About the ‘Walking & Music in Shetland & Orkney’ Tour

Holiday details

Grade: Grade 1-Grade 2

Price: £3420.00 (approx $4250)

Single Supp: TBD

Date: 23 July - 4 August 2020

Duration: 13 days

An evocative journey through the north lands of Caithness, over to the Orkney islands, then to join in with 'Fiddle Frenzy' in the Shetland Islands, before heading back to Aberdeen and the haunts of J. S Skinner. A musical homage to the Scottish Fiddle, and also an exploration of the thousands of years of history and heritage so evident in the landscapes of the islands and highlands.

Shetland - It's wild, it's wonderful, it's fascinating and it's musical. In addition to the fiddling there's a terrific mixture of dramatic scenery but with plenty of quiet corners, thousands of sea birds, seals, otters and whales and every chance of seeing them. With a character firmly rooted in its Viking past and many remains of those earlier times, this area is a must.

Orkney – There are over 6000 years of history to explore and adding the fiddle traditions of these fine islands can only mean a feast for ear and fingers, for mind and soul.

The islands and seas in between are great for wildlife – eagles soar overhead, and many ground nesting birds scuttle about the moors, seals and otters play in the nearby water with basking sharks, whales, dolphins further out; can’t be guaranteed of course, but many sightings are made every season.


23 July

Early rendezvous Stirling; travel north towards Caithness.

24 July

Caithness for bit of an explore before taking the ferry to Orkney, 2 nights Kirkwall.

25 July

<p>Explore the Orkney Mainland, including some of the finest of Neolithic sites and standing stones, at Skara Brae, Maes Howe, and more… </p>

Explore the mainland, Skara Brae, Maes Howe… and possibly Hoy. Evening visit to The Wrigley Sisters at "The Reel"

26 July

Shetland wildlife

Day exploring Orkney before taking the night ferry to Shetland

27, 28, 29 & 30 July

Eshaness Coast on west Mainland

Arrive Lerwick on the morning of 27 July for 4 nights in Shetland. Our days and nights here will be full of the sounds of the sea, seabirds, wild open space and the music from the islands. Wonderful .

We may get the opportunity to head up to Unst the northernmost island for a local music and dance night.

31 July

After our final day exploring Shetland we take the night ferry back to Aberdeen.

1 & 2 August

Arrive Aberdeen in the morning of 1 August.

We'll explore Aberdeenshire and its links with JS Skinner before heading to Fochabers the home of William Marshall where will stay for a couple of nights.

3 August

We head for Strathdon and House of Newe to stay over with John (& Kym) Hardie of Old Blind Dogs fame and a final ceilidh together.

4 Aug

Travel back to Stirling / Glasgow arriving mid – late afternoon.

Please Note: All our itineraries are subject to change. Walks will be weather dependent and musical events and guests may be altered or added.

A Little Background Reading:

‘Walking & Music in Shetland & Orkney’ Tour: What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • 10 nights B&B accommodation
  • 2 nights ferry B&B accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Two evening meals
  • Scottish fiddler and music columnist Ed Pearlman provides relaxed opportunities for travelers interested in playing music and dancing, and background for appreciating our guest musicians
  • Walking guide for the duration, knowledgeable, friendly & a terrific storyteller
  • Specially arranged private performances by musical guests
  • Some evening concerts and historical visits
  • Various walks during the trip
  • All ferries as required
  • Minibus transport as describe in itinerary
  • Any group safety equipment required
  • V.A.T at the current rate of 20%


Ten nights will be spent in B&B's and guest houses and two on board the ferry. Accommodations are limited in the islands. While we endeavour to book all rooms as double occupancy with facilities in the rooms, on a rare occasion some rooms may accommodate 3 persons.


During this trip, luggage will be transported with the group between accommodations. We ask that you limit your overnight bag to a maximum of 15kg (33lbs) in weight. In addition you may bring a small day pack for walks and your musical instrument. Surplus baggage can be stored for you for the duration of the trip if you're staying longer.

Not Included

What's not included in your tour:

  • Lunches and most dinners
  • Optional or individual excursions
  • Beverages
  • Insurance
  • Items of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, excess baggage charge, passport fees, etc).

Musical Instruments

Our Walking & Music in the Scottish Highlands trip is primarily a cultural walking tour. However, there will be a number of opportunities for trip members to participate in musical sessions, either by playing or listening. Trip members are welcome to bring small, easily transportable musical instruments, including fiddles.

You'll love exploring Scotland with C-N-Do

  • We're Scotland's longest established walking tour operator, since 1984
  • We use only fully qualified, passionate & highly knowledgeable walking leaders
  • Your payments are protected under the rules of the EC Package Travel Regulations
  • We're committed to low impact, environmentally sensitive tourism
  • We're the first Scottish walking tour operator to achieve a GTBS Gold Award


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