Tours to Orkney and Shetland




9 days Orkney, Shetland & North Scotland Monday 7 June
8 days Orkney, Shetland & North Scotland Tuesday 5 August


Orkney and Shetland were both peopled in the Stone Age and afterwards colonised by the Picts. After two centuries of Norse raiding and settlement, they were annexed to Norway in 875 and, after growing Scottish influence, in 1468 they were given in lieu of dowry to James III of Scotland, who married the daughter of Christian I of Norway. Since these islands were part of the Kingdom of Norway only 500 years ago, the Norse heritage lives on in culture, dialect, place names and music.

Orkney is the richest archeological treasure trove in Britain, a land of well-cultivated, gently rolling hills, comprising seventy-odd fertile islands famed for their cattle.

Esha Ness

Shetland, the group of of over 100 isles and skerries enjoy, like Orkney, a remarkably equable climate thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream Drift. Much of the scenery is upland peat bog and grassland with innumerable small lochs and some low hills. The coastline, never more than three miles away, offers wide variety including: winding inlets (voes); some of the most awesome cliffs in Britain, frequently weathered to form reefs, stacks and skerries; beautiful white sandy beaches; fjord-like indentations.

The islands are effectively a vast nature reserve and the ornithologist will be overwhelmed by the abundance of bird life. The islands lie on the great migrations routes and over 300 species have been recorded. Shaggy Shetland ponies roam freely over the hills. There are some important archeological sites, notably Jarlshof, dating from the Bronze Age, which displays the remains of five distinct periods of domestic occupation over a period of 3000 years. The soft wool of Shetland sheep is world famous.

Shetland ponies