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Northern Highlights Tour

Northern Highlights Tour

Introduction

Time: All Year

Accommodation: Island Hotels

Start Date: 3 Nights / 4 Days

Group Size: Singles, Couples, Families and Small Groups

At the far north of Scotland are two sets of islands, the Orkneys and Shetlands. This four day tour explores these two unique islands both with their own cultures and long histories. You visit the key attractions and the many important prehistoric attractions which include stone circles and a neolithic village.

Profile

Shetland and Orkney are the most northerly islands in Great Britain. The islands also have a history associated with the Vikings and Viking ceremonies are still conducted here. You see the fishing villages and museums on Shetland together with the Norse settlement of Jarlshof before,  travelling to Orkney to see St. Magnus Cathedral and Highland Park - the most northern whisky distillery in Scotland and the prehistoric sites such as The Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae.

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Why not create your own tour? As with all our tours the attractions you see will take account of your interests and can be adapted to what you want to see. So, if you want to see places not on the list below, just let us know. Complete our enquiry form to find out more »


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Itinerary

Day 1: Shetlands - Lerwick - Museums

Day 1: Shetlands - Lerwick - Museums

The SHETLANDS are an archipelago of over 100 islands and are dominated by the sea. No part is more than 3 miles from the coast. The many cliffs, rocks and sea inlets provide a habitat for many rare species. With a population of 7,500 people, LERWICK is the capital of the islands and was founded in the C17th to service the Dutch fishing industry. A short tour will introduce you to town’s history. The Shetland MUSEUM covers 5000 years of island life and includes the story of Norse heritage which is still celebrated in the Viking festival of UP HELLY AA. A museum dedicated to the festival is a worthwhile visit.

Day 2: Bressay - St Ninian - Jarlshof

Day 2: Bressay - St Ninian - Jarlshof

A seven minute ferry ride for Lerwick takes us to the island of BRESSAY – a quiet peaceful world where seals bask beneath the sandstone cliffs. Back on the mainland, the Iron Age tower of Mousa Broch is one of Scotland’s finest at 43 feet high. The tiny isle of ST. NINIAN with its beautiful church overlooking the sea. On the way south, JARLSHOF is a site of great historical importance. The site origins are about 3,000 years old, but it also comprises an entire Viking settlement. The ferry takes us to south to the next island group, the Orkneys.

Day 3: Cathedral - Palace - Highland Park

Day 3: Cathedral - Palace - Highland Park

Orkney’s capital is KIRKWALL. This is a busy place with many shops, crafts and pubs. The town’s cathedral, ST MAGNUS has some of the finest Norman design in Scotland and it is dedicated to Orkney’s patron saint. Across the road from the cathedral is the Bishop and Earl’s PALACE. Dating back to the C12th, most of the current building was built by Patrick Stewart, the Earl of Orkney in the C16th. You will have time to explore the lovely town streets before our final stop at the HIGHLAND PARK Distillery. This is the areas only distillery and we can try the distinctly heathery flavour captured from the island’s peat.

Day 4: Maes Howe - Ring of Brodgar - Skara Brae

Day 4: Maes Howe - Ring of Brodgar - Skara Brae

Orkney has some remarkable Neolithic treasures and some are World Heritage Sites. The chambered tomb of MAES HOWE, is a seemingly ordinary mound on the outside but inside, a passage leads to a large burial chamber containing a number of cells. The RING OF BRODGAR is a huge stone circle over 300 feet in diameter and originally built of over 60 stones. The most famous site is SKARA BRAE. This is a remarkable Stone Age village consisting of ten one-roomed houses containing an array of stone furniture, hearths and drains. On the ferry back to the mainland we will will pass the iconic OLD MAN OF HOY.


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