-star hotel, please let us know so that we can do our best to meet them. Details of where you will be staying will be sent to you well in advance of your holiday.

Dinner is not included in the price, but your guide will take you out for supper every evening.  We usually eat in a different place each evening , giving you the opportunity to try a range of Scottish dishes and ambiances.

walking tours orkney islands

The Orkney Isles, Scotland

Orkney is a place of big open skies, rounded hills, beautiful beaches and well kept farms. Only on Hoy does the landscape take on a wilder feel, with rolling hills and towering cliffs.

Orkney is also notoriously  rich in archaeological remains . It is said that if you scratch the soil it bleeds archaeology. Above all, in visiting Orkney you get a feeling of continuity, the sense that for thousands of years people have worked the land and left their mark.

The low-lying Orkney Isles have been favoured by farmers for over 5000 years. Its fertile soil and an abundance of good sandstone first attracted Stone Age farmers from the south. They settled the land, cultivated it and established villages. They also worked together to build tombs, temples and other sacred sites.

The number and quality of  ancient monuments  that remain from this period, testify to Orkney’s pre-eminent position at  the centre of Neolithic Britain . Later the  Vikings  came, first visiting in the summers to fatten their livestock and later, colonising the islands, occupying and reusing farmsteads that had stood for millennia. And today, farming continues. Beneath many of today’s modern farms are the remains of Viking farms and, beneath that, layers of occupation stretching even further back in time.

The  flora and fauna  on Orkney is a big attraction too and our tour offers lots of opportunities to see many different species of birds, seals and wildflowers.

We  start  the tour  in Glasgow , travelling by train to Thurso where we catch the  ferry to Orkney . The tour takes in Birsay, Rousay, Yesneby, Hoy and Deerness and we visit the many historic and ancient monuments on Orkney too: the  Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Sites:   Skara Brae , the  Ring of Brodgar , the  Stones of Stennes  and  Maeshowe , plus Midhowe Broch and Chambered Cairn, the Dwarfie Stane, the Italian Chapel, St Magnus Cathedral and the Earl’s Palace.

Our base is Orkney’s capital and main town, Kirkwall.

Some blogs of interest…

  • Foraging for food on Orkney and Shetland

Day-to-Day Itinerary

The programme will be subject to variables such as weather and the abilities of the group and changes may also be made to take account of lambing, deer stalking, etc. Any such alterations will always take into account the need to maintain the overall character of the holiday.

Day 1: Glasgow – Inverness – Scrabster – Stromness Day 2: Brough of Birsay Day 3: Isle of Rousay Day 4: Skara Brae to Yesnaby, Stromness Day 5: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney Day 6: The Isle of Hoy Day 7: Deerness, Italian Chapel, Kirkwall Day 8: Stromness – Scrabster – Glasgow

walking tours orkney islands

Day 1: Glasgow to Stromness

The tour begins from Queen Street Station in Glasgow. We take a train to Inverness and on to Thurso and catch the evening ferry which sails past the Old Man of Hoy, arriving in Stromness at 8:30pm. We can enjoy an evening meal on board the ferry.

Day 2: Brough of Birsay

Subject to the tides, our first day on Orkney begins with a visit to a small  uninhabited tidal island called the Brough of Birsay , meaning ‘fort island’. Although only 600m long by 400m across, this little island offers  pleasant walking  and a chance to explore some important ancient and historic monuments.

Fifth century Christian missionaries are thought to have been the first to establish a settlement on the isle. After that the Picts established a settlement and built a fort. The Norse, in turn, displaced them in the 9th century. The most extensive remains on the isle are from this Norse period, including the remains of a small Romanesque church.

After exploring the monuments we’ll walk around the island visiting the lighthouse and sea cliffs at the western end. Back on Mainland we continue our  walk along the northern shore  of Mainland, by low cliffs,  to Skippi Geo, a natural harbour used by Norse fishermen .

We then continue to the village of Birsay where we visit the remains of Earl Robert Stewart’s 16th century palace and the site of Orkney’s first Cathedral, where St Magnus was laid to rest in 1116.

4 miles/6.5km, 165ft/50m of ascent.

Day 3: Isle of Rousay

To the north of the mainland, across the Eynhallow Sound, lies Rousay (meaning Rolf’s island). This  hilly island  has been  nicknamed the ‘Egypt of the North’ due to the richness of its archaeological sites , particularly its chambered tombs.

After a short ferry crossing to Rousay, our day begins with the  Westerness Heritage walk , a 2.5 hour walk along Eynhallow Sound. This walk takes us to Midhowe broch, the 5,500 year old  Midhowe chambered cairn , Norse farmsteads and the remains of St Mary’s church.

We’ll spend the afternoon at the eastern end of the island and walk around  Faraclett head with its dramatic cliff scenery  and views across to the islands of Westray, Eday and Egilsay.

4 miles/6.5km, 330ft/100m of ascent.

walking tours orkney islands

Day 4: Skara Brae to Yesneby, Stromness

Today we head for the western part of Mainland where we will visit  the most complete Neolithic village in Europe , Skara Brae.  Older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids , this stone build settlement is comprised of eight houses.

Our  walk  takes us from Skara Brae  along impressive cliffs, past sea stacks, geos and the remains of the Broch of Borwick  to Yesnaby.

Afterwards we visit the  characterful and historic town of Stromness  to take a walk through its winding main street all the way to the ness, or headland, of Stromness, where we get  good views of Hoy . Stromness was the home Orkney’s most notable poet and writer,  George Mackay Brown . It was also where ships of the  Hudson’s Bay Company  took on water, stores and recruited local men before heading out to the Canadian Arctic.

Up to 5 miles/8km, 245ft/75m of ascent along undulating coastline.

walking tours orkney islands

DAY 5:  The Heart of Neolithic Orkney

The narrow isthmus of land between Loch of Harray and Loch of Stennes has a special significance. Many now agree  the site, with its standing stones, temple complex, chambered tombs and villages, is the most important Neolithic site in Britain , the ritual centre for a 5000 years old Stone Age farming culture.

Together with Skara Brae these monuments on the isthmus have been designated the  Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site . Today we will explore all of these important sites, walking west to east from the Ring of Brodger, to the newly discovered temple complex and then on to the Stones of Stenness.

Afterwards we visit the  Maeshowe Chambered Cairn.  Orientated exactly with the hills of Hoy this amazing structure remained intact until it was  looted by Vikings in the 12th century . The  runes  left by these Vikings represent the largest collection of such carvings in the world.

About 2 miles/3.2km, flat.

walking tours orkney islands

Day 6: Isle of Hoy

Our trip today is to the island of Hoy, meaning ‘high island’. After taking the car ferry to Lyness on Hoy we travel to the northern end of the island.

Our first stop is a short walk to the  Dwarfie Stane, a 5,000 year old Neolithic stone cut tomb  carved from a huge sandstone erratic boulder. It is quite unique in Britain and is most akin to the rock cut tombs found in the Mediterranean.

We then travel to the spectacular Rackwick Bay. With steep hillsides on both sides and a beach of smooth sandstone pebbles and fine sand, the bay is a great place to walk and absorb the atmosphere. In the afternoon we  walk to the old Man of Hoy, an awesome 450ft/137m sea stack . With good weather there are fine views across the Pentland Firth to the Scottish mainland.

The walk is on a good path and takes a bit more than an hour one way. We return to Rackwick Bay by the same route.

6 miles/9.5km, 550ft/170m of ascent.

walking tours orkney islands

Day 7: Deerness, Italian Chapel, Kirkwall

Our last day on Orkney begins with a visit to Deerness in the east Mainland. Deerness is almost an island, separated from the rest of Mainland by a narrow isthmus.

In the north eastern extremity of Deerness the good farmland gives way to  heather moorland and cliffs eroded and sculpted by the North Sea . We do a circular walk along this coastline visiting the  Brough of Deerness , a remote headland that was  once home to a community of Vikings . Only the remains of a chapel and hut shaped mounds survive today.

Afterwards we travel south to  Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers . Constructed during  World War II  the causeways linking Mainland to South Ronaldsay were intended to make secure the important anchorage of Scapa Flow for Allied ships.

On Lamb Holm, one of the small islands forming part of the barrier, is the  Italian Chapel . Build by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, the Chapel is made from two simple Nissan huts, with an ornate façade and decorated interior.

Later in the day we  return to Kirkwall to visit St Magnus Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace . Built by Earl Patrick Stewart in the late sixteenth century the Earl’s Palace is regarded as the finest example of Renaissance architecture in Scotland.

After our evening meal we will board the ferry where we have cabins and depart the following day early in the morning to sail back to the mainland.

6 miles/9.5km, 645ft/196m of ascent.

walking tours orkney islands

Day 8: Stromness to Glasgow

After breakfast on the ferry we disembark in Scrabster and take the train to Inverness and Glasgow where we’ll arrive in the late afternoon.

Orkney and Shetland walking tours combined

Every year we schedule  Orkney and Shetland Island walking tours back-to-back , so you can combine the tours into a two-week holiday with 6 walking days on the Orkney Islands and 6 on the Shetland Islands.

You will start your holiday joining the  Orkney walking tour  group. On day 7, when the group boards the ferry back to Scrabster in the evening, you will board the overnight ferry to Shetland. The rest of the group is already on this ferry. If there is no ferry to Shetland that evening, you’ll stay another night on Orkney and fly to Shetland the next morning, where the Shetland walking tour group will meet you at the airport.

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THE 10 BEST Orkney Islands Tours & Excursions

Orkney islands tours.

  • Ports of Call Tours
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  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

walking tours orkney islands

1. From Kirkwall - Orkney Mainland Private Tour

walking tours orkney islands

2. Orkney West Mainland Tour

walking tours orkney islands

3. Semi Private Tour - Orkney and Kirkwall

walking tours orkney islands

4. Half-Day Trip in Orkney

walking tours orkney islands

5. Historic Orkney 4 Hour tour by a Local

walking tours orkney islands

6. Orkney Travel Classic Tour - 5-6 hours

walking tours orkney islands

7. Orkney Islands & Highlands from Inverness - 3 Day Tour from Inverness

walking tours orkney islands

8. Private Tour Discover Orkney with Pick-Up

walking tours orkney islands

9. Orkney Trike Tours of Orkney

walking tours orkney islands

10. Shore Excursion Kirkwall Small Group Highlights of Orkney

walking tours orkney islands

11. 3-Day Orkney Explorer Small-Group Tour from Inverness

walking tours orkney islands

12. Orkney Mainland Private Tour

walking tours orkney islands

13. Kirkwall Private Walking Tour

walking tours orkney islands

14. Godfather Tour

walking tours orkney islands

15. Treasures of Orkney: Private Half-Day Tour from Kirkwall

walking tours orkney islands

16. 3 Day Orkney Islands Tour from Inverness

walking tours orkney islands

17. 3-Day Orkney Islands Tour from Inverness

Keep the fun going with other experiences in the area.

walking tours orkney islands

Puffin Tour

walking tours orkney islands

2 hour group lesson (3-16 people)

walking tours orkney islands

Taxi & Private Hire (Executive Minibus)

walking tours orkney islands

Vistravi Private/Public Hire and Guided Tours covering Caithness and Sutherland.

walking tours orkney islands

Scotland Trips

What travelers are saying.

Allen A

  • Semi Private Tour - Orkney and Kirkwall
  • From Kirkwall - Orkney Mainland Private Tour
  • Half-Day Trip in Orkney
  • Orkney West Mainland Tour
  • Shore Excursion Kirkwall Small Group Highlights of Orkney
  • Orkney Uncovered
  • Orkney Aspects Tours
  • Kraken Diving
  • Great Orkney Tours
  • Wild Orkney Walks
  • Red's Orkney Tours
  • Orkney Tailor-Made Tours
  • Odin Tours of Orkney
  • About Orkney
  • Island Tours of Hoy
  • Westraak Tours
  • Orkney Trike Tours
  • Scapa Scuba
  • Orkney and Shetland Charters

Kirkwall Walking Tours

Upper Breckquoy, Holm, KW17 2SD

COVID 19 - Currently all tours have been revised to comply with national restrictions. Numbers have been reduced, social distancing rules applied and you may be asked to wear a mask where appropriate.

Let us help you experience the old town of Kirkwall on foot, with an experienced local guide. We provide tours for people who like to explore old towns, and listen to tales about the people, customs and events that shaped their history. Our Kirkwall Walking Tour will visit the main sites of Orkney’s capital, founded by the Vikings, 1000 years ago.

We also offer bespoke private tours to all of the major archaeological sites on the Orkney Mainland, as a ‘step on guide’, in your own, or a third party vehicle. Visit our website www.kirkwallwalkingtours.com, for more details.

Business Hours

Open All Year Round.

Contact Details

Upper Breckquoy Holm KW17 2SD

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walking tours orkney islands

© Spiritual Orkney

Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall Town and 'Witchy' Walk

A walking tour of Kirkwall enables us to see all the nooks and crannies of this wonderful old town at a leisurely pace - with a focus on this historic witchcraft trials.

Kirkwall is the capital city and royal burgh of Orkney, founded by Viking traders about 1050 AD, it is the most northerly city in the British Isles.

Learn about the earliest Viking settlement of Kirkjuvagr 'the chuch by the bay', see where the original Norse harbour extended to, and how much of the modern town is built on land reclaimed from the sea

See the sites of the earliest church and the Norse Ting (parliament)

Hear stories of the navy's press gang and see where they operated

Tour St Magnus Cathedral - the most northerly cathedral in the British Isles and very much the jewel in Orkney's crown - hear the story of the martyrdom of Orkney's patron saint and see the dungeon where medieval witches were held

See the site of Henry Sinclair's castle and learn about the Stewart rebellion which led to its destruction

Tour the ruins of the Bishop's and Earl's Palaces (entrance charge applies)*

Learn about the wealthy Merchant Lairds of the seventeenth century and see where they lived

Hear about Kirkwall's Ba game and see where it is played

Be amazed by the 'Big Tree' - winner of 'Scotland's Tree of the Year' in 2017 - and find out why it still survives

Be shown around Tankerness House and the Orkney Museum

Discover the Grootie House in the gardens of Tankerness House ...

Then we will start to tell tales of historical witchcraft, torture, spells, charms and gruesome executions.

Orkney has always been notorious for its witches, some were even quite famous, and a couple of hundred years ago, these islands were a hotbed of allegations and accusations ...

We were actively involved with the project which installed a memorial to the historic victims of Orkney's witchcraft trials at Gallow'Ha (Kirkwall) in 2019.

To recognise this, we have added this fascinating walking tour which starts from St Magnus Cathedral - where many of the trials were held and the accused imprisoned - along Victoria Street, and finally a walk up Clay Loan - the same route the condemned may have taken - to Gallow'Ha, where we will be able to view the memorial.

This whole tour takes approximately 3-4 hours and our fee is based on our half-day rates.

A walking tour enables us to see all the nooks and crannies of this wonderful old town at a leisurely pace. You will need to be able to walk for about 1 mile / 1.5 kms. Dress according to the weather and your comfort. Walking boots are preferably, but not essential, as some of the pavements are uneven. There are public toilets on this tour; bring your own snacks and drinks ... or try a delicious Orkney ice-cream on your way through town!   

On your instructions we can add tasting sessions of traditional Orkney food and drink, or visits to local distilleries (gin or whisky), or perhaps include a delicious Orkney lunch, for which additional charges will apply.

Price on Request

Departure days.

  • W Wednesday

January — December

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Key facilities

  • Pets Welcome

Tour information

½ Day

  • Small Group (1-16)
  • Archaeology
  • Food and drink
  • Ghosts and Supernatural
  • Photography
  • Religious Pilgrimage

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Spiritual Orkney

Tour company information

Spiritual orkney.

Orkney is a magical, sacred and spiritual place ... along with Iona, Newgrange, Stonehenge, Glastonbury and many other sites, Orkney is acknowledged as one of the world's 'thin places': a place where the veil between this world and the others is particularly permeable. Orkney calls and tugs the souls of so many people, making it the perfect place for pilgrimage. At Spiritual Orkney, we offer guided 'tours with more' ... specialising in prehistoric archaeology, Norse history, and Orkney's folklore, we would love to help you to make the most of your visit.

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All year, all day.

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Ness of Brodgar excavations and environs

Ness of Brodgar excavations and environs

Departs: Orkney

We offer walking tours of the Ness of Brodgar which set this extremely important...

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Orkney & Shetland Guided Small Group Tour

Head North to discover the drama of Orkney & Shetland

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Tour Scotland’s other worlds on a week-long journey of northern discovery, revealing millennia of history, fascinating culture & dramatic stories.

Escorted throughout by a knowledgeable tour leader, you’ll also spend time in the company of local experts, an inimitable way to get up close and personal with the Orkney & Shetland lifestyle. From Neolithic man through the Bronze Age to the Vikings, you’ll hear tales of mystery, battles and intrigue that have shaped these civilisations.

This week-long fully-escorted Orkney & Shetland tour is a new addition to the McKinlay Kidd programme, building on our extensive knowledge of the destinations. Make the most of your time on the islands on this carefully-curated itinerary accessible by flight from central Scotland .

With a maximum of 15 passengers per group, you can be sure of highly personal service from your knowledgeable tour leader on this exclusive McKinlay Kidd Orkney & Shetland small group tour. Early booking is strongly advised as places are strictly limited.

Do not hesitate to let us know if we can assist with tailor-made arrangements for you pre or post this scheduled tour.

Orkney's Italian Chapel

  • McKinlay Kidd

Holiday Details

Day one – arrival in edinburgh.

Meet your fellow travellers and guide this evening for welcome drinks and dinner. Maybe arrive a day or two early and spend time exploring Scotland’s exciting capital – it is especially busy in August with all the buzz of the world famous festival, so we strongly recommend making any such arrangements well in advance. Glorious visitor attractions are dotted throughout – from the dominant castle to the splendid and much more tranquil Royal Botanic Gardens.

Your Accommodation in Edinburgh

Enjoy four star country-house-style hotel accommodation on the western outskirts of the city, especially convenient for the airport. With the central mansion house dating back to 1840, this is a tranquil and relaxing spot, boasting acres of grounds for an afternoon stroll plus indoor swimming pool and spa if you prefer more luxurious pleasures. Rooms are smartly furnished in a sleek and modern style, while staff are both friendly and highly attentive. The restaurant serves seasonal Scottish fare with a contemporary twist; breakfasts include a full buffet and choice of hot dishes.

Day Two – Fly North to Prehistoric Scotland

This morning you will be leaving Edinburgh and flying north to Orkney. With a bit of luck you’ll see the Lowlands of Scotland rise into the craggy Highland mountains beneath you – huge lochs and rivers that span coast to coast look no more than potholes and puddles. The landscape grows wilder the further North you go, until the hills submerge into the sea below. Within moments of the Scottish mainland disappearing, the grass and heather covered islands of Orkney come into view.

Touch down in Kirkwall and head out on a mini-coach trip. First stop is the collapsed sea cave known locally as ‘The Gloup’ – gulls rise on buffets of sea air and waves crash underfoot on Orkney’s eastern edge. Next take a tour of Sheila Fleet Jewellery HQ – exploring the converted church and workshops filled with three decades of award-winning designs. Then onwards, passing over the Churchill Barriers built by Italian POWs and seeing the scuttled carcasses of old ships lying in the water. Golden beaches and sand dunes have built up against these man-made intrusions, changing the landscape of this unique setting. Your guide will be on hand to give context to these extraordinary scenes and discuss the tragedies and victories of Orkney’s war effort.

Enroute back towards Orkney’s Mainland, stop at the Italian Chapel. From the outside just a Nissen hut with a small bell tower, but inside a poignant reminder of the power of human endeavour. The spiritual stillness and delicate fresco that adorns the walls are timeless counterpoints to the horrors of war.

From here it’s just a short transfer to your accommodation for the next three nights.

Your Accommodation in Kirkwall 

Located on the outskirts of Kirkwall, the hotel is traditionally furnished, offering you the chance to find out just how comfortable Orkney chairs really are! The owners have put tremendous effort into creating a genuine feel throughout the hotel. All rooms are individually styled with Orcadian names.

Boasting an excellent reputation as a destination for locals, the restaurant features menus packed with local produce, including lamb or mutton with its distinctive flavour, due to the seaweed diet of North Ronaldsay sheep, plus local seafood including mouth-watering prawns, succulent salmon and delicious stir-fried squid. The hotel has ample lounge areas and a whisky snug, where you will be tempted to try a dram or two from a very wide range.

Day Three – The Atlantic’s Last Stop

Begin the day with a tour of Stromness – a small town with one of the richest histories of adventure in Scotland. Known by mariners the world over as the last stop in the Atlantic to find a crew, countless heroes and pirates have landed here to replenish water and provisions. You will undertake a walking tour through the coiled streets and alleys of this beautiful place, unusual buildings and sea views punctuating each twist and turn. Hear stories of doomed expeditions sailed into obscurity, and the local doctor who pieced together their final hours. Visit the Stromness museum and browse the bizarre collection of maritime artefacts traded by desperate sailors.

Next visit the Piers Arts Centre and experience the architectural beauty of this converted Hudson Bay office. A gorgeous complex of rooms stretches into the sea. Worth a visit for the framed views alone, the impressive art collection is exceptionally well presented.

Your private mini-coach will then whisk you back towards Kirkwall, stopping on the way at an intriguing secret spot hidden among the hills and heather.

Arrive in Kirkwall with the afternoon free to explore. Maybe visit one of the distilleries, acquaint yourself with St Magnus Cathedral or spend the time following the medieval streets and closes that make this seaside town so special – your guide will be on hand with plenty of recommendations.

Day Four – Neolithic Mysteries 

Head out this morning in the company of a local guide and dive deeper into Orkney’s unique culture and history. From the poignant unknowns of Neolithic monument-builders through to tales of mischievous Vikings, learn of animal gods and modern day ceremonies that bring the archipelago together.

A visit to Maeshowe – the chambered cairn built with six-tonne rock slabs a thousand years before the first pyramids – is sure to be a highlight of the trip. Not much more than a mound of earth from the outside, on entering one can experience a profound feeling of wonder at our ancient ancestor’s ingenuity and endeavour. This and several more stops, including the Ring of Brodgar and the Skara Brae settlement, will give you an unparalleled understanding of why this special place was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The context given by a local guide and on-site experts is inimitable in understanding this area’s significance to human history. Hear of the fascinating discoveries that have shed a thin light on the mystery of Orkney – of how the islands may have been abandoned in a ceremony of sacrifice, of the bewildering ancient practices uncovered with each layer of earth peeled back. Come to your own conclusions as to what happened, what it meant and more importantly, what it means to be human.

Day Five – The Northern Edge of Scotland 

This morning say farewell to Orkney and catch a short flight to Sumburgh. The flat green pastures of one archipelago disappear; the darkening blue of Atlantic and North Sea collide beneath as Shetland comes into view. The black and greys of craggy rock and cliff face rise from the sea, foaming waves below roll into the bizarre landmass.

The contrast between Orkney and Shetland is staggering, from the lush comfort of one to the violent beauty of the other. The Ness of Burgi stretches its blackened claws of rock into the sea to the west – salt water reaches into the Central Mainland, grasping up rivers and valleys, the tangy smell of brine all-pervading.

From the airport you will be picked up for a private mini-coach tour of the south. First it’s on to St. Ninian’s Isle, a beautiful tombolo beach on the west coast. Turquoise waters crawl up both sides of the golden sands that link St Ninian’s to the Central Mainland – hear tales of treasure discovered in the sand and the Apostle to the Southern Picts. The experience of space and tranquillity is soothing. The wonder and strangeness of Shetland is revealed with each twist of country road and coil of coastline.

Next travel east to Lerwick and spend the afternoon wandering through the Shetland Museum & Archives. This modern building set amongst the ancient harbour is a brilliant stop to learn the story of Shetland. The well curated collection of artefacts reflect the archipelago through the ages and up to the present day – a great way to set the tone for the rest of your stay. From here it’s a short transfer to your accommodation for the next two days.

Your Accommodation in Shetland

This sixteenth century hotel is a brilliant mixture of austere and quirky Shetland architecture with a warm and welcoming country house interior. The staff are exceptionally friendly and happy to make your stay as comfortable as possible in this remote location   enjoy the garden and look out over the wind-shaped trees to the distant sea and hills of this surprising place.

Dinner is included on both nights here, with local Shetland produce such as scallops and fish prominently featured on the menu.

Day Six – Adventure Through the Heart of Shetland

Today you head out in the company of a local guide. The insights and stories shared will take you on a journey through the extraordinary history of Shetland – from its far-flung location and singular creation, cooling lava through to hunter gatherer colonisation and the curious Vikings who reverberate in the present day culture.

Passing through valleys torn open by glaciers and rivers flooded by the sinking of the land, learn the story of Mavis Grind’s geology and see it clearly illustrated in the many coloured rocks that make up the hills and cliffs. Visit Eshaness and gaze over one of Scotland’s finest views, the drama of the cliffs and sea difficult to comprehend.

Reaching deeper into Northmavine, visit the site of an unusual discovery in a roadside bog, and hear of the many explanations it inspired. Crossing from west to east, experience the astounding scenery of Lunna and discover the death-defying feats undertaken by fishermen during WW2 and of the Norwegian refugees saved by exceptional bravery.

The day will be full of interesting and arresting stops, some stories known, some surprising, all part of the history of Scotland’s separate world. A huge offering of vistas and interest abound on Shetland: a visit to this thrilling archipelago of individualistic islands, set in the centre of the ocean, will stay with you forever – part of Scotland and yet separate.

Day Seven – Return to the Scottish Mainland

After a relaxed breakfast, there’s still enough time for one last key stop. Visit Jarlshof, a fascinating site on the lands edge. This ancient settlement on the coast has buildings dating from 2,500BC through to the 17 th century. See a little more of the south of the archipelago, such as the extremity of Sumburgh Head, then hop aboard the flight from Sumburgh to Glasgow, landing in the early afternoon. Say fond farewells to the rest of the group before continuing on with your travel plans.

This will have been a special week of adventure and discovery – if you would like to link it with a visit to any other Scottish islands or a tour of the Highlands, we’d be more than happy to help with the planning.

This Orkney & Shetland tour has been carefully designed to cover the highlights whilst also surprising with hidden gems and local knowledge.

walking tours orkney islands

Fly from Edinburgh to Orkney then on to Shetland. Return flight to Glasgow.

From £2595 per person sharing a twin or double room in April & 29th September, from £2695 in May, August & 8th September. Single occupancy supplement is £500.

Price includes:

  • Six nights in hand-picked three and four star hotels on a B&B basis.
  • Welcome dinner in Edinburgh. Dinner on both nights in Shetland. Includes one lunch.
  • Scheduled flights from Edinburgh to Orkney, from Orkney to Shetland and from Shetland to Glasgow, plus transfers as described.
  • Half day tour of South Ronaldsay and southern Orkney, including entry to the Italian Chapel.
  • Guided walking tour of Stromness.
  • Full day tour of Orkney’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe and Skara Brae, with entrance fees included.
  • Tour of Sheila Fleet Jewellery Workshop.
  • Half day tour of southern Shetland, including Jarlshof.
  • Full day tour of northern Shetland led by an expert guide.
  • The services of McKinlay Kidd’s tour leader, accompanying the group and providing expert guiding and assistance throughout.

Not included:

  • Meals other than those described above
  • Gratuities and tips

Please note the baggage allowance for the flights in this tour:

  • One checked bag of up to 20kg per person
  • One item of cabin baggage not exceeding 40cm x 35cm x 18cm, with a maximum weight of 6kg.

Any bags exceeding 20kg or any additional bags that have not been prepaid, will be charged at the airport.

All accommodation is carefully-selected and researched by us, predominantly featuring small, family-owned hotels – contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties.

This tour will operate with a minimum of four and maximum of 15 passengers on each departure date.

Simply complete the form below to reserve your place(s). We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours to provide time for you to pay the deposit of 25% per person.

Speak to us 0141 260 9260 1 866 922 8538 1 800 760 824 +44 141 260 9260

Uk office hours:.

  • Monday to Friday - 8.30am to 6pm
  • Saturday - 9am to 5pm
  • Sunday - CLOSED

McKinlay Kidd are based in the UK and Ireland. UTC office hours are:

Or email us at:, calling from elsewhere  .

  • UK 0141 260 9260
  • USA & Canada (toll-free) 1 866 922 8538
  • Australia (toll-free) 1 800 760 824
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

We got to see the things and places we had hoped to see. The food and the hotels were great.
We had a good time and the group was just the right size. A relaxed, informative whizz around the Islands, good grub, wonderful scenery.
I was made most welcome by our guide and all the couples and enjoyed their company. So many stimulating conversations and so much laughter.

Reserve your place(s) for Orkney & Shetland Guided Small Group Tour

To reserve your place(s) on this tour, please call us or complete the form below, making sure to select your departure date from the dropdown menu and advise of any special requirements. We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours and contact you with details of how to confirm your booking by payment of the per person deposit.

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walking tours orkney islands

Walking Scotland’s Orkney Islands

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Discover the beautiful landscapes, world-famous archaeological sites and birdlife of the Orkney Isles. Highlights include clifftop walks, wildflowers, puffin colonies, fresh seafood and Skara Brae - without doubt, the finest Stone Age village in Europe. Along the way, we enjoy generous Orcadian hospitality and experience the relaxed pace of island life.

  • Ancient History - Discover Iron Age villages and Neolithic sites including Skara Brae
  • Orcadian and Norse traditions - Unearth the Orkney's history, heritage and local traditions
  • Breathtaking landscapes - Explore some of Britain's most pristine regions on foot

Included meals

Breakfast: 6

Explore Tour Leader

Accommodation

6 nights comfortable hotel

Walking grade:

Leisurely and Moderate

Group Size:

Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

The trip starts at Inverness Rail Station at 14.00. After meeting we have a scenic drive (3hrs) along the northeast coast of the Highlands to Scrabster port, where our ferry sails (1.5hrs) across the Pentland Firth to Stromness town on Mainland, the principal island of Orkney. From here we drive to our hotel base for the holiday in the historic town of Kirkwall. It is possible to eat on the ferry and the expected arrival time at the hotel is around 21.00. The Tour Leader plans to meet for the introductory briefing upon arrival in the hotel, or after check in.

Kirkwall is situated on the northern coast of Mainland and is the largest settlement and administrative capital of the Orkneys with a population of about 9,300. At its heart stands St. Magnus Cathedral, which was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson, one of the Norse earls of Orkney (1108-1117), who became its patron saint. Next to the Cathedral are the ruins of the former Bishop's Palace and Earl's Palace. Kirkwall has many 17th-18th century houses and other structures in the local vernacular style.

It is possible to reach Kirkwall by flight or ferry from Aberdeen. Please advise us at time of booking if you intend on making your own way to the hotel.

Please note that the order of days may be changed around in accordance with the weather and ferry schedules.

Departures on 11May24, 8Jun24, 06Jul24 and 14Sep24 stay at The Albert Hotel. Departures on 25May24, 29Jun24, 20Jul24, 03Aug24, 17 Aug24 and 31Aug24 stay at The Orkney Hotel .

Accommodation:

The Orkney Hotel (or similar)

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals provided: none.

We take the ferry from Kirkwall harbour to Westray in the far northwest, a fantastic voyage out along the old Viking sea route called the Swan's Path that will take about 1.5 hours. It is the second largest of the Orkney Isles, affectionately known as the 'Queen o' the Isles', with a population of just 600 people. Today's highlight is a circular walk out to Noup Head to see one of the largest seabird colonies in the British Isles, second only to St Kilda. Here we'll find guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill, shag and fulmar as well as wild flowers, caves and lighthouses. Puffins are normally seen on Westray between the end of April and mid-August. The open ground above the cliffs offers superb views and is often beautifully carpeted with yellow, white and purple flowers. From here we continue our walk south along the west coast of Westray. After the walk we visit Noltland Castle ruins, built around 1560 for Mary Queen of Scots. If time permits we may visit Pierowall village before catching the ferry back to Kirkwall.

Today's leisurely-graded walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 9 kilometres/5.60 miles along grassy clifftop trails with a total ascent and descent of 200 metres/656 feet.

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

The Deerness Peninsula is on the easternmost part of the Mainland. Here we start our first walk and before long reach the Brough of Deerness - a well-preserved Viking Age settlement on top of a sea stack - and an impressive collapsed sea cave called the Gloup that produces strange gurgling noises! From here we continue along the coastline around Mull Head until we reach the Covenanters Memorial - commemorating 200 prisoners who perished off the coast in 1679. Finally our walk brings us back to the vehicles. Later we drive to see the simple Italian Chapel (small fee for entry) on Lambholm Island, built by POWs in WWII, and discover more wartime history at the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow. We will usually be back in Kirkwall late afternoon, where you can visit St Magnus Cathedral (closes 5pm).

Today's leisurely-graded walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 10 kilometres/6.20 miles along grassy trails with a total ascent and descent of 150 metres/492 feet.

We start the day with a short drive back to Stromness where we start our walk northwards following the west coastline of Mainland that is dominated by cliffs, and on the trail we pass the impressive sea stacks of Yesnaby and North Gaulton. Along the way look out for the Primula Scotia (Scottish Primrose), Orkney's most famous flowering plant. The walk finishes at the site of 5000-year-old Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Neolithic villages in Europe. There is the option to visit Skail House, a 17th Century Laird's manor house. If time permits, we may drive a short distance to visit the Earl's Palace - remains of a 16th century castle built by Robert Steward Earl of Orkney and or include a stop at the Kirbuster Museum (1595 house, FOC).

Today's moderately-graded walk will take approximately 4-5 hours and will cover a distance of 12.5 kilometres/7.80 miles along grassy clifftop trails, sometimes boggy, with a total ascent and descent of 300 metres/984 feet.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

On a small stretch on land between the Loch of Stennis and the Loch of Harray on Orkney's Mainland we will find the archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness (both older than Stonehenge). Together with Skara Brae, they form the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage site. This morning we will explore all these extraordinary 5000-year-old sites, including the ongoing Ness of Brodgar Excavation should time permit (opens July-August). We will also visit the pretty town of Stromness, Orkney's second biggest town and home of Orkneys most famous poet George Mackay Brown. You may choose to visit the highly recognised Arts Pier Centre. Later in the afternoon we will travel back to Kirkwall where you have time to visit the Orkney Museum that is housed in one of Scotland's best-preserved 16th century town-houses - Tankerness House and gardens - displaying prehistoric, Pictish and Viking collections of international importance.

Today is a relaxed day with around 3 kilometres/1.90 miles walking between the Neolithic sites.

After breakfast we drive a short distance to Tingwall port to catch the ferry across the waters to Rousay Island - known as 'The Egypt of the North' due to its proliferation of archaeological monuments. While there we will visit the large Midhowe Neolithic chambered cairn and Midhowe Iron age Broch Tower. We walk over the moors to Knitchen Hill and Blochnie Hill; the highest point on the island at 275m/902ft. This walk is also partly within the RSPB owned Trumland reserve where we may see raptors and the short-eared owl. Depending on time and weather condition we might choose for a lovely walk at Faraclett Head in the far northwest of the island. Both walks provide magnificent views over the seaboard and of the nearby islands Egilsay and Wyre. We return later this afternoon to Kirkwall.

Today's moderately graded walk will take approximately 3-4 hours and will cover a distance of 9 kilometres/5.60 miles on moorland paths, sometimes boggy in places, with a total ascent and descent of 350 metres/1148 feet.

After checking out of the hotel we drive back to Stromness ferry terminal for the 11am departure. If you intend to fly back from Kirkwall, you will have to make your own way - by taxi or bus - to the airport. From Scrabster we will drive south to Inverness arriving at the rail station at about 4.30pm where the trip ends. We do not recommend booking an onward flight from Inverness before 7pm.

  • Walking Information

Daily distances

Total distance : 24 miles

Trip information

The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT

Optional activities the following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. please note: these activities are booked and paid for locally and do not form part of your explore holiday contract..

Highland Park whisky distillery (one hour tour 15 GBP) - £30 pp 1.15 hours Orkney Distillery (Gin) 20 GBP Italian Chapel 3.50 GBP Stromness Museum - 6 GBP can be paid cash or card

Orkney has a cool temperate climate and you can expect changeable weather from sunshine to windy days and rain. A good quality waterproof jacket and trousers are essential. We recommend hiking trousers, plenty of layers, warm hat and gloves and sunhat. If the forecast is good T shirts and shorts will be fine. Come prepared!

Bring a broken in pair of walking boots/walking shoes and a comfortable pair of shoes for about town. Can be wet underfoot at times.

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a waterproof rucksack large enough to carry what you need for the day - waterproofs, warm layer, water, picnic, sun-cream, phone etc.

You will need a small rucksack, thermos or water bottle. Binoculars can be good for wildlife spotting. Insect repellent, suncream, good quality sunglasses and a lip salve with sun protection are all useful. You may find walking poles helpful. Gaiters can be useful when it's wet.

Food and drink The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Foreign exchange, transport information.

Ferry, Minibus, On Foot

Accommodation notes

Departures on 25May24, 29Jun24, 20Jul24, 03Aug24, 17 Aug24 and 31Aug24 stay at the comfortable 3-star Orkney Hotel in the centre of Kirkwall nearby all amenities. Dating back to 1670, the hotel offers every modern convenience, while retaining its original features and charms. The hotel has a recently refurbished bar area for socialising in the evening. Departures on 11May24, 8Jun24, 06Jul24 and 14Sep24 stay at The Albert Hotel in the centre of Kirkwall nearby all amenities. Facilities include a bar and rooms are modern, comfortable and en-suite.

Arrival and departure information

Transfers to and from our accommodation are not provided for this trip. If you are planning to arrive or depart by train, this information may be useful to you. Whilst we are unable to make a reservation for you, we have provided contact numbers to enable you to make a direct booking. Arriving from Inverness Airport: There are a number of taxi companies that can be hailed from the airport to take you to Inverness train station to start the trip. Alternatively, you may pre-book with: Taxi Inverness: 01463 800 069 Inverness Airport Taxi: 01463 264 064 The journey should take around 20 minutes. Alternatively the Jet Bus line 11 is an airport shuttle that takes you to Inverness, stopping close to the central railway station.

Food and drink

Can you drink the water?  It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day. 

Government Travel Safety Advice

Under 18 immigration guidance.

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information. Booking Conditions  

Visa and Passport Information

UK: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846 . It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.  

Booking conditions

Minimum age restrictions, your safety and enjoyment on tour, your tour leader, find out more about trip transfer terms and conditions before you book. booking a land only package with explore.

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.  You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.   For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom. Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Flight information.

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display the price of the tour only. Please call us or select the flight option during the online checkout to receive a quote for a flight inclusive package. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

Vaccinations.

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

walking tours orkney islands

Dates, prices and booking

Add a flight with explore.

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee

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5 days | whisky and neolithic history in uk’s northern reaches.

BWSO - Orkney - Standing Stones - Ring of Brodgar

The Orkneys, off the northern tip of Scotland, are well and truly alive with histories and mysteries to discover by land and sea. Spend five days experiencing the best of the Orkney Islands, departing from the highland hub of Inverness, and using Kirkwall as your base. Admire the Neolithic town of Skara Brae that predates Stonehenge, get well off the tourist trail on a leisurely coastal walk on Shapinsay Island, and bookend your days with plenty of local history and perhaps some whisky tastings at local pubs along the way. With a local leader full of knowledge and a group as eager to learn as you, this slice of European history has never been so enticing.

Trip overview

  • The Orkney Islands are teeming with historic sites to explore. The Neolithic township of Skara Brae, the renowned Ring of Brodgar and 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral – it’s like you’ve been transported back in time!
  • Join your group leader on a walking tour of Kirkwall – Orkney’s main centre. They’ll be able to share with you the history and traditions behind the game of ‘Ba’ in town.
  • Spend the morning discovering the island of Shapinsay on a coastal walking tour, full of rich heritage and small-town quirks. You might even spot some resident seals!
  • What’s Scotland without a tipple? Be sure to join your local leader and group of travellers throughout the trip at a corner pub, tasting some of the finest whiskies on offer.
  • With plenty of time dedicated to exploring at your own pace, you can dial up the history, or instead, balance it all out with some distillery visits. You’ve got the power to choose.
  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.
  • Scotland can be cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof clothes/umbrella and anything else that you think may be applicable.
  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe can seem small by Australian or American standards, and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

Welcome to Scotland! Meet your local leader and fellow travellers at Inverness Railway Station.From here, take a train to Thurso, where you’ll jump in a taxi for a brief transfer to the nearby port of Scrabster to board the the ferry over to Stromness, Orkney. The ferry journey is a scenic adventure in itself, so keep your eyes peeled for the Old Man of Hoy – the tallest sea stack in the UK. Disembark in Stromness, and catch a local bus with your group to the quaint accommodation on the fringes of Kirkwall. After a long day of travelling, it’s time to unpack and settle into your accommodation, then perhaps head into Kirkwall to a cosy pub for food and drinks. Your group leader will be happy to recommend some options.

  • Guesthouse (1 night)

There are no meals included on this day.

This afternoon's meeting will take place at 1 pm in the ticket hall of Inverness Railway Station. Please look out for your leader who will be waiting in the fixed seating area, holding a sign with the Intrepid logo. Make sure you are on time for this important meeting, as the group will leave Inverness straight after. If you can't find a flight that arrives on time we recommend you book an additional night in Inverness prior to the start of the trip. There are plenty of facilities within the railway station, such as toilets, shops, cafes and luggage storage. Please note that today's journey is quite long, involving a train, ferry and taxis, and our arrival into Kirkwall will be at around 9:30 pm. The journey from Inverness to the Orkney Islands takes approx 7.5 hours, and involves a train, ferry and pre-booked taxis.

Stretch your legs this morning and explore on a walking tour of Kirkwall – the beating heart of Orkney. Your local leader will fill you in on the town’ s history and Viking culture plus some of the hotspots, including 12th-century architecture of St Magnus Cathedral, the ‘Peedie Sea’ birdwatching area and the narrow maze of streets in the centre of town. These streets are home to the traditional ‘Ba’ game each year – a unique sporting spectacle that your leader can tell you about. This afternoon, you have free time to explore at your own pace. Perhaps retrace your steps, stopping by the craft shop, museum or other historic sites that piqued your interest. Otherwise, there’s a whole range of craft and jewellery shops, pubs and even the acclaimed Highland Park whisky distillery to visit. It’s totally up to you, but plan early as these are popular activities!

  • Kirkwall - Leader-led Walking Tour

The walking tour of Kirkwall covers approx. 1.3km, with minimal elevation gain and takes approx. 2 hours

We can recommend the following suggestions for your free afternoon today. The Orkney distillery - https://www.orkneydistilling.com/ - Book early and directly, as this is a popular activity. Easily accessible by private taxi. The Orkney Museum - http://www.orkneymuseums.co.uk/our-museums/the-orkney-museum/ Maeshowe Chambered Cairn - https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/maeshowe-chambered-cairn/ - Book early and directly, as this is a popular activity. Easily accessible by private taxi The Standing Stones of Stenness - https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/stones-of-stenness-circle-and-henge - Easily accessible by private taxi The Earls Palace - https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/bishop-s-and-earl-s-palaces-kirkwall/ Saint Magnus Cathedral - http://www.orkneymuseums.co.uk/our-museums/st-magnus-cathedral/

It’s time to explore Orkney in more detail today. Head off with your travel crew in a private vehicle towards some of the islands’ most historic sites. Begin heading south to the Italian Chapel – comprised of two Nissen huts converted into a stunning chapel by Italian prisoners of war.Cross the remarkable Churchill Barriers – built in WWII to keep enemy U-boats out of the waterways of Scapa Flow. These barriers are now an important connection for the smaller islands to Orkneys mainland, and dotted in the sea are a number of shipwrecks nearby. After, continue west to perhaps Orkey’s most famous site – the prehistoric village of Skara Brae. It’s northern Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village predating Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed 'Heart of Neolithic Orkney'. By now, you'll have worked up an appetite, so your group will pop into an old schoolhouse building for a picnic lunch of local Orkney produce (and perhaps meet the producers), then begin your return journey to Kirkwall. On the way back, you’ll stop by at the renowned Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones, another UNESCO World Heritage listed site, dating back over 5000 years. When you arrive in Kirkwall, maybe join the rest of your group for dinner and chat about the fascinating sights of the day.

  • Orkney Islands - Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones
  • Orkney Islands - Italian Chapel
  • Orkney Islands - Orkney Mainland Day Tour
  • Orkney Islands - Picnic lunch with Local Orkney Produce in an old schoolhouse
  • Orkney Islands - Churchill Barriers & Scapa Flow
  • Orkney Islands - Skara Brae Prehistoric Village Visit

Today's private coach tour departs the guesthouse at 9.00 am and returns at approximately 5.30 pm. A picnic lunch of local Orkney produce is provided and there are restroom facilities at various points throughout the day.

Enjoy breakfast this morning, then walk down to the harbour to board a ferry bound for the island of Shapinsay. Although a short 30 minutes from Kirkwall, this island feels a world away from where you’ve been, and sees much fewer tourists than other hotspots in Orkney. You’ll spot the grand 18th-century Balfour Castle as you approach Shapinsay Island – the most regal of all private homes in the Orkneys. When you arrive, set off on a coastal walk past Balfour Castle and along the western coastline. Along the way, keep an eye out for seals! Today’s walk returns to the village of Balfour, where you can stop in at the local café and heritage centre, plus check out the unusual saltwater toilets. In the early afternoon, head back on the ferry to Kirkwall, where you’ll have a free afternoon to relax, or enjoy some other suggested activities. Tonight, maybe get back together with your group and leader for one last evening in a local pub and maybe enjoy some whisky tastings, including local Orkney whiskys and others from around Scotland. You’re only in the Orkneys once!

  • Shapinsay Island - Coastal Walk
  • Shapinsay Island - Day Trip

Ferry to Shapinsay - It will take approx. 20 minutes to walk to the terminal from the accommodation (1.6km), or ask the group leader to book you a taxi. The ferry crossing takes approx. 30 mins each way. The Shapinsay island tour is a unique opportunity to explore a tiny tranquil island known for its close-knit community of less than 300 residents. The coastal walk covers approx. 1.3 km and takes approx 2 hours.

After breakfast this morning, begin your journey back to Inverness with your group, arriving in the late afternoon. With no activities planned in Inverness, you are free to leave the group upon arrival at the railway station. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in this northern UK hub, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

The journey from the Orkney islands to Inverness takes approx 7.5 hours, and involves a train, ferry and pre-booked taxis. There are a number of options for eating and drinking on board the ferry, as well as vending machines offering tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks. There are also some light refreshment options and toilet facilities on the train. Please note that arrival in Inverness is scheduled for around 5pm. Consider a later evening travel connection or perhaps stay an extra night in Inverness to account for any possible delays your group may face today.

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Ferry, On foot

Guesthouse (4 nights)

Dates and availability

Important notes.

1.A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 2.This trip starts at 1pm in the ticket hall of Inverness Railway Station on Day 1. Afterwards, your group will immediately depart for Kirkwall. This trip finishes upon arrival in Inverness on Day 5 at approximately 5pm. Please consider this when booking onward travel. 3.Please note that the journey from Inverness to the Orkney Islands and vice versa is quite long (approx 7.5 hours), involving a train, taxi, ferry and local bus. Our arrival into Kirkwall on day 1 will be at around 9:30pm and arrival back into Inverness on the last day will be at around 5pm.

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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walking tours orkney islands

Walking on Orkney

  • Discover Orcadian hospitality and a land rich in history
  • Follow in the footsteps of Neolithic man at Skara Brae
  • Listen to the cacophony of sea birds while walking clifftop paths
  • Walk to the spectacular Old Man of Hoy sea stack
  • Visit one of Kirkwall's whisky distilleries for a dram

Our Product Director Fiona in Orkney!

Arrive into the sheltered harbour of Stromness by ferry from Thurso on the north coast of the Scottish mainland or fly into Kirkwall from Glasgow or Edinburgh and travel by bus or taxi to Stromness. If you would like to book a taxi from Kirkwall to Stromness, please let us know in advance so we can organise this for you.

Stromness town lines the shores of the inlet, spend the afternoon wandering its winding stone streets and enjoy a visit to Stromness Museum. 

The Royal Hotel, Stromness

A small family run hotel with 11 en-suite rooms and 2 self-contained annexes. Rooms are simply furnished and have all the amenities you need. There is a restaurant on site where you may enjoy the taste of Orkney’s finest produce and 3 bars serving local beer and whisky. 

The Ferry Inn, Stromness

Situated on the harbour front on the heart of Stromness the Ferry Inn provides an ideal base your trip. They serve great all day food in the cracking community bar. The Inn boasts a restaurant with pub and a la carte menus centred around fresh local produce - fantastic seafood, great beef and lamb, home baked breads and desserts (along with interesting vegetarian options).

After a hearty Orcadian breakfast hop across to Moaness on a short ferry journey (30 min) from Stromness.

You will be collected from the ferry terminal and transferred to the small settlement of Rackwick, complete with bothy and long sandy beach, from here the signposted path swings north towards the iconic sea stack named the Old Man of Hoy. An ascent of the sea stack is a classic route for rock climbers. From your clifftop vantage point look out for the puffins, guillemots, and kittiwakes who call these wild cliffs home.

Return to Moaness passing Scotland's most northerly native wood to await the ferry back to Stromness for a well-earned pint of local ale alongside some freshly caught oysters or dressed Orkney crab.

There are a couple of options for today’s walk, and you can eliminate the transfer from Rackwick to Moaness or remove both transfers if you would prefer a longer walk. The choice is yours, see the walks with distances below.

Rackwick - Old Man of Hoy - Rackwick: 9km, Ascent/Descent: +249m/-252m Rackwick - Old Man of Hoy - Moaness: 16.5km, Ascent/Descent: +349m/-376m Moaness - Old Man of Hoy - Moaness: 23.5km, Ascent/Descent: +630m/-630m

A morning transfer from Stromness takes you to Skara Brae; the best-preserved Neolithic site in Northern Europe. Hidden for generations beneath sand dunes the village was discovered in 1850—protected from the elements, the level of preservation was so great you can still see the stone furniture today. It is what you call a “Don’t Miss” attraction on the island, it is truly extraordinary (not included; pre-booking your admission is a must!). 

After exploring this ancient settlement walk south along the dramatic cliffs of Yesnaby. Take time to admire the incredible rock formations and look out for seals hauled out on the shore. Finally, return to Stromness for your final night here.  

It is possible to shorten your route by finishing at the spectacular cliffs of Yesnaby and getting transferred back to Stromness (not included in the cost, the taxi transfer is payable locally). See the walks with distances below.

Skara Brae to Stromness : 19km, Ascent/Descent: +168m/-170m Skara Brae to Yesnaby: 7km, Ascent/Descent: +67/-114m

Stromness Hotel

Established in 1901 this historic hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy the many walks in the area. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation in a relaxed setting. The bay windows of the Hamnavoe Bar look out over the picturesque harbour, why not sample an award-winning Orkney Ale? There's also a restaurant - the Scapa Flow - serving locally sourced Orcadian dishes.

A morning transfer brings you to the Ring of Brodgar, beautifully situated on a land bridge between the lochs of Stenness and Harray. Today's short walk allows plenty of time to amble around the Ring of Brodgar, a renowned stone circle, the 5000-year-old standing stones of Stenness, the restored Neolithic Barnhouse village, and Maeshowe Chambered Cairn. If you're a history enthusiast we highly recommend a guided tour of the cairn's interior - only accessible on a pre-booked guided visit, but well worth it to see the best example of Viking runic writings within. 

Meet your return transfer in the little town of Stenness from where you’ll head east to Kirkwall, the island’s capital, for an overnight stay. Why not fill the afternoon with a visit to Highland Park Distillery, or to the nearby but more remote Scapa Distillery? Take a tour and sample a dram or two before enjoying dinner in one of the town's pubs or restaurants. 

Ring of Brodgar to Stenness: 5km, Ascent/Descent: +21/-23m

The Storehouse, Kirkwall

The Storehouse Restaurant with Rooms is a B-listed building tastefully restored by its current owners David and Judith. Built in around 1880 as a herring and pork curing store, it is now home to one of Kirkwall’s most popular restaurants and hotels. The luxury hotel rooms have been individually designed by Judith and have many unique features with their own special Orkney story to tell. All en suite bathrooms have underfloor heating, spacious walk-in rainfall showers, fluffy bath towels and robes, and local toiletries.

Kirkwall Hotel in Kirkwall

One of Orkney's finest Victorian buildings, the Kirkwall Hotel is situated on the picturesque harbour front. Despite it's large size, the hotel has 36 rooms, you can expect a warm-Orcadian welcome at this family-run hotel. Enjoy a harbour-view restaurant offering an extensive menu of the best local produce on offer, relaxing lounge, function rooms, lounge bar and public bar.

The Lynnfield, Kirkwall

A warm welcome awaits at the Lynnfield in Kirkwall, a small 4-star hotel with a truly Orcadian feel. All bedrooms are tastefully decorated, include en suite facilities, and its peaceful location guarantees a relaxing stay.

An early start is the order of the day with a morning ferry (80 min) from Kirkwall to the Isle of Westray. On the crossing keep a lookout for porpoises and seals! Upon arrival, you will be met by your local expert guide for a minibus tour of the island. Experience the sights, sounds, and solitude of this 'Queen of the Orkney Isles', slow down, and take in the history and heritage of this tiny island— Noltland Castle and Noup Head, with its huge seabird colonies, are highlights. After the tour return to mainland Orkney by ferry for your final night in Kirkwall. 

Keep in mind that this excursion is dictated by the ferry timetable between Kirkwall and the Isle of Westray. Therefore, it is not possible to start this holiday on a Tuesday or Wednesday in 2023 as this will coincide with the day tour falling on a Saturday or Sunday respectively. Unfortunately, the tour isn't possible on these dates due to a limited ferry timetable. In addition to this, if you are thinking of starting your holiday on a Friday, your guided tour will fall on a Tuesday. The ferry leaves Kirkwall even earlier on this day than other weekdays (7 am) and returns to Kirkwall 3 hours earlier, meaning the guided day tour becomes a half-day tour. The tour can still go ahead, depending on your preference. Please speak to our Destination & Adventure Specialists if you have any questions about this. 

After breakfast the trip is complete though should you have the time it is recommended that you explore the delights of this delightful port with it’s rich Viking history.

This trip has a carbon score of 7kg per person per night, meaning it’s one of our greenest trips! For comparison, a carbon count of 7kg is equivalent to 1 single running shoe (not even a pair!). Here at Macs, we pride ourselves on being a responsible travel company and continue to adopt, develop and innovate ways to positively impact the environment. Find out more information on how we've carbon counted our trips .

Other Information

Orkney is the perfect destination for a Slower Adventure and this tour allows you to explore the Orcadian culture, eventful Viking heritage, remarkable standing stones, and natural beauty at a comfortable pace. To fully appreciate its Scottish yet Scandinavian feel, there should be no rush. We have chosen a selection of walks that we know you’re going to love with plenty of opportunities for side visits. Linger long enough for great wildlife encounters and to take in the view before tucking into a hearty homecooked meal at your comfortable accommodation.

Slower Adventures | Where walking and cycling meet easy-going exploring, our Slower Adventures are the perfect combination. Most days are filled with picturesque journeys with some free time to dive into the destination and experience the people, local food and culture as you go.

Multi Centre Walking | With a mix of loop and point-to-point walks stay 2 or 3 nights in one place which offers the chance to slow down and really explore a destination.

Solo Travellers

The minimum age for this tour is: 16 Years

This trip is graded easy to moderate. The trails include daily distances of around 5 to 9km (3 to 6 mi) and it is generally a low-level (albeit undulating) walk with elevation levels never exceeding 250m. The walks are gentle and manageable and can be completed at your own pace. If you would like to increase your distances, this is possible and transfers can be eliminated, please read “Choice of Walks” below.

The routes follow a combination of footpaths, coastal trails, and tracks through open fields, and occasionally you'll walk along quiet country roads in rural Orkney. Some walks take in clifftop paths and therefore this trip isn't suitable for those with severe vertigo. You could tailor the trip to avoid these sections or walk off the path further from the clifftop if your vertigo is less severe, speak to one of our specialists if you have any questions.

If you are thinking of travelling solo, please consider that mobile phone coverage may be patchy along remote sections of the trail.

This route is suitable for most regular walkers of average fitness. You should train by walking some daily walks of similar daily distances to your planned itinerary.

You will be spending three nights in Stromness and two nights in Kirkwall. We have carefully selected 3-4* boutique hotels and comfortable B&B's that we know you're going to love. You can expect a warm welcome from friendly hosts, a good night's rest, traditional hospitality, and delicious breakfasts.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers and if you require single rooms within your party we will try our best to accommodate your request (subject to availability).

Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation may be able to provide a packed lunch on request, otherwise, there are some small supermarkets/delis where you can buy lunch and snacks for your walks. Dinner is not included so you are free to choose from the available options each night. Staying in central locations means that you are never far from local restaurants and bars. One of the highlights of this trip is the fantastic food and drink on offer. Some of our favourites include dressed Orkney crab, Cullen Skink (Scottish fish soup), smoked mackerel, Bere Bannocks (a thick scone that is unique to Orkney), and meats from North Ronaldsay (the most northerly of the isles, where a flock of rare sheep thrives on a diet of seaweed).

Extra Nights

Many of our guests choose to add extra nights and these can be added at the time of booking.

The walks are partially waymarked and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, Points of Interest, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost.

You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.

  • 5 Nights in hand-picked accommodation
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • Guided tour by minibus of the Isle of Westray
  • Luggage transfer between Stromness and Kirkwall
  • Taxi transfers on Days 2, 3 and 4
  • Trip Information Pack
  • Access to route notes, maps, and GPS tracks via the Macs Adventure navigation app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support
  • Travel to / from Orkney
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Extra transfers to shorten the route (e.g. Yesnaby to Stromness)
  • Return ferries to the Isle of Hoy and the Isle of Westray
  • Admission to Skara Brae and Maeshowe
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Additional nights along the route

This walking holiday is best enjoyed between early April and mid-October. Orkney has a cool temperate climate and being an island in the far north you can expect to experience changeable weather from sunshine to windy days and rain.

In our opinion, one of the most beautiful times to visit is in spring when colourful wildflowers bloom forming a beautiful contrast with the landscape. Travel between April and early August to be in the best chance of seeing puffins on the Isle of Westray. July and August are the busiest months and accommodations tend to fill up fast. At this time of year, Orkney enjoys the longest hours of daylight in Scotland! For a quieter experience, the ideal months are May/June and September. We recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially when travelling in a group.

Isle of Westray guided day tour: keep in mind that this excursion is dictated by the ferry timetable between Kirkwall and the Isle of Westray. Therefore, it is not possible to start this holiday on a Tuesday or Wednesday in 2023 as this will coincide with the day tour falling on a Saturday or Sunday respectively. Unfortunately, the tour isn't possible on these dates due to a limited ferry timetable. In addition to this, if you are thinking of starting your holiday on a Friday, your guided tour will fall on a Tuesday. The ferry leaves Kirkwall even earlier on this day than other weekdays (7 am) and returns to Kirkwall 3 hours earlier, meaning the guided day tour becomes a half-day tour. The tour can still go ahead, depending on your preference. Please speak to our Destination & Adventure Specialists if you have any questions about this. 

Orkney is remote yet very accessible and can be reached by plane to Kirkwall, or by ferry to Stromness. There are no direct international flights to Kirkwall Airport so we recommend flying from Glasgow (duration: 1h15m), Edinburgh (duration: 1h15m), Aberdeen (duration: 50m), or Inverness (duration: 45m). The flights to Orkney are typically in small planes with few passengers with Loganair, a Scottish regional airline.

If you would like to travel from Kirkwall Airport to Stromness by public transport, you can use the island bus service. The local bus takes you from the airport into Kirkwall (duration: 10 min), then Stromness (duration: 30 min). If you would prefer getting a taxi transfer from Kirkwall Airport to your accommodation in Stromness we can organize this for you. Please speak to one of our specialists if this is of interest.

If you are planning on traveling to Orkney by ferry to Stromness, NorthLink Ferries operates services between Aberdeen and Kirkwall (duration: 6h) and between Scrabster and Stromness (duration: 1h30m).

Your baggage will be transferred from your accommodation in Stromness to Kirkwall on Day 4 so it can be moved onto your next overnight accommodation. You won't need to carry more than a day bag on your walks. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20 kg per person.

At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase.  Your booking includes a transfer of 1 bag per person. It is important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.

Local Ferries

Local ferries are not included in the cost of this tour. As you are traveling as a foot passenger without a car, it is not necessary to book this in advance. You can pay on board during the crossing, or if you wish to do so you can pre-book and pay for your tickets in advance. More information on ferries is provided in your Trip Information Pack.

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is UNESCO-listed and consists of 4 outstanding archaeological sites, all of which can be visited as part of this tour: Skara Brae, Maeshowe, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar. Visits are not included in the cost of this tour. Please note that all visits to Skara Brae as well as a visit to Maeshowe Chambered Cairn must be booked in advance to guarantee entry. This is a quick and easy process, more information is provided in your Trip Information Pack.

Guided tour of the Isle of Westray

This is a full-day guided group tour of the island’s wildlife and history of the Isle of Westray and it is included in your tour. Lunch and refreshments are also included starting with coffee and tea. Although this is a guided minibus tour, you will get out and about exploring the local attractions and landmarks on foot. You will be collected upon arrival and at the end of the day, you will be transferred back to the ferry terminal for the journey back to Kirkwall. Further details will be provided upon booking.

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a packing list of what to bring. This includes walking gear, hiking boots, rain gear, day pack, and other specifics.

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

The Orkney Walking and Wildlife itinerary is classed as moderate walking so if you are a regular walker or lead and active lifestyle youll enjoy the walk. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Orkney Walking and Wildlife trip is very popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

Do not forget binoculars for wildlife spotting! Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between April and October offers a wonderful experience. Be aware that certain distilleries may be closed at weekends especially early or late in the season. We suggest that for any specific distillery visits you research beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. Just give us a call at Macs HQ and we can help you.

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    Walking Scotland's Orkney Islands. United Kingdom | Walking and Trekking | Trip code ORK. 149Kg of CO₂e. Average carbon footprint per person. Days 7. Deposit From US$289. Price from US$2890. View dates & book. Discover the beautiful landscapes, world-famous archaeological sites and birdlife of the Orkney Isles.

  15. Walking on Orkney : Discover Orkney's History, Culture & Wildlife

    Immerse yourself in history, Orcadian culture and wildlife on this twin-centre walking holiday on the far flung islands of Orkney. From Stromness, on the Orcadian mainland, hop across to the neighbouring Isle of Hoy. Walk along coastal paths, where the cliffs below throng with seabirds, to be rewarded with unrivaled views of the 140m tall Old ...

  16. Walking Scotland's Orkney Islands by Explore! with 33 Tour Reviews

    Start and end in Inverness! With the Hiking & Trekking tour Walking Scotland's Orkney Islands, you have a 7 days tour package taking you through Inverness, Scotland and 4 other destinations in Scotland. Walking Scotland's Orkney Islands includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

  17. Orkney Walking Holiday

    Our Orkney Islands tour is one of our most relaxed walking holidays. Distances covered are generally modest (average 5 - 6 miles a day) and the terrain is easier than many other Scottish islands. We will be taking time to visit some of the finest archaeological sites, as well as keeping a good lookout for the spectacular wildlife that the ...

  18. THE 10 BEST Orkney Islands Tours & Excursions (from £99)

    11. 3-Day Orkney Explorer Small-Group Tour from Inverness. The archipelago of Orkney hides many treasures: and on our new three-day tour, your experienced driver-guide will ensure…. 12. Kirkwall Private Walking Tour. For this tour you need to take the shuttle bus from the pier to the city centre.

  19. 10 Best Orkney Islands Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    Browse the best tours in Orkney Islands with 939 reviews visiting places like Orkney Islands and Edinburgh. All Major Brands. Biggest selection. Best Prices. APRIL SALE Extended: Book now for up to 60% off! Ends on 0d 20h 9m 42s. 0. Destinations. Destinations. Adventure Styles.

  20. Scotland's Orkney Islands

    The Orkney Islands are teeming with historic sites to explore. The Neolithic township of Skara Brae, the renowned Ring of Brodgar and 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral - it's like you've been transported back in time! Join your group leader on a walking tour of Kirkwall - Orkney's main centre.

  21. Walking on Orkney : Discover Orkney's History, Culture & Wildlife

    Immerse yourself in history, Orcadian culture and wildlife on this twin-centre walking holiday on the far flung islands of Orkney. From Stromness, on the Orcadian mainland, hop across to the neighbouring Isle of Hoy. Walk along coastal paths, where the cliffs below throng with seabirds, to be rewarded with unrivaled views of the 140m tall Old ...

  22. Walking Holidays in Scotland

    Scottish Island Walking Holidays. We run a fabulous range of guided walking & hiking tours on many Scottish islands, including holidays to Skye, Orkney, Shetland, Lewis & Harris and the Uists & Barra. All our holidays are relaxed, fun & easy going - our emphasis is on enjoying the stunning landscapes, culture & wildlife of the islands.