Orkney & Shetland Guided Island Hopping Holiday

Orkney & Shetland - AdobeStock_51267921.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Island Hopping
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,499pp without flights FLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Pristine natural landscapes, peace and tranquility, wide open spaces and lung-fulls of fresh air. Orkney and Shetland will live up to all of this and more as you island hop from the quaint crofting communities of Orkney to the Scandinavian style fjords and voes of Shetland. 

Holiday Highlights

  • Hop between Orkney & Shetland
  • Experience pristine natural landscapes
  • Spot wildlife on these relatively untouched islands

What’s included

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • Experienced HF Holidays Walking Leader
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • Luggage transfer between accommodation 
  • Flight between Orkney and Shetland
  • 2021 “With flight” holidays include flight from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, and from Sumburgh to Aberdeen, plus group hotel transfers
  • 2022 "With flight" holidays include flight from London to Kirkwall, and from Sumburgh to London, plus group hotel transfers
  • Regional flights available from Manchester/Southampton/Exeter/Newquay/Isle of Man on request 

     

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

45½ miles over 6 days with maximum daily ascent of 1,360 feet. You can expect to be walking for up to 7 hours a day.

Arrive on Orkney and meet at the Merkister Hotel. Your leader will be at reception at 18:30 to meet the group and for a quick introduction to the holiday before dinner.

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The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney

Situated on the shores of Harray Loch, The Merkister Hotel stands in its own grounds in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of this famous loch and its surroundings. All rooms have TV, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Drying and laundry facilities are available and there is WiFi.


Your first walk on the island of Orkney begins by following a superb cliff-top path from the island of Birsay, to the RSPB reserve of Marwick Bay and The Loons. In the late afternoon we explore the Ring of Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness and the Neolithic chambered cairn of Maes Howe (Entrance fee not included Scottish / Welsh / English National Heritage members free. Maes Howe is currently closed due to COVID restrictions).

9 miles (14km) with 760 feet (230m) of ascent.

Orkney & Shetland - AdobeStock_51267921.jpeg

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney

Situated on the shores of Harray Loch, The Merkister Hotel stands in its own grounds in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of this famous loch and its surroundings. All rooms have TV, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Drying and laundry facilities are available and there is WiFi.


We begin with a visit to the impressive, ancient settlement of Skara Brae, now a UNESCO site of special heritage. (Entrance fee not included Scottish / Welsh / English National Heritage members free). Leaving this site mid-morning we then walk the coast south above the spectacular sea cliffs of Yesnaby to meet our transport on the outskirts of Stromness.

9½ miles (15.5 km) with 1,280 feet (380m) of ascent.

Orkney & Shetland - Skara Brae - AdobeStock_259606966.jpeg

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney

Situated on the shores of Harray Loch, The Merkister Hotel stands in its own grounds in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of this famous loch and its surroundings. All rooms have TV, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Drying and laundry facilities are available and there is WiFi.


Visiting the island of Hoy, we enjoy a magnificent walk which takes us out to the famous sea stack of the “Old Man of Hoy”, before returning via the mysterious “Dwarfie Stone”. Watch out for the “Bonxie” – the local name for the Great Skua. Spot them before they spot you, with one of their dives and if you are in luck you may spot a pair of Sea Eagles.

8½ miles (13.5km) with 850 feet (260m) of ascent.

Orkney & Shetland - Old Man - AdobeStock_283951233.jpeg

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney

Situated on the shores of Harray Loch, The Merkister Hotel stands in its own grounds in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of this famous loch and its surroundings. All rooms have TV, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Drying and laundry facilities are available and there is WiFi.


Today we leave Orkney and head north to Shetland. On arrival, we visit Sumburgh Head RSPB reserve, the most southerly point of mainland Shetland. This elevated viewpoint affords extensive views over Shetland and of Fair Isle to the south. Our May & July departures will also witness an amazing sea bird spectacle as thousands of birds come ashore to nest on the cliffs. From here we descend to the inspirational archaeological site of Jarlshof (Entrance fee not included Scottish / Welsh / English National Heritage members free) which covers a period of continuous habitation from 2500BC through to the 1600s.

2 miles (3km) with 200 feet (60m) of ascent. We then rejoin our transport for the scenic transfer to Busta House.

Razorbill, Alca torda, sitting on the rock

Busta House, Shetland - Orkney & Shetland

Nestled at the foot of rolling hills on the shore of Busta Voe, The Busta Hotel in a 16th-century homestead sits among expansive gardens. Traditional rooms have WiFi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Drying room facilities are also available.


This is our opportunity to learn a little about Shetland’s heritage at the Tangwick Haa museum, as we circumnavigate the beautiful Eshaness peninsula. Today grants us a plethora of wildlife watching opportunities, as we wander past colonies of seabirds numbering in their thousands during the breeding season. We may also be lucky enough to spot seals today, both Common and Grey seals are often seen bobbing up and down in the bay.

9 miles (14km) with 1,060 feet (320m) of ascent.

The wild Atlantic Ocean crashes against the sea stacks, rocks, and cliffs along the Western shore of Shetland Islands at Esh…

Busta House, Shetland - Orkney & Shetland

Nestled at the foot of rolling hills on the shore of Busta Voe, The Busta Hotel in a 16th-century homestead sits among expansive gardens. Traditional rooms have WiFi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Drying room facilities are also available.


A rugged and remote walk to discover the red granite coastline of the Muckle Roe. This walk is a fitting finale from where we can look back and appreciate the beauty of yesterday’s walk as well as today’s, and admire the windswept isolation and beauty of Shetland.

7½ miles (12km) with 1,360 feet (420m) of ascent.

Orkney & Shetland - Shetland - AdobeStock_216038173.jpeg

Busta House, Shetland - Orkney & Shetland

Nestled at the foot of rolling hills on the shore of Busta Voe, The Busta Hotel in a 16th-century homestead sits among expansive gardens. Traditional rooms have WiFi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Drying room facilities are also available.


Transfer to Sumburgh airport for your return flight to Aberdeen


Orkney & Shetland Map

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney

Situated on the shores of Harray Loch, The Merkister Hotel stands in its own grounds in the most wonderful location, commanding impressive views of this famous loch and its surroundings. All rooms have TV, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. Drying and laundry facilities are available and there is WiFi.

Busta House, Shetland - Orkney & Shetland

Nestled at the foot of rolling hills on the shore of Busta Voe, The Busta Hotel in a 16th-century homestead sits among expansive gardens. Traditional rooms have WiFi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Drying room facilities are also available.

Essential Information

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Waterproof walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
17 Apr - 24 Apr 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
01 May - 08 May 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
08 May - 15 May 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,799 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
03 Jul - 10 Jul 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,899 Available Trip Notes Book Now
07 Aug - 14 Aug 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,829 Available Trip Notes Book Now
21 Aug - 28 Aug 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,899 Available Trip Notes Book Now
28 Aug - 04 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,899 Available Trip Notes Book Now
04 Sep - 11 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,899 Available Trip Notes Book Now
11 Sep - 18 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,799 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
17 Apr - 24 Apr 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
01 May - 08 May 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
08 May - 15 May 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,799 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
03 Jul - 10 Jul 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
07 Aug - 14 Aug 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
21 Aug - 28 Aug 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
28 Aug - 04 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
04 Sep - 11 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Available Trip Notes Book Now
11 Sep - 18 Sep 2022
7 Island Hopping £1,499 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes

Important Information

Single room: From £291 (complete holiday)

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Island Hopping
Walking Grade:
3

7 nights from £1,499pp
without flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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