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Broch of Gurness with Rousay in the background
Gurness, Orkney

Orkney Archaeology Tours - Orkney Adventure Holidays

Price on Request

Departure days

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April — September

7-night all-inclusive holidays led by archaeologists. Friendly, fun & informative tours with a maximum of 8 participants. No hidden extras, high quality accommodation, experience the best of Orkney with a small group of like-minded travellers.

We specialize in exclusive tours of Orkney, concentrating on the wonderful archaeology but also showing you as much as possible of our beautiful islands. We offer all-inclusive small group holidays and private tours with specialist archaeologist guides, staying at comfortable hotels serving good local food. There are no hidden extras on our tours – simply relax and unwind and let us take care of everything.

The maximum group size for our holidays is just eight people with all tours conducted in our own comfortable executive touring vehicle. With such a small group we can visit sites off the beaten track and you benefit from the personal touch. This makes our all-inclusive small group holidays the ideal way to see the best of Orkney with a small party of like-minded travellers. We have a choice of twenty arrival dates for our group holidays from late April/May until September so we’re sure to have something for you. 

From mid-September until late April we offer private all-inclusive tours. Our 4-night, 3-day 'Orkney Insights' archaeology tour shows you the best of the Orkney Mainland, and the linked South Isles including the Churchill Barriers. We also offer a longer 6-night, 5-day 'Orkney Experience'  archaeology tour which includes full day excursions to the neighbouring islands of Rousay and Hoy. We can customise a private tour to your exact requirements. If you have limited time in Orkney or would like to arrange your own accommodation we can also offer private day tours.

‘Orkney Adventure’ holiday itinerary

Saturday Day 1

Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner.

Sunday Day 2

Travel round Scapa Flow to the 12th century Earl’s Bu and Round Kirk, then onwards to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, the laird’s house at Skaill, Kirbister Farm Museum and the Broch of Gurness.

Monday Day 3

We take a short ferry ride across to the island of Hoy to visit the Hackness Martello Tower and Napoleonic battery, Lyness Naval Museum (or Rackwick Bay, should the museum still be closed for renovation) and the Dwarfie Stane.

Tuesday Day 4

The Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces in Kirkwall, St. Magnus’ Cathedral, Rennibister Earth-house, Cuween Cairn, the Churchill Barriers, and the ‘miracle of camp 60’ the Italian Chapel.

Wednesday Day 5

The great chambered tomb of Maeshowe, followed a visit to Stromness and a free afternoon in Kirkwall.

Thursday Day 6

A ferry ride to the island of Rousay, for a day of spectacular tombs: Taversöe Tuick, Blackhammer and Midhowe Cairns and Midhowe Broch, and also if we’re lucky the chance to spot some seals.

Friday Day 7

The henge monuments of the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness, the Pictish and Norse settlement on the tidal island of the Brough of Birsay, the Earl’s Palace Birsay, the last working water mill in Orkney at the Barony Mills.

Saturday Day 8

Depart

Holiday Accommodation

We use the Ayre Hotel in Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital, as the base for all our group holidays and private tours. This harbour front hotel has been recently renovated and all rooms are en-suite with a choice of double, twin or large single, with a lift to all floors. You can relax in the evening over a hearty meal prepared using local Orkney produce. On our holidays you are not restricted to the usual basic ‘tour group menu’. You instead have a completely free choice from the hotel’s extensive à la carte menu, with fresh local produce such as hand-dived scallops, crab and salmon or of course a decent steak from one of our wonderful grass-fed beef cattle, followed perhaps by Orkney fudge cheesecake and Orkney ice cream. Please note we cannot be held responsible for any weight you may gain during your holiday with us!

About Us

Tour leader Dr Caz Mamwell BSc MA PhD FSA Scot is a professional archaeologist who has worked in archaeology since graduating from the University of Bradford in 1985. She gained her MA (with distinction) in Archaeological Practice from University of the Highlands and Islands. Her PhD research on the Orcadian Bronze Age was undertaken through the University of Edinburgh, resulting in a thesis entitled 'It rained a lot and nothing much happened: Settlement and Society in Bronze Age Orkney'.  

Tour leader Dr Dave Lawrence BSc MSc PhD FSA Scot is a professional archaeologist who has worked in archaeology since graduating from the University of Bradford in 1985, where he returned to complete an MSc (with distinction) in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology (he also has an MSc in Marine Resource Management from Heriot Watt University). His PhD, also with the University of Bradford, was entitled 'Orkney’s First Farmers: Reconstructing biographies from osteological analysis to gain insights into life and society in a Neolithic community on the edge of Atlantic Europe'. Dave is also the osteoarchaeologist for ORCA – the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology.

Please visit our website for brochures and more information

Contact details

Orkney Archaeology Tours
Bayview
Birsay
Orkney
Scotland
KW17 2LR
Starting
Kirkwall Orkney Stromness
Length
8
Days
Transport
Driver guide
Type
Small Group (1-16)
Languages
English
Themes
Archaeology History Island Hopping

Attractions

Tour company information

Orkney Archaeology Tours

We are the only tour company in Orkney to be run by archaeologists, who live and work here all year round and have in depth understanding of Orkney’s archaeology, cultural traditions and history. We specialize in exclusive tours of Orkney, concentrating on the wonderful archaeology but also showing you as much as possible of our beautiful islands. We offer all-inclusive small group holidays and private tours, staying at comfortable hotels serving good local food. There are no hidden extras on our tours – simply relax and unwind and let us take care of everything.

Opening times

All year

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