An opportunity to visit this northern Scottish island with its Nordic links. Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Italian Chapel and many more historic sights await you on this friendly and tranquil island.
Duration: 3/4 days (starting in Kirkwall).
Day 1: Arrive at Kirkwall Airport - overnight Kirkwall
Day 2: Tour Orkney - overnight Kirkwall
Day 3: Tour Orkney - overnight Kirkwall (alt. depart Kirkwall Airport)
Day 4: Depart Kirkwall Airport
*Fly from Glasgow to Kirkwall on the island of Orkney where you will be met and taken to The Lynnfield Hotel which is centrally situated with spectacular views looking out over the town to the north isles.
The remainder of your day can be spent exploring Kirkwall. Take a wander and see St Magnus Cathedral. The cathedral has been justifiably described as “one of the finest and best preserved medieval cathedrals in Scotland” and it is not difficult to see why. Even now, over 860 years after the initial building work began, St Magnus Cathedral still dominates the Kirkwall skyline.
Other places worth visiting are the Bishop & Earl’s Palaces and The Orkney Museum on Broad Street, the Sheila Fleet Gallery, the Highland Park Distillery and The Orkney Wireless Museum. There is plenty within this small island town of architectural beauty and historical interest.
Explore the island with your personal driver/guide travelling south from Kirkwall to the Italian Chapel, a beautiful Roman Catholic chapel in Lamb Holm which was constructed by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War. In the far south of the island lies ‘The Tomb of the Eagles’ or the Isbister Chambered Cairn. Perched above the dramatic South Ronaldsay cliffs is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites.
On the north west coast is Skara Brae, the world famous Neolithic village – 2,500 BC – on the shores of the Atlantic which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years and was only rediscovered 100 years ago. This amazing find is situated in the grounds of Skaill House, the finest mansion in Orkney, steeped in 5000 years of history.
As you return to Kirkwall make a stop at the great Henge Monuments at the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar – these two magnificent 5000 year old stone circles surrounded by a bank and a ditch are part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.
Another day to marvel at this beautiful and tranquil island. First visit today is to Rennibister Earth House, dated from around 400 BC, is around 7m long and terminates in a chamber, the roof of which is supported on free-standing pillars built of single upright stones. Just along the road is Maeshowe Tomb, one of the finest examples of a Neolithic chambered tomb in Britain, part of the World Heritage Site. Lastly on this route is Unstan Cairn, a fine example of a stalled cairn dating from around 5,000 years ago. Now travel to the captivating old town of Stromness on the shores of Hamnavoe. Absorb the friendly and tranquil atmosphere in this 18th century settlement, which boasts a unique choice of shops and cafes, as well as Stromness Museum and the well renowned Pier Art Gallery and Museum. Return to Kirkwall along the shores of Scapa Flow, the best natural harbour in Britain and the main base of the British Royal Navy in both World Wars.
You have the option of departing this evening or staying one more night and departing the following morning from Kirkwall Airport to make the return flight to Glasgow.
Please enquire as these 3 days can be part of a longer tour starting and finishing in Edinburgh or Glasgow. If you do not find the accommodations mentioned suitable then please do enquire about alternative choices.
The Tour price does not include your flights, accommodation or entrance fees. This itinerary is only a guide as other historical sites can be incorporated into a tailored sightseeing tour of your own making. You can also lengthen or shorten the duration of your tour.