Orkney and Northern Scotland
Meet at suggested pick up point (e.g. Edinburgh airport, Stirling Railway station)
Travel Northwards through the Cairngorm Mountains and amazing scenery we will stop at Pitlochry and Aviemore before reaching the Clava Cairns a group of very well preserved Bronze Age burial cairns very near to the battlefield site of Culloden Moor (optional visit)
We will be based in Inverness the Capital of the Highlands for the night.
Drive Northwards over the Moray Firth where if we are lucky we may see the famous school of dolphins. We travel through Black Isle where for those interested we can stop to view a Whisky distillery. We hug the coast as we travel to one of the most remote and rugged parts of Scotland we will stop at the Grey Cairns of Camster and the Hill O Many Stanes before reaching the Northernmost tip of Britain at John O Groats exploring the cliffs along the north coast and visiting the Castle of Mey (optional) before settling into our accommodation in the town of Wick.
We catch our ferry to the Orkney Islands leaving from Gills bay and arriving at St Margarets Hope on the Island of South Ronaldsway.
Here we have an ideal opportunity to visit the Tomb of the Eagles. The artefacts from the tomb are on display at in a small museum then a walk along the cliff top takes us to the amazing location. To enter the tomb you can crawl or make use of the wonderful skateboard contraption provided by the owners it is a very worthwhile adventure.
We drive over causeways to reach mainland Orkney where we get to Kirkwall we will stay in either Kirkwall the Island capital or Stromness a beautiful stone built cobble streeted town on the West of mainland.
Today we visit Maeshowe perfect Neolithic burial chamber with Viking graffiti carved inside. Then onward to Unstan burial chamber then the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar. Recent archaeological excavation has shown that this important group of monuments is part of an even larger and very important ceremonial centre if we are lucky we may be able to take a tour of the excavations and talk to the archaeologists.
We will be able to visit other tombs including Finstown and Blackhammer.
If we are staying in Kirkwall then the late afternoon will provide us with the opportunity to walk through Stromness
Today we visit Skarra Brae the world famous Neolithic village then travel to The Viking settlement at Birsay as well as the Broch of Gurness.
The afternoon sees us in Kirkwall where we can visit the museum and St Magnus Cathedral
We travel back to mainland Scotland where we can take a route back down to Inverness and along the shores of Loch Ness through the Great Glen we can have an extra stop over night in Oban and so see the gateway to the Western Isles and travel on by train from there or we can travel back to the original pick up point to bid farewell