This 2-week trip is a fantastic opportunity to explore both the Orkney and Shetland archipelago!
With approximately 70 islands comprising the Orkney Islands, it is ideally suited to exploration by boat! The islands are steeped in Neolithic and maritime history with Scapa Flow Bay acting as an important natural harbour in WW1 and WW2. Many wrecks are now present in the bay and it is a popular dive site amongst the UK diving community. Meanwhile, Old Man Hoy to the south-west of the archipelago is one of the largest sea-stacks in Britain formed of Old Red Sandstone, typical of the region, and is spectacular to sail past. There is also an abundance of marine and avian wildlife surrounding the islands including seals and puffins, which we will almost certainly encounter!
The Shetland Islands, approximately 100 miles from the Scottish mainland, also offer an exciting cruising ground. The islands have numerous sea bird colonies including the Atlantic puffin, skuas, guillemonts and gannets as well as some complex and interesting geology. In particular, Foula, one of Britains most remote, permanently inhabited islands, rises from low broken cliffs in the east to precipitous 150-365m cliffs on the west and is a great day sail! Meanwhile, mainland Shetland has a rich folk-music tradition with it’s own traditional fiddle style and we will hopefully sample some local food and culture in Scalloway or Lerwick!