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Orkney Island Explorer

Orkney Island Explorer

Tue 29 May 2018: Escorted Coach Holiday to Orkney Island with Johnsons Coaches 7 Days

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Spectacularly located off the northern tip of Scotland, Orkney is a unique destination with a distinctive culture of Norse rule and a landscape sculptured by the sea. Focusing on the island’s 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 Orkney’s shores and the civilians who lived here during the World Wars protecting the British Grand and Home Fleets based at Scapa Flow.

 

Your Holiday Includes:

 

  • 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

 

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Tuesday

We drive north through the Scottish Borders to our overnight stay at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld.

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

Friday

We board our morning Northlink ferry sailing at 08.45am from Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney. On our 1½ hr 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.

Saturday

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:

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

Sunday

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 in the Scottish Highlands in the lea of the Cairngorms National Park.

Monday

Monday?Departing after breakfast we journey homeward, arriving back during the evening.

Your Hotel

 

1st night 4* Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld

2nd & 3rd nights 3* Norseman Hotel, Wick

4th & 5th nights 3* Stromness Hotel, Stromness, Orkney

6th night 3* The Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie

 

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.

 

Hotel Facilities:

                

En Suite Bedrooms 

TV 

Hospitality Tray 

Lift (except Norseman)

 

Duration, Departure Dates & Price

7 Day Tour

 

Tue 29 May – Mon 4 Jun 2018 - £895

Tour Departs 7.00am

Returns By 7.30pm

    

Supplements

 

  • Single Room: £95

  • Holiday Insurance: £28 (IPT included)

 

Deposit: £75 per person for all coach holidays in Britain and Europe.

£250 per person for all air and cruise holidays.

 

Book online and save £9 per person!

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Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Henley Feeder Meet Point Liveridge House - Feeder Meeting Point
Joining main coach at Depot
Henley-in-Arden Park&Ride Park & Ride at Johnsons Depot
Liveridge House, Liveridge Hill, Henley in Arden
Norton Canes Services Norton Canes Services, M6 TOLL

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