Start Date: 28th August 2022
Duration: 6 nights
We head north into the Kingdom of Fife where we travel along the east coast. We cross the Firth of Tay and take in the coastal towns of Arbroath, famous for its smoked fish and Montrose, with its long sandy beach. After lunch in Stonehaven harbour, enjoy a visit to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, once the home to one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Later we head for Aberdeen to take the overnight ferry to Shetland. Overnight onboard Northlink ferry
We arrive on Shetland and head out to explore the south mainland. Visit Sumburgh Head, with its dramatic high cliffs teeming with thousands of seabirds including the famous puffins and look out for sightings of orcas, dolphins or minke whales. Later, visit the small village of Hoswick to learn about the local knitwear which is produced nearby, and visit the archaeological site of Jarlshof with impressive remains from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Viking and mediaeval periods. Overnight Lerwick.
We tour the north of mainland Shetland and take in some of the island’s most spectacular coastline, passing by fishing villages, crofts and see Shetland ponies. Visit Eshaness, an area home to a volcanic landscape dating back 400 million years. If desired, we can walk to the “holes of Scrada”, where unforgiving seas have created a hole through the landscape. Later, visit Clickimin Iron age broch, one of the best-preserved broch sites in Shetland. Overnight Lerwick
Today begins with a visit to the islands of Trondra and Burra, connected to each other and the mainland by bridges - a photographer's paradise! Look out for Shetland Ponies which are in abundance. Worth a visit here is Scalloway Castle, built in 1595 by Earl Patrick Stewart, a relative of Mary Queen of Scots, although very much a ruin now there is still much to explore. Later, we travel back to Lerwick to prepare for our evening ferry crossing to Orkney. Overnight Kirkwall
We wake to the beauty of Orkney. This archipelago of 70 islands and skerries has beautiful beaches, heritage, unique culture and wonderful wildlife. After breakfast, we cross the Churchill Barriers to visit the Italian Chapel, visit St. Magnus Cathedral which dominates the skyline of Kirkwall and Highland Park Distillery for a tour and tasting of this unique Single Malt Whisky. Overnight Orkney.
We head out to the Broch of Gurness - many of these tall circular towers stood alone, but in Orkney they were generally surrounded by sizeable villages. Next, we visit the Brough of Birsay before moving on to the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae - Europe's most complete Neolithic village and one of the most outstanding examples of a prehistoric settlement. Later, we visit Maes Howe neolithic chambered cairn built around 2800 BC, the Ring of Brodgar and the stones of Stenness. Overnight Orkney
Today begins with a ferry crossing back to the mainland of Scotland and into Caithness where we visit the Wick Heritage Museum which has a strong focus on the herring-boom era of the town’s history. Later, we travel south to visit the relatively unexplored ancient harbour of Whaligoe Haven and then finish the day with an afternoon walk. We tour through Inverness city as we make our way to Kingussie to end the tour.