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Hiking Scotland’s Orkney & Shetland Islands

June 30, 2025 - July 10, 2025

This is the perfect opportunity to explore all that Scotland’s Northern Isles have to offer: prehistoric stone circles, burial chambers, and settlements; quaint villages; huge seabird colonies; and remarkable plant life—all amidst dramatic landscapes. This will be Scotland seen slowly, with time for in-depth exploration at each site. The Orkney and Shetland islands have an amazing wealth of archaeological sites dating back 5,000 years. Together the islands have more than 18,000 known sites, with new discoveries being made every year. This archaeological saga is worth the telling, and nowhere else can the evidence be seen in more glorious a setting.

1. A private virtual tour of the Ness of Brodgar excavations and access to some of the finds. This ceremonial site in the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” was in use for around 1,000 years and a 20-year excavation project was completed in 2024. The site is within the
UNESCO World Heritage Site on Orkney, which also includes the chambered tomb of Maeshowe, estimated to have been constructed around 2700 B.C.; the Stones of Stenness; the 4,000-year-old Ring of Brodgar, one of Europe’s finest Neolithic monuments;
Skara Brae settlement; and associated funerary monuments and stone settings. These are unquestionably among the most important Neolithic sites in western Europe.
2. “The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland”—including Mousa Broch, the best-preserved known broch in the world, Old Scatness, and Jarlshof—where the lack of intensive modern farming means that the preservation of these sites and their landscapes is exceptional.
3. The Isles are a birdwatcher’s paradise, and one of the major seabird breeding and feeding areas in the North Atlantic. More than a million birds breed in very large colonies.
4. All meals are included, and you will enjoy comfortable accommodations: four nights at the elegant Lynnfield Hotel, a comfortable overnight ferry from Orkney to Shetland and from Shetland to Aberdeen, and three nights at the remote and charming Busta
House Hotel.

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June 30, 2025
July 10, 2025
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Brittany Walters
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