Orkney Isles Walk

Coast Scotland: (ZZ-HK-WS02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_hiking_scotland_orkney_island.aspx

Introduction
Coast Scotland
Join us on an unforgettable journey to the Orkney Isles, an archipelago of some 70 small islands north of the Scottish mainland. This mysterious place of long days and colorful night skies is home to a wealth of sea life and sea birds, not forgetting the remarkable flora of the islands.
Orkney has a fascinating history and culture that has evolved over thousands of years, shaped by invasions and occupations, isolation and extremity. In the company of your highly knowledgeable guide you will walk in the wildest places of Orkney, exploring not only the physical evidence that history has left behind but experiencing the culture of Orkney that has been passed down through generations.

Highlights
• Discover wild walks, ancient landscapes and spectacularly weathered sea cliffs on the walking holiday of a lifetime
• Experience the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Orkneys in the company of our knowledgeable guides
• Enjoy Orcadian hospitality and fresh local produce at our stylish accommodation in a historic guest house

Accomodation

Accommodation
During this trip, all nights are spent at the Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall. This is a recently upgraded 4-star small hotel. The hotel overlooks Scapa Flow with its beautiful sandy beach. It has just 10 rooms, each of which is individually furbished with antiques and local artwork. The rooms are all en-suite and provide spacious, comfortable accommodation. The hotel’s restaurant is popular with locals and has a strong focus on local Orkney produce.
Wi-Fi is available at the property free of charge. It is also possible to do your laundry for an extra fee.

Single & Triple occupancy
Triple occupancy is not possible in this accommodation.
A maximum of 2 single rooms are available on this trip, the single supplement is subject to availability.
Due to the nature of this accommodation, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.



Meals
All meals are included.

Lunches are usually eaten on the trail and dinners and breakfast are provided at the accommodations.
The hotel's restaurant is popular with locals and has a strong focus on local Orkney produce.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

Special diets and dietary restrictions
Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for - simply let us know at the time of booking.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: Travel to Orkney
We meet in Inverness and transfer north. Our journey to the Orkney Islands follows the north-east coast of the Highlands and onwards over the Pentland Firth. We reach Orkney in the late afternoon, where we’ll visit the Italian Chapel, two Nissan huts converted into a place of worship by prisoners of war. We’ll then continue on to our hotel which is situated nearby to the major archaeological sites which add to the intrigue to these islands. This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner and briefing from your guide for what lies ahead.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 2: Rousay and the Mid Howe Broch
We drive to the Eynhallow Sound and take a local ferry to the island of Rousay. We enjoy two short walks here – the Westness Walk to the Mid Howe broch and a superb moorland walk around Faraclett Head.
Distance: approx.8km / approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 3: The Gloup and Mull Head
Today our walk starts at The Gloup, a partially collapsed sea cave from where we head north along the coast to Mull Head. Tonight we enjoy dinner back at our hotel.
Distance: approx.9km / approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 4: The Old Man of Hoy
A short drive along the edge of Scapa Flow takes us to Stromness where we catch the ferry to the island of Hoy. Here we walk to the famous Old Man of Hoy and some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs before returning to Rackwick Bay. We enjoy dinner in a local pub or restaurant on the way back to the hotel.
Distance: approx.10km / approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 5: Brough Head to Marwick Head, Skara Brae
Today we visit the Stone Age village of Skara Brae, discovered in 1850 after a storm cleared away the sand dunes that were covering it. Afterwards, from Brough Head, a superb walk follows the coast south to Marwick Head - one of the largest seabird colonies in the Northern Isles.
Distance: approx.6km / approx. 2-3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 6: Stromness, Ring of Brodgar & the Sand of Warebeth
Today we visit the historic Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness and Maes Howe. Afterwards, we follow a coastal path from Stromness to The Ness before heading west for the Sand of Warebeth.
Distance: approx.8km / approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall


Day 7: Return to Inverness
After breakfast, we will return to the mainland and Inverness, via the rugged coastal scenery of the Northern tip of Scotland.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

PLEASE NOTE - The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the guide having regard to weather conditions and other factors.

This holiday is suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.


Rates and Dates for Orkney Isles Walk

Rates include:

Accommodation, Most meals, All transport throughout the trip (starting and finishing in Inverness), All private boat and ferry transfers & Knowledgeable walking guide / driver.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionGBP ~US$
    A
    20217 day trip (high season)£1900$2510
  • B
    20217 day trip (low season)£1850$2445
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.32

Rates Note:

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. Please note that on this trip there are no single rooms available.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. Please note that on this trip there are no single rooms available.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionGBP~US$
2021 Transfer from Inverness train station at 9:30 am on day one £ 0 $0
2021 Single supplement (if requested, pending availability) £ 500 $660

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 08/28 - 09/03 7d / 6n 7 day trip (high season) 2 /8 Expired
A 2021 09/11 - 09/17 7d / 6n 7 day trip (high season) 2 /8 Expired
A 2021 09/25 - 10/01 7d / 6n 7 day trip (high season) 2 /8 Expired
A 2021 10/09 - 10/15 7d / 6n 7 day trip (high season) 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Transport to and from the holiday start/end point, Some meals (dinners on Day 2, 4 and 5) & Incidental personal expenditure e.g. alcoholic drinks, laundry, etc.

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Orkney Isles Wilderness Walk (ZZ-HK-WS02):

With Scottish Government guidance changing on the 15th of July to allow tourism businesses to reopen, we opted for a gentle, considerate and respectful route to our own opening.
We're delighted to have reopened our doors to bookings and give you confidence that we're running both private tours and small group holidays across the UK, with all the responsible measures you'd expect to see in place.
We’re Good to Go is the industry standard that has been created across all 4 nations in the UK to show that we as a business have followed the government and industry guidelines, have an updated risk assessment in place and have the processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

This page outlines the main changes we are making. During your trip, your guide will ensure that everyone understands the procedures, which are generally simple-to-follow rules which you are most likely living by already.
Our updated operating procedures have been guided by advice from the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as guidance from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Wild Scotland (the trade association for activity and nature-based operators in Scotland). We’ve also been involved in action groups at national and local level, ensuring that a full range of measures have been considered and implemented.
Furthermore, we have reached out to our local contacts across Scotland to ensure that the local communities are happy for us to visit and explore their beautiful landscapes. They are ready to welcome you and so are we.

Traveller Responsibility:
1. We request that all travellers bring a minimum of 2 reusable masks so you can wash one each evening and leave the other to dry.
2. That clients declare to us if they have had Covid or Covid like symptoms.
3. That client’s self-health check and declare to the guide as soon as possible if they do feel any Covid symptoms. It would be beneficial if you would bring a thermometer to keep track of your temperature.
4. That you do not travel if you feel unwell or are symptomatic before the trip.
5. That you agree in good grace to follow all guidelines and procedures set out by our guide and any suppliers we use.

You will need to wear a mask while travelling in our vehicles and in other locations specified by Government regulations (e.g. – shops).
There may be occasions when you need to put a mask on briefly – for example, if your guide is assisting you with some equipment.
But you will not need a mask during the day’s activities so you can hike breathing in the fresh Highland air and enjoying unencumbered views.

As you can imagine, each accommodation, restaurants and cafes will have slightly different arrangements in place to ensure it is operating safely. Your guide will explain to you the arrangements at each accommodation before you arrive.
One change you will notice if you’ve travelled with us before is that we will not all eat together at one group table. Instead, groups will be split into smaller tables to ensure we allow for social distancing.
We will continue to provide snacks throughout the trip to keep you fuelled! However, these will be individually allocated rather than being from a shared basket.

Our client’s health and safety is of the utmost importance to us and with that in mind you will see below the steps that we are taking to protect you and mitigate the risk of contracting & spreading Coronavirus / COVID-19 while you are travelling on our tours.

  • Capacity in our vehicles has been limited to 5 travellers.
  • We request that you wear your face mask while in our vehicles at all times.
  • While vehicles are moving we’ll ensure that the windows are open to increase fresh airflow and circulation.
  • Each vehicle will be thoroughly sanitised at start and end of the trip.
  • Your vehicle will be provided with hand sanitiser and tissues.
  • We will dispose of any rubbish bag with tissues at the end of every day.
  • We use the sanitizing spray to wipe down van surfaces daily.

DOs:

  • Notify your guide if you are feeling unwell at the earliest opportunity.
  • Meet and greet your guide and other participants with the namaste gesture.
  • Avoid unnecessary personal contact (hugs, kisses, high-fives etc.) and passing around of objects.
  • Please make the effort not to touch your face and follow the personal hygiene recommendations.
  • Wash your hands properly and often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not well.
  • Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.

DON’Ts:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles.
  • Do not pass your phone or camera to others.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Inverness
Airport: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness
Transfer: From Glasgow or Endinburgh to Inverness by train (not included).

Climate:
                                                    Kirkwall area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

43

44

46

49

53

57

61

61

58

53

48

44

Average Low Temperature (°F)

35

34

35

37

40

44

48

48

45

41

38

35

Average High Temperature (°C)

6

6

8

9

12

14

16

16

14

12

9

7

Average Low Temperature (°C)

1

1

2

3

5

7

9

9

7

5

3

2

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

19

15

16

13

11

10

11

12

16

18

20

19

Source: NOAA


Seasons
When the sun shines in Scotland, it is the best place in the world to be! And although the Scottish climate is renowned for its variability, it is not nearly as rainy as you may think. Even if you get caught in the rain, you will see waterfalls and rivers come to life, and the mountains take on an atmospheric appearance which can be very dramatic.

Spring
During spring and early summer, meadows of wild flowers bring an abundance of colors to the landscape and it is a great time to experience Scotland’s rich wildlife and birdlife. May and June are the driest and sunniest months and a recommended time to visit Scotland. The northerly latitude also means that Scotland enjoys 4 hours more daylight than London, with the most northerly regions barely getting dark during the weeks around midsummer.

Summer
July & August are the warmest months. This is a popular time to visit Scotland but our trips are based in genuine wilderness areas far from the crowds. Scotland’s famous purple heather is at its best in late August.

Autumn
Late summer brings generally settled weather as we pass into September and October. Autumnal colors begin to emerge with birch and rowan trees throwing up particularly bright colors which complement the reddish hue of the hillsides, roamed by well-camouflaged red deer.

What To Bring:
The following lists are designed to help your preparation and packing for your trip. The list is not exhaustive and, given the range of personal references, does not include all clothing that you will be required for general use, evening wear etc.

Recommended Personal Equipment

Having suitable equipment and clothing will help make your trip even more enjoyable, especially if the weather is less than perfect at any time. 
We recommend the following clothing and personal items for our Wilderness Walking holidays:
- Fully waterproof jacket such as ME Kongur Jacket*
- Waterproof trousers such as ME GTX Pant
- Leg Gaiters such as ME Glacier Gaiter
- Waterproof hill-walking boots with good ankle support, such as Scarpa ZG 65 GTX
- Small "day" rucksack (25-35 litre) such as the ME Dru
- Rucksack liner/large plastic bag for keeping items dry
- Fleece jacket such as ME Velocity Jacket
- Lightweight Trousers such as ME Approach Zip-Off Pant
- Shorts (or bring ‘zip-off’ trousers)
- Base layers such as ME Momentum T-shirt
- Warm hat & Gloves
- Thick Socks such as those by Thorlo
- Water bottle and /or Thermos flask
- Sunscreen
- Sunglasses
- Sun hat/baseball cap
- Comfortable clothes for evening wear
- Personal washkit (towels are supplied)
- Any personal medicines

Optional extras:
- Camera (plus spare film / memory card and batteries)
- Binoculars
- Insect repellent
- Ordnance Survey maps 13, 14 & 23

Group Equipment 
We will provide all necessary group equipment including first aid kit and group shelter.

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
The following is a list of recommended items. Although most of these items are generally available along the route, it is always more convenient to have a ready supply. This is particularly relevant to any specialist medication.
- Antiseptic cream
- Plasters, bandages, adhesive tape, zinc oxide tape
- Scissors, tweezers and safety pins
- Anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. Ibuprofen
- Analgesics e.g. Aspirin
- Anti-diaorrheal drugs: e.g. Imodium
- Antihistamines
- Re-Hydration salts or solution e.g. Dioralyte
- Throat lozenges & Dextrose glucose tablets
- Water purification tablets
- Insect Repellent
- Contact lenses and glasses (if appropriate)
We recognise that sometimes it is difficult to decide exactly what to bring and what will be most suitable. We are, of course, pleased to advise based on our experience so do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries at all.