John O'groats & Orkney Islands
5 Days Away
The most northerly point in mainland Britain, John O’Groats, is a small Highland village, with few shops and cafes it is the dramatic unspoilt scenery that is the main attraction, in the harbour you can have your picture taken with the iconic sign post, admire the wonderful views and try to spot some of the local wildlife, seals, dolphins, minke and killer whales are common. Situated nearby and with stunning views over the Orkney Islands is the Queen Mothers former holiday home, The Castle of Mey, which was in a state of disrepair when its isolated charm captured the Queen Mothers heart and she transformed it into a surprisingly comfortable home which she used as a sanctuary visiting every summer for almost half a century. The walled gardens which provide refuge from the elements in the form of a 15 foot high wall, have been loving transformed into rose gardens, shell gardens and a plethora of other beautiful blooms, as well as fruit and vegetables. Many of the crops grown in the gardens are used in the house and tearoom, located in the visitors centre it also provides the opportunity to purchase local crafts.
Our tour of Orkney will encompass many of the highlights of the islands, starting in Burwick, you will travel between the islands using the Churchill Barriers, which were built during WW2 as a naval defence but which now connect five of the islands. Travelling along the Scapa Flow you can admire the stunning views toward Hoy, arriving in the picturesque Stromness, enjoy a walk through the winding streets, visit the museum, which gives a fascinating insight into Orkneys past or the contemporary Pier Arts Centre, a fantastic collection of modern art. The next stop will be the 5000 year old Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, which allows an unparalleled glimpse of what life would have been like in Neolithic times, a fantastic life size recreation of a house provides the opportunity to experience living conditions at the time, one surprise may be that all the houses were fitted out the same including, hearths, beds and stone shelves. Travelling along the narrow strip on land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, there will be a photo opportunity for the mystical Ring of Brodgar, where 36 of the original 60 stones remain, which created a perfect circle 104 metres in diameter, a short distance away is the Standing Stones of Stenness, with stones of almost 6 metres are a striking sight. Kirkwall, is the capital of Orkney, with its stunning St Mangus Cathedral, which took 300 years to complete and dominates the Kirkwall skyline, with a vast selection of shops and a pretty harbour this thriving town is the bustling heart of the islands. Our final stop will be the Italian Chapel which was built by Italian prisoners of war, using extremely limited materials, the building is constructed from two Nissan huts, the front façade built to disguise this, the result is a beautiful place of worship.
Please Note: Entry to Skara Brae and The Italian Chapel is not included. Skara Brae is operated by Historic Scotland and the entry fee for non-members is around £7.50 for adults and around £6 for concessions. Entry to the Italian Chapel is £3.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
● Coach travel with reserved seating throughout
● Four nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Royal Hotel, Thurso
● Free time to enjoy Thurso
● Excursion to Castle of Mey along with a journey to John O’Groats
● Inclusive Orkney Islands tour.
Royal Hotel, Thurso
A warm welcome awaits you at the friendly Royal Hotel situated in the heart of Thurso, the gateway to Orkney. The hotel offers a great base for our inclusive itinerary and within walking distance of all local amenities.
Hotel Features: All bedrooms with en-suite facilities, TV & tea/coffee making facilities • Bar • Restaurant • Lift to all floors.
John O’GroatsJohn O’Groats
The most northerly point of the UK’s mainland, John O’Groats is a popular tourist village.
The village is well-known for being the starting point of the famous ‘End to End’ journey to Land’s End in the South of England.
But that’s not all. The village has a bustling harbour where you can catch a ferry to the Orkney Islands, plenty of gift shops to browse and dramatic scenery in every direction.
With National Holidays we offer a wide selection of holidays north of the border so you can see the very best that Scotland has to offer, from scenic Fort William and Loch Lomond, coastal towns like Oban and Dornoch and vibrant Edinburgh and Glasgow. Your ideal Scottish break is just a click away!
UK Holiday InsuranceInsurance
At Caledonian, we always do everything we can to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish. For this reason, we strongly recommend you take out holiday insurance to ensure you’re prepared for the unexpected.
To provide you with a travel insurance policy designed with our customers in mind, we’ve teamed up with specialist insurance providers Towergate Chapman Stevens. Some of the benefits of our insurance policy include:
• All ages are considered
• 24-hour English speaking emergency assistance
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