Staying at the St Magnus Bay Hotel, The Ayre Hotel & the Atholl Palace Hotel
8 DAYS | 11th September 2020
Join us as we head deep into the raw, wild beauty of the Shetland and Orkney Isles. Lying at the crossroads between Scotland and Scandinavia, both nations and cultures have left their mark in the Isles’ unique identity. Shetland is as close to Norway as it is to the Scottish mainland and owes much of its heritage to the Vikings, and on all the islands you will be powerless to resist the awe of the dramatic coastlines, brutal hill landscapes, and foam-laden beaches. So, come aboard and witness natural beauty in its purest form.
We depart Macclesfield early morning and make a comfort and lunch stop en route to Aberdeen. Boarding the North-Link cruise ferry for our overnight sailing to Lerwick, you will enjoy an en suite cabin and dinner on board.
After breakfast we disembark and meet our guide for a tour of the west of the island. Mid-afternoon we head to Hillswick and our base for the next two nights. Overlooking the Bay, the St Magnus Bay Hotel is a lovely old building with a lounge bar and restaurant. The bedrooms are a mix of traditional and modern décor and all feature en suite bathrooms, free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, and a TV.
Our excursion today takes us to the far north of Shetland, to the islands of Yell and Unst. Yell is the second largest island, mesmerisingly beautiful, with marine life in abundance. Unst is the UK’s most northernly inhabited island, a landscape of jagged sea stacks, heathery hills and golden beaches. Enjoying stunning scenery all the way, we will stop for coffee and lunch en route. We return to the hotel mid-afternoon for a little rest and relaxation before dinner.
We meet our guide for a tour of the south of the island taking in the scenery, the sights and the capital Lerwick. We depart on the 18.00 sailing for the Orkney Isles. We have dinner on board the boat as we do not arrive in Kirkwall until 22.30. Once docked we take the short journey to our hotel for the next two nights. The Ayre Hotel is a family-run hotel overlooking Kirkwall harbour; offering local produce in its restaurant, the bedrooms are traditionally styled, en suite, WiFi, TV, and courtesy tray.
We meet our guide after breakfast for a full day of sightseeing; unspoilt sea and landscapes, bountiful wildlife, fascinating archelogy and over 5,000 years of history await! We will visit the World heritage site of Skara Brae, a stone built Neolithic settlement and Europe’s most complete Neolithic village, it is older than both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids. We also pass Scapa Flow, resting place to a large number of shipwrecks including seven that remain from the German Navy who scuttled 52 ships at the end of WW1. We return to our hotel late afternoon.
A day at leisure in Kirkwall. As Orkney’s bustling capital there is lots to see and do in the town, why not visit the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral or the Orkney museum?
We depart early this morning to board the ferry to Scrabster. Having had breakfast on board, we then head south for our overnight stay at the Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry. Situated a short walk from the town centre, the hotel offers a warm, friendly atmosphere with a Whisky lounge, bar, traditional restaurant and indoor leisure facilities. Guestrooms feature en suite bathrooms and courtesy trays.
Saying a sad farewell to bonny Scotland, we make our way home calling for coffee and lunch en route. We aim to arrive early evening.
£1175.00 per person sharing twin/double
£286.00 single room supplement
£38.00 insurance per person, inc. IPT