Shetland & Orkney Grand Tour

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Northumberland

Board our private executive coach at your preferred pick up points – suitable comfort stops with free time for lunch – check in at a convenient hotel such as the Park Head Hotel located on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland.

Day 2 - Edinburgh & ferry to Shetland

Travel on to Edinburgh and then to Aberdeen where we meet our Blue Badge guide – check in for our overnight NorthLink Ferries crossing to the Shetland Islands with dinner onboard.

Day 3 - Hamnavoe, Scalloway & Lerwick

Arrive into Lerwick and continue to the picturesque fishing village of Hamnavoe – guided tour of Scalloway taking in Scalloway Museum and the ruins of Scalloway Castle – check in at the 3* Shetland Hotel at Lerwick.

Day 4 - Shetland Croft House Museum, Old Scatness Iron Age Village & Jarlshof

The thatched living quarters, byre, barn and drying kiln of Shetland Croft House Museum give a fascinating glimpse into how croftsmen lived in the 19th century – the Old Scatness Iron Age Village and the archaeological site of Jarlshof reveal more ancient history – final visit is to Sumburgh Head where puffins roost.

Day 5 - Bod of Gremista & Weisdale Mill

The Bod of Gremista is a restored 18th century fishing Bod famous as the birthplace of Arthur Anderson, cofounder of the P&O Shipping Line – the restored Weisdale Mill was built in 1855 and is now home to the Bonhoga Gallery and the Shetland Working Textile Museum – mid-afternoon crossing including dinner aboard the MV Hrossey for the Orkney Isles arriving at Kirkwall later that night – check in at the 3* Kirkwall Hotel.

Day 6 - Churchill Barriers, Highland Park Distillery & Kirkwall

The Churchill Barriers are a series of 11/2 mile causeways built in the 1940s as naval defences to protect the anchorage at Scapa Flow – tour and tasting at the Highland Park Distillery – guided tour of Kirkwall taking in sights such as Tankerness House Museum and Gardens and St Magnus’ Cathedral.

Day 7 - Orkneyinga Saga Centre, Skara Brae & Maeshowe

Orkneyinga Saga Centre charts Orkney’s Norse heritage – the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, a group of roofless 5,000 year old stone built houses which predate the Egyptian Pyramids, is regarded as one of the most remarkable monuments in Europe – Maeshowe is the finest Stone Age tomb in Europe – final visit is to the amazing Stone Circles of Brodgar and Stennes.

Day 8 - Stromness & Perth

Free time in Stromness – board our ferry back to the Scottish mainland, with views of the Old Man of Hoy en route, arriving at Scrabster in the early afternoon – continue through the highlands to the 3* Best Western Queens Hotel at Perth.

Day 9 - Home

Taking carefully selected comfort stops en route we return to our original pick up points.

Tour Features

Half board accommodation

All excursions & guided tours included

Blue Badge guide on Days 2 to 8

Ferries to/from Shetland & Orkney

Executive coach throughout





Fishing village of Hamnavoe

Scalloway Museum & Castle

Shetland Croft House Museum

Old Scatness Iron Age Village

Archaeological site of Jarlshof

Bod of Gremista

Weisdale Mill, Bonhoga Gallery & Shetland Working Textile Museum

Churchill Barriers naval defences

Tour & tasting at Highland Park Distillery

Guided tour of Kirkwall

Orkneyinga Saga Centre

Neolithic village of Skara Brae

Stone Age tomb at Maeshowe

Stone Circles of Brodgar & Stennes




Your Hotels/Ferries

One night at the Park Head Hotel in Bishop Auckland, two nights at the 3* Shetland Hotel in Lerwick, three nights at the 3* Kirkwall Hotel in Kirkwall and one night at the 3* Best Western Queens Hotel in Perth. Half board accommodation at all hotels. All rooms at each hotel are en suite. Overnight crossing with en suite cabin on NorthLink Ferries to Shetland and mid-afternoon crossing with dinner included on NorthLink Ferries to Orkney with dinner included on both crossings.

Tailor-make this tour

Your tailor made tour

Here are some more suggested places of interest you might like to include:

  • Italian Chapel - this place of worship on the island of Lamb Holm was built by Italian Prisoners of War who were put to work building the Churchill Barriers
  • Ness of Brodgar Excavations - in 2008 archaeologists uncovered one of the largest stone built Neolithic non-funerary structures in Britain

Tour Reviews

Reviews for Shetland & Orkney Grand Tour

Date of tour: May 2014

Many thanks for a wonderful tour to Orkney, thoroughly enjoyed by us all. A sample comment was "I don't think I will ever come to Orkney again - given the weather and how wonderful it has been - it just won't be the same a second time". We may have been on the Orkney mainland itself for only a day and a half, but we saw the best of Orkney. All credit to Sandy for her organisational skills and empathy with what we wanted.

VH, Galashiels

Date of tour: July 2009

Thank you SO much for the really excellent trip to Shetlands and Orkney you organised for my gang. It was a huge success - helped greatly by very good weather, smooth crossings, no wind and certainly no sight nor sign of mossies. Cairine was a good guide and certainly had done a great deal of home work. Would thoroughly recommend her should you do this trip again - and she has a lovely singing voice!

MS, Amersham

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor this tour
for your group

Tailor make your group tour

Remember this itinerary is just our suggestion. Tailor make this tour exclusively for your group to suit your members’ budget or preferences. You could:

  • stay at different category hotels
  • for more (or fewer) days
  • include different excursions – see ‘Tailor-make this tour’ tab for suggestions
  • include all entrance fees & gratuities

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor make the perfect tour
for your group