Sacred Sites of Orkney Tour 2018


July 12th - 18th


The Ring of Brodgar


After the success of last years tour of Orkney I am offering another opportunity to join our small group for seven days and six nights this July exploring beautiful Orkney - visiting many of its famous world heritage sites such as The Ness of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Maeshowe, and much more. Culminating in a three day visit to one of the most Northerly and remote islands, Papa Westray. Here lies the remarkably preserved five and a half thousand year old Knap of Howar, one of the oldest 'houses' in Europe and one of the most ancient 'dwellings' in the world.


Tour costs - 7 days (Orkney Mainland

& Papa Westray) £1,700

Inclusive of return flights from Southampton to Kirkwall airport, return flights from Kirkwall to Papa Westray, all accommodation (based on shared occupancy) and entrance fees to the sites visited, where applicable.


To register your interest please contact Nicholas by email at

or call on 0778 997 1916 to discuss further.

Terms and conditions can then be forwarded, returned with the deposit of £700 towards total cost. The balance of £1,000 is payable 49 days before tour departure.

Last years Orkney Tour

"If you want to see the magical Orkney sites with someone who knows and loves them, then this is the trip."

"Having heard Nick talk on the 'Knap of Howar' and read his fascinating book, I was excited to join the trip last July. Nick devised a great itinerary which allowed us to see so much, but with time to soak in the spirit of the place. As a group we had so much fun too..... the island hopping flights were amazing, food was fresh and delicious and accommodation perfect.

The highlight for me was Papa Westray. Living in that small community for a few days on their stunningly beautiful island and with Nick sharing his knowledge of 'The Knap' was priceless."

“The tour of Orkney - and most especially the beautiful tiny island of Papa Westray - will stay with me forever:  a walk from the North Sea coast to the Atlantic, with seals and seabirds to watch; a horizon dotted with islands surrounded by turquoise seas; friendly and welcoming islanders, eager to tell us about their way of life; the tiny 'puffin' plane rides... so many wonderful memories!”

“I set off convinced that Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar would be the highlights of the trip, and they were indeed wonderful, but when Nick introduced us to the Knap of Howar, everywhere else paled into relative insignificance. It's a stunning site and far enough from the tourist trail to allow seclusion and contemplation”


Day 1 - Thursday July 12th: Arrival on Orkney

1.00 pm: Meet with the group at Southampton airport (Eastleigh).

2.45 pm: Flight departs for Orkney with en-route stop offs at Manchester and Aberdeen.

7.20 pm: Arrival at Kirkwall airport, Orkney Mainland, in time for dinner at the 4 star Sands Hotel where we will spend three nights.


The Ring of Brodgar

In Cuween Hill chamber

Day 2 - Friday July 13th: First full day on Orkney Mainland

After breakfast we will travel by mini-bus to visit the 'UNESCO World Heritage' sites in the 'Heart of Neolithic Orkney'. This includes: The Ness of Brodgar, The Ring of Brodgar, The Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe chambered tomb.

During this full days activities we can have lunch in the vibrant Orkney capital of Kirkwall and visit the Orkney museum to see the fascinating displays of finds from the archaeological sites we are visiting during our trip.

Evening meal at The Sands Hotel.

skara brae

Wideford Cairn

Skara Brae

Day 3 - Saturday July 14th: Second full day on Orkney Mainland

The morning we will visit Skara Brae ancient 'village'.

Lunch either in Stromness, Orkneys centre of the arts or Kirkwall where we can visit the 12th century St Magnus Cathedral.

In the afternoon we can visit Wideford Hill chambered tomb, this entails a short walk and includes breathtaking views of the bay. We can also explore the five thousand year old Cuween Hill chambered tomb, where entrance is gained by crawling through the original low and narrow passage way.

Dinner at The Sands Hotel where we shall review the day's events and discuss the next day's itinerary.


Papa Westray beach

The Knap of Howar

Day 4 - Sunday July 15th: Early morning flight to Papa Westray

10.30 am: flight departs from Kirkwall aiport - twenty minutes later we arrive on Papa Westray, known as Papay to the islanders.

Settle in at Beltane House hostel followed by an initial walk to familiarise ourselves with this beautiful small island, which is just four miles long and a mile wide and has a population of just 80 people. This can include the cliffs of the North coast, St Boniface church and the beautiful beaches of the East coast.

During our stay on the island of Papay we will not be relying on vehicles to get around and our time will not be governed by opening hours. So it will be possible to have some personal space either to explore the island alone or in a smaller group, or to spend time in contemplation and meditation.

Today is our first opportunity to visit the Neolithic 'dwelling' of the Knap of Howar, the main focus of the trip to Papa Westray. We shall be on the island for more than two days enabling us to become fully acquainted with this five and a half thousand year old 'dwelling'.


Tour group at the Knap of Howar

The Knap of Howar's entrances

Day 5 - Monday July 16th: Full day on Papa Westray

There will be an opportunity to explore more of Papay during the morning.
It may also be possible to take a boat trip, weather permitting, to visit the chambered tombs on the Holm of Papa Westray.


Passageway between the two structures at Knap of Howar

Day 6 - Tuesday July 17th: return to Kirkwall

We will have most of the day on Papa Westray, departing on a 4.51 pm flight to Kirkwall, where we will spend the last night at Kirkwall Youth Hostel on Orkney mainland.

Dinner in Kirkwall, when we can discuss and assess the tour before returning home the following day.

Day 7 - Wednesday July 18th: return flight from Orkney to Southampton

8.05 am: Depart from Kirkwall airport via Aberdeen and Manchester and return to Southampton airport at 1.35 pm in time for ongoing travel.


Copyright © N. Cope 2018

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