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Shetland, Scotland © The Hebridean Explorer

6 Day Orkney, Shetland and Highlands Tour

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Departure days

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May — September

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A stunning six day Northern Isles adventure from Edinburgh through the Highlands and Orkney to Shetland.

Day 1 - Departing from Edinburgh we travel north over the Firth of Forth towards the Central Highlands. We explore the beautiful village of Dunkeld and its historic ruined cathedral before our drive northwards takes us to the Cairngorms National Park. Arriving near Inverness by the mid-afternoon, we can either visit Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns or Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness before our overnight stop.

Day 2 - Departing Inverness with a morning drive to the far North of Scotland and our ferry port of Scrabster, near Thurso. The drive north covers wonderful coastal scenery and normally takes around 3-4 hours including photo stops and a brief visit to the historic town of Dornoch. Our 1½ hour ferry journey includes a great view of the Old Man of Hoy before our arrival in Orkney. The late afternoon includes a visit Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village settlement before we end the day in Kirkwall for our overnight stop.

Day 3 - A full day on the Orkney mainland that includes a visit to Maeshowe, the standing stones of Stenness, the stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar and the 2000 year old Broch of Gurness. After visiting the Italian Chapel, the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow, the late afternoon is spent in Kirkwall enjoying the stunning 12th century St Magnus Cathedral along with the ruins of the Earl’s palace. After an evening meal in Kirkwall we catch the late ferry (11pm) from Kirkwall for an overnight sailing to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.

Day 4 - After a leisurely breakfast on the ferry we depart Lerwick to spend the day exploring the south mainland of Shetland. Sumburgh Head is our first stop - a stunning viewpoint and a haven for seabirds. Next is Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlement which spans over four thousand years. The afternoon takes us on a beautiful coastal drive to the breath-taking St Ninian's Isle where you can hike across the sands to the island. Returning north we end the day at the two thousand year old Clickimin Broch before our overnight stay in Lerwick.

Day 5 - Departing from Lerwick we head towards the north Shetland mainland. Arriving at Eshaness we take time to savour the dramatic cliffs and sea stacks that the fantastic coastal landscape of Shetland presents to us from this headland. The afternoon takes us to the ruins of Scalloway Castle before we return to Lerwick. Here we explore the Shetland Museum and Fort Charlotte before ending our time in Shetland with a meander through Lerwick town and harbour. In the late afternoon we board the ferry from Lerwick for an overnight sailingto Aberdeen on the Scottish mainland.

Day 6 - Arriving into Aberdeen harbour in the early morning, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the ferry before heading south to explore the ancient ruins of Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. The early afternoon takes us south to the Kingdom of Fife where we explore the historic town of St Andrews before our arrival into Edinburgh in the late afternoon and the end of our Northern Isles adventure!

Contact details

The Hebridean Explorer
Inverness
Inverness-shire
Scotland
IV1 1HG
Starting
Edinburgh
Length
6
Days
Transport
Driver guide
Type
Bespoke Private
Languages
English
Themes
Archaeology Castles History Island Hopping Landscapes Wildlife

Attractions

Tour company information

The Hebridean Explorer

The Hebridean Explorer (John Alasdair Macdonald) is an independent tour guide specialising in private guided tours for small groups (up to 3) from Inverness and Edinburgh covering the Scottish Highlands and Islands including the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland along with Scotch whisky, Highland clans and history tours.

Opening times

January to December, Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 7.30pm

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