Walking Holidays
8 Nights
  • Prices from: £1525 per person
  • Transport: Car required. Rental car included (optional)
  • Availability: Any start date year-round
  • Best time to go: April - October


Jarlshof & Sumburgh Head
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This short but rewarding walk links together two of Shetland’s most important attractions, offering fantastic seascape views from the southernmost point of Shetland. This walk also provides the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of Shetland’s diverse range of wildlife, from rare birds nesting on the cliffs to mink whales and orcas passing by in the summer.

The settlement of Jarlshof is one of Scotland’s most impressive historical sites. Delve into the complex history of the various periods of occupation from 2500 BC to 1500 AD. Atop the site is a 16th-century Old House, named ‘Jarlshof’ in a novel by Sir Walter Scott.

The Old Man of Hoy Circuit
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The Old Man of Hoy is one of the most recognisable features on Orkney and one of the tallest sea stacks in Britain. Hugely coveted by rock climbers, and more recently Highline walkers and BASE jumpers, the Old Man can also be enjoyed on this classic circular route, passing sea cliffs and summits.

Eshaness Circular
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Coastal walking at its absolute finest, this circular route starts and finishes at Esha Ness Lighthouse. The power of the wild North Atlantic Ocean is evident across Shetland, and nowhere more so than Esha Ness, with the Holes of Scraada and the impressive Dore Holm two highlights of this superb hike.

Marwick Head
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Explore the RSPB Reserve at Marwick Head across this clifftop route, which also passes by the Kitchener Memorial. Overlooking the final resting place of HMS Hampshire, this lonely stone tower is a focal point of this scenic route.

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With a population of 7,500, the capital of Shetland – Lerwick – is a delightfully cosmopolitan small town. Learn more about the islands’ history at the Shetland Museum & Archives, visit 18th-century Fort Charlotte, or simply relax in a cosy bar and soak up the friendly atmosphere.

Skara Brae
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The world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skara Brae is made up of eight dwellings linked together by a series of low alleyways and is one of the best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe. Owing to the protection of the sand which covered the settlement for 4,000 years, Skara Brae offers an unparalleled glimpse of life in Neolithic Orkney.

Drive & Hike Through Scotland’s Prehistoric Northern Isles

This multi-centre walking holiday takes you on a journey through two of the most unique places in Britain, famous for their wild beauty and historical sites, and loved for their distinct Scottish-Nordic culture.

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Shetland: The northernmost part of the UK, Shetland is wild, rugged and beautiful. These unique islands are home to some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery to be found anywhere in Britain.

With over 100 islands contributing to over 1,500 miles of coastline, there is something to discover around every corner, from the entrancing blend of Scottish and Scandinavian culture to the dramatic sea cliffs and the fascinating wildlife that call these islands home.

Orkney: Discover Scotland’s big sky country. In contrast to Shetland, Orkney’s landscape is dominated by low-laying, gently sloping hills, providing endless miles of beautiful rolling countryside. Orkney is also one of the best places in Scotland to witness the aurora borealis (aka the northern lights).

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, with UNESCO World Heritage status, is a collection of four of the most impressive Neolithic sites anywhere in the world, which creates a rich and fascinating backdrop to a walker’s paradise.


This is a multi-centre walking holiday which requires the use of a car. If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are able to offer this holiday without a rental car.

We design each itinerary around your interests, so think of this as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights or other destinations.

We will provide you with a variety of walking routes and sightseeing suggestions which means you are free to walk as much, or as little, as you please.


Walking Terrain

Shetland: Spectacular cliff paths, quiet inland lochs, and gentle, heathery hills.

Orkney: Gently undulating, spectacular coastal walking on rugged paths.

Day 1: Aberdeen to Shetland
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You will start your journey to the islands in Aberdeen, boarding the well-equipped Northlink Ferry to sail overnight in your modern and comfortable twin-berth cabin to Shetland.
Overnight – Ferry

Days 2 - 5: Walking on Shetland
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St Ninian's Beach on Shetland

Walking recommendations include:

  • Easy: Jarlshof & Sumburgh Head (2.5 miles / 4 km / 100m ascent / 2 hours)
  • Moderate: Hermaness National Nature Reserve (5.5 miles / 9 km / 250m ascent / 3.5 hours)
  • Challenging: Eshaness Circular (9 miles / 14.5 km / 150m ascent / 6 hours)

Sightseeing recommendations include:

  • Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement
  • Lerwick
  • Scalloway Museum

Overnight – Shetland

Day 6: Shetland to Orkney
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Today you will make your way from Shetland to Orkney, however, as the ferry doesn’t leave until the late afternoon, there is an opportunity to further explore the island this morning.

You’ll board the ferry in Shetland in the afternoon and arrive in Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, later this evening.
Overnight – Orkney

Days 7 - 8: Walking on Orkney
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Walking to Rackwick Bay on Hoy, Orkney

Walking recommendations include:

  • Easy: Brough of Birsay (1.5 miles / 2.5 km / 50m ascent / 1.5 hours)
  • Moderate: Marwick Head (6 miles / 9.5 km / 100m ascent / 3.5 hours)
  • Challenging: The Old Man of Hoy Circuit (11 miles / 18 km / 550m ascent / 7.5 hours)

Sightseeing recommendations include:

  • Kirkwall
  • Italian Chapel
  • Skara Brae Prehistoric Village

Overnight – Orkney

Day 9: Orkney to Scrabster, Caithness and Depart
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This morning you’ll take the ferry from Stromness to Scrabster on the Scottish mainland, where your multi-centre walking holiday will come to an end.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 8 nights including traditional Scottish breakfast
  • 9 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • Comprehensive information pack with our list of exceptional walking routes, taking in the best of your surroundings
  • Guidebook: Walking on the Orkney and Shetland Isles (Cicerone)
  • Our sightseeing suggestions - the must-see sights in the region; traditional villages, natural wonders, impressive architecture and cultural landmarks
  • Maps for the areas you are visiting
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink
  • All ferry crossings (as per your itinerary)
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard
Standard Standard

We know that after a busy day of exploring, an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Accommodation type
Price per person
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £1525

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your Scottish experience.

Premium (Orkney only)
Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1755

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your walking holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

Shetland & Orkney

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