Orkney & Shetland Guided Island Hopping Holiday

Orkney & Shetland - AdobeStock_51267921.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Island Hopping
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,589pp £1,564pp with flights

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
  • “With flight” holidays include flight from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, and from Sumburgh to Aberdeen and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Arrive on Orkney and meet at the Merkister Hotel.

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney & Sheland

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. A drying room 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).

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

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney & Sheland

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. A drying room 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.

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney & Sheland

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. A drying room 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.

The Merkister Hotel, Orkney - Orkney & Sheland

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. A drying room 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.

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.

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.

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


What to Bring

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
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters. Trekking/approach shoes are not recommended for this trek
  • Sturdy sandals for any river and stream crossings. This is most relevant to the June departure
  • 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
  • 35-40 litre rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Water bottle (at least 1.5-2 litres)
  • 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 and for crossing streams and snow patches
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 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) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
19 Apr - 26 Apr 2019 Itinerary £1,589 £1,564 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
19 Apr - 26 Apr 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
03 May - 10 May 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
10 May - 17 May 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
19 Jul - 26 Jul 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
09 Aug - 16 Aug 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
23 Aug - 30 Aug 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
06 Sep - 13 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
13 Sep - 20 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,375 £1,350 Save £25 Per Person Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Island Hopping
Walking Grade:
3

7 nights from £1,589pp £1,564pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

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