• Survey the spectacular archaeological treasures of the Orkney Islands, whose Neolithic monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Take ferries over to Rousay, Westray and Papa Westray, for an introduction to island life in the extreme north of Britain
• Enjoy the special Orcadian flora and fauna, from marine mammals and seabird ‘cities’ to the rare and delightful Scottish primrose
BA, BD, FSAScot
specialist in archaeology and ancient history
conservationist and ornithologist who works for the RSPB
Check in to Standing Stones Hotel, Orkney, for seven nights (teas and coffees available from 1600). Tour assembles 1830 at the hotel. Evening lecture: Neolithic Orkney.
Whole day tour of Neolithic Orkney: Stones of Stenness (3rd millennium BC Neolithic stone circle), Ring of Brodgar (ceremonial stone circle and RSPB nature reserve), Skara Brae (Neolithic village), Unstan Chambered Cairn, Maes Howe (Neolithic chambered cairn tomb). Evening lecture: Island Wildlife.
Kirkwall for 17th century St Magnus Cathedral (begun in 1137), Earl’s Palace, Bishop’s Palace (dating from 12th century). Afternoon: Orphir Round Church, Stromness (Museum, Pier Arts Centre, Scapa Flow) and Yesnaby (Orcadian geology).
Morning lecture: Viking Orkney. Rennibister Earth House, followed by ferry from Tingwall to small island of Rousay: Taversoe Tuick and Blackhammer (chambered tombs), optional visit to Knowe of Yarso (cairn). Afternoon: Midhowe Broch and Midhowe Cairn.
Marwick Head (seabird colonies and Kitchener Memorial), Kirbuster Farm Museum, Iron Age Broch of Gurness, view of Earl’s Palace and Brough of Birsay (Pictish/Norse village). Return via Hillside to look for birds of prey.
By ferry to Westray (Noltland Castle, St Mary’s Church) and tiny island of Papa Westray: Knap of Howar (earliest standing house in Europe, possible guillemots and Arctic terns).
South Ronaldsay: Churchill Barriers (series of causeways), Italian Chapel (beautiful chapel created by Italian POWs), Isbister Chambered Cairn (‘Tomb of The Eagles’), St Margaret’s Hope, coastal walk to Deerness (early Christian/Viking promontory site).
Tour disperses after breakfast.
4 Jul — 11 Jul 2020
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Some sites require walking on rough, often boggy ground, and access to some cairns can be challenging.
Cost of £2095 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, one lunch, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: return travel, travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £295.