Light & Land

Orkney Islands

09th - 16th Sep 2017 - AVAILABLE

£2399.00 PP / Deposit -£300.00 PP

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Orkney is one of the most remote and beautiful archipelagos in Britain. Situated off the NE corner of the Scottish mainland, Orkney forms a complex and atmospheric mosaic of 70 islands separated by intricate channels and sheltered bays. This varied landscape is famous for inspiring painters, musicians, poets, photographers and other artists.

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  • Tour Code ORK06
  • Included
    • Accommodation
    • Breakfasts
    • Tuition from Ben Osborne
    • Transport during the tour
  • Excluded
    • Travel to the hotel
    • Insurance
  • Duration 7 Night Tours
  • Exertion Moderate
  • Tutored By
Orkney Islands

ORKNEY: a landscape infused with 5000 years of human history

Orkney is one of the most remote and beautiful archipelagos in Britain. Situated off the NE corner of the Scottish mainland, Orkney forms a complex and atmospheric mosaic of 70 islands separated by intricate channels and sheltered bays. This varied landscape is famous for inspiring painters, musicians, poets, photographers and other artists.

The wilder west coast is dominated by dramatic cliffs, including some of the highest in Britain, while the eastern side of the island has a softer character with sandy beaches, rolling hills and scattered farms. 

Throughout the islands there are signs of history but it is the Neolithic heritage which is immediately striking. There are probably more standing stones per square mile on Orkney than in any other region of Britain, some of them being remarkably large and well-preserved. Add to that the drama of the landscape and you have a very fine recipe for a photographic journey.

The tour will be based on the largest island (“Mainland”) where we will be staying in a comfortable hotel very near to major Neolithic sites like the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness. The Ring of Brodgar is over 100m in diameter, contains 27 stones (of the original 50+) and is set in a landscape which is littered with associated Neolithic structures. The Stones of Stenness is a smaller monument but contains three dramatic angled stones up to 5m high. Our proximity to these sites allows us to visit them on a number of occasions at different times of day and in different lighting conditions.

We will also visit some of the smaller islands during the tour. We will spend a day on Hoy, visiting the spectacular Rackwick Bay with its beautiful striped sandstone boulders. Hoy is also the perfect place to appreciate the extent and geography of Scapa Flow and there is a Second World War information centre next to the ferry terminal. More evidence of WW2 history is found on the Churchill causeways that connect Mainland with Lamb Holm, Glimps Holm, Burray and South Ronaldsay. These southern islands, which flank the eastern shores of Scapa Flow, hold interesting reminders of both modern and ancient history. The beautiful Italianate chapel on Lamb Holm, built by prisoners of war, is well worth a visit as is the Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsway.

The towns of Kirkwall and Stromness both have delightful architecture and character and offer an excellent retreat if the weather is inclement.

Away from the human history, the coasts, cliffs, lochs, hills and farmland provide more conventional landscape photography opportunities. With clear light and interesting weather (always guaranteed in Orkney!) we have the potential for some very special images. 

Standing Stones Hotel

Staying at The Standing Stones hotel for 7 nights from 9th - 16th September.

Light and Land

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