Sun 25 Jun 2017: Explore Orkney Island on this escorted coach tour with Johnsons staying at multiple high quality hotels and visiting hand picked excursions
Spectacularly located off the northern tip of Scotland it is a unique destination with a distinctive culture of Norse rule and a landscape sculptured by the sea. Focusing on the islands fascinating war and maritime history from the scuttling of the German Fleet in Scapa Flow to the sinking of the Royal Oak our expert local guides take us to familiar and unfamiliar sites giving you a feel of what life was like for the personnel who guarded Orkneys shores and the civilians who lived here during the World Wars protecting the British Grand and Home Fleets based at Scapa Flow.
Door to Door Service
Our own courier service
Club Class Extra Legroom Coach
6 nights half board
Return Northlink sailings to Orkney
Entrance to the Castle of Mey
Guided Tours of Orkney
Entrance to Skara Brae
Not included: All lunches
We drive north through the Scottish Borders to our overnight stay at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld
We continue our drive north, pausing at Pitlochry. Then skirting Inverness, we head to Scotland's far north and our 2 night stay in the old market town of Wick.
Today we are met by a local coach for our visit to the Castle of Mey. Formerly owned by the Queen Mother it stands on rising ground overlooking the Pentland Firth. We then drive to John O'Groats, mainland Britain's most northerly village. The hamlet owes its name to a Dutchman Jan de Groot, who once ran a ferry to Orkney.
We board our morning Northlink ferry sailing at 8.45am from Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney. On our 1½ hour sailing we pass the dramatic 'Old Man of Hoy' stacks which rises dramatically from the sea. Then we meet our guide for a tour of the north main island, seeing the popular neolithic village of Skara Brae before continuing via mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness before arriving at the Stromness Hotel and our 2 night stay.
Today we meet our specialist guide for our Orkney Wartime Explorer tour which gives us a greater insight into the islands naval involvement in two world wars. Some of the areas covered will include:
n HMS Royal Oak and Kriegsmarine U-boat U-47
The HMS Royal Oak was torpedoed by German U-boat U-47 on the 14th October 1939 with the loss of 834 on board. Follow the path of the U-47 and the strategy behind the attack on the HMS Royal Oak.
n HMS Royal Oak Memorial Garden
Visit the idyllic HMS Royal Oak Memorial Garden, located by Scapa Beach, which commemorates the 834 men and boys who were lost on HMS Royal Oak. Visit the Scapa Pier and hear about its use by the Royal Navy Stevedores during WWII. Watch the sonar survey of HMS Royal Oak and see the buoy that marks her final resting place as a designated War Grave.
n The Churchill Barriers
Enjoy an in-depth discussion about the construction of the Churchill Barriers during WWII. Learn about the men who built them and the stories associated with this historic site including an overview of the Blockships and Boom Defences.
n Italian Chapel and POW Camp 60
Visit the Italian Chapel built by Italian POWs during WWII. See the remains of Camp 60 home to the Italian POWs from 1942 - 1944. Learn about their task to build the Churchill Barriers and their lives and interaction with the locals.
n Blockships WWI
See a number of merchant vessels that were deliberately sunk by the British in 1915 during WWI to stop German submarines sinking the British Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow.
n Western Approaches to Scapa Flow
Overview of the Western Approach Defences (Land, Sea and Air) of Hoy Sound and Scapa Flow which played a significant part in both World Wars. Learn about German High Level bombing campaigns over this region in 1940 and the Battle of Orkney
Please note that there are many other notable sites associated with WWI & II to be found in and around Orkney however many of these are in remote locations or may be on isolated islands that are inaccessible by coach. To visit some of these will involve a good deal of walking and hence may not be possible - Your guide will endeavour to assist with any requests but none can be guaranteed. Warm & Waterproof clothing and stout footwear is recommended for todays excursion.
This morning we catch the 11.00am Northlink sailing from Stromness back to the mainland, arriving at Scrabster at 12.30pm. We continue our journey south to our final nights stay at the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie.
Departing after breakfast we journey homeward, arriving back during the evening
1st night Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld 4-Star Standard
2nd & 3rd Nights Norseman Hotel, Wick 3-Star Standard
4th & 5th Nights Stromness Hotel, Stromness, Orkney 3-Star Standard
6th Night Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie 3-Star Standard
All hotels are varied in style and standards. Travellers should give consideration to the fact that they will often be in beautiful, yet isolated locations where hotel availability is extremely limited. All have restaurant, bar & lounge. All except the Norseman at Wick have a lift to all floors.
Mobility Grade: 3 This is a touring holiday and although most of the sightseeing is from the comfort of our coach, there are ferries to board and four different hotels, along with steps and stairs to negotiate. Please note that due to the nature of this holiday, customers with mobility difficulties may be limited in their enjoyment.
7 Day Tour
Sunday 25 June Saturday 1 July 2017 £895
Tour Departs By: 8.00am
Returns By: 7.30pm
Times are approximate
Single Room: £95
Holiday Insurance: £27 (IPT included)
Deposit: £75 per person for all coach holidays in Britain and Europe.
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