Orkney & Shetland

Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney
Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney
Jarsholf
Jarsholf
Scalloway
Scalloway
Sumburgh Head
Sumburgh Head
Italian Chapel
Italian Chapel
Kirkwall Harbour
Kirkwall Harbour
St Magnus Cathedral
St Magnus Cathedral
Earls Palace, Kirkwall
Earls Palace, Kirkwall
Skara Brae
Skara Brae
Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar
Gurness Broch
Gurness Broch
Broch of Mousa
Broch of Mousa
Shetland ponies
Shetland ponies

From standing stones to chambered cairns

The islands beyond the northernmost tip of Scotland glory in some of the most beautiful and rugged landscapes in the world. For more than five thousand years they have been home to farmers and fishermen, who left monuments so impressive that this has been called an archaeologists’ paradise. During the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, the people of Orkney and Shetland were among the first in Britain to begin building Megalithic chamber tombs and later henge monuments. The islands are also blessed with an extraordinary natural beauty. Wildflowers bloom throughout the summer, covering the green cliffs with colour and the exquisite scent of heather.

  • Marvel at the Neolithic dwellings at Skara Brae, discovered in 1850 after a storm uncovered the site
  • Visit Maeshowe, one of Europe’s fi nest Neolithic chambered cairns, where Norse crusaders left runic graffiti on the interior walls
  • Admire the megalithic Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, possibly linked in the past
  • Visit Jarlshof with its remarkably well-preserved wheelhouses

Themes

  • Vikings
  • Prehistory
  • Historic Churches
  • Cultural Excursion

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We meet in our hotel on Shetland.

Hotel: The Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We travel to Old Scatness, an Iron Age broch and extensive settlement site. Next, we visit Jarlshof to view the Bronze Age houses, Iron Age fortifications, Pictish symbols, and the remains of a Viking longhouse. In the afternoon, we take a ferry to Mousa Broch to see the unique Iron Age tower structure.

Hotel: The Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Today we see Viking houses at Underhoull, and the replica Viking house and ship at Brookpoint. At Skaw, we admire the view and visit Muness Castle.

Hotel: The Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Drive out to Stanydale Temple, a megalithic structure of uncertain purpose. Next, visit the Scord of Brouster and in Lerwick, we visit the Shetland Museum. We end our day at the Broch of Clickhimin

Hotel: The Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We explore St Ninian’s Isle where we see the Church - a striking white shell sand spit links the islands. Excavation revealed a fabulous hoard of Pictish silver. Continue to South Voe Croft Museum, an engaging evocation of rural life in Shetland. The afternoon will be spent visiting Scalloway Museum.

Hotel: Overnight on ferry
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We drive to Maeshowe, a zenith in European prehistoric architecture. This chambered tomb has been a distinctive presence in the landscape for millennia. We continue to the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar.

Hotel: Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We travel to the Island of Rousay to explore Midhowe chambered tomb, sealed 4,500 years ago containing the remains of 25 people. On to the much later Iron Age defensive structure of Midhowe Broch which stands on the rocky foreshore of Rousay between two inlets and consists of a circular tower with a very thick exterior wall. We end our day at the double chambered tomb of Taversoe Tuick.

Hotel: Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Today we explore Orkney’s capital, Kirkwall. Highlights include St Magnus Cathedral, Earl’s Palace and Bishop’s Palace. In the afternoon, we pay a visit to Tankerness Museum.

Hotel: Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

We begin the day at the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. We also visit Skaill House, an impressive mansion from the 17th century. Later, we visit the Brough of Birsay to explore the Norse settlement remains.

Hotel: Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
Meals: All meals included

Day 10

Visit the Tomb of the Eagles, a stalled cairn built before 3,000 BC. We continue to the Burnt Mound at Liddle and our day ends at the striking Italian Chapel.

Hotel: Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
Meals: All meals included

Day 11

Our tour ends today in Orkney and, from here, we make our way back home.

Meals: Breakfast included

Please note that the order of the itinerary is subject to ferry availability and therefore likely to change.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - All local transport
  4. Meals - Water with all meals, wine & tea or coffee with dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

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2020 Tour Details

Mon 13th Jul - Thu 23rd Jul

Available

£2,995

without flights

sgl supp: £195

OAS20A

Led By: Dr Val Turner

Guide Lecturer

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