Your journey begins in Inverness, where you’ll meet fellow travellers and get an introduction to the capital of the Highlands. Then we’ll head to Golspie,an attractive seaside village, the perfect place to stretch your legs and grab a coffee. The skyline here is dominated by a 100 foot tall statue of the first Duke of Sutherland, notorious due to the part he played in the Highland Clearances.
We’ll then make our way further north to Gills Bay and jump aboard our ferry tothe Orkney Islands, you will sail through the Pentland Firth and into the Orkney Archipelago, which offers the opportunity to see countless wildlife; look out for seals, porpoises, killer whales, puffins and other sea birds.
Once on Orkney you can take in stunning scenery whilst on the way to see the famous Churchill Barriers - causeways that were constructed to protect the British fleet from submarines. You also have the chance to visit an incredible work of art, a beautiful Italian Chapel, which was built with salvaged materials by Italian prisoners of war.
You then journey on towards Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands, for first second night. There are some fantastic restaurants for your evening meals here.
Day two is all about Orkney. The island is full of ancient history and you'll be able to take in prehistoric wonders such as the Maes Howe* chambered cairn, a tomb more than 5000 years old. Next we’ll stop at the brooding Stone Circles of Stenness, a sight to spur your imagination; the tallest stone reaches over 19ft high! Anyone with an interest in archaeology will love the Ness of Brodgar a Neolithic excavation site, only open whilst archaeologists working hard to uncover new items. Another source of ancient mystery is the Ring of Brodgar, bigger than Stonehenge and only improved by its incredible setting.
We will have an extended visit to the world-famous Neolithic village of Skara Brae*, where you can’t fail to be impressed. Your day will culminate with a visit to beautiful St Magnus Cathedral, widely considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland. You’ll spend your second night in Kirkwall.
Your third day begins bright and early as we board the ferry to return to the mainland. We’ll stop in the harbour town of Wick, before continuing south to Helmsdale. We’ll visit the Emigrants Statue here which reminds us of a vital part of Scottish history; the Highland Clearances.
We’ll also stop by the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. You have the opportunity to visit the interactive visitor centre* here and learn how this brutal battle changed life in the Highlands and Islands forever.
We’ll then return to Inverness in the early afternoon.