Nature Reserve Walk

3.5 hours | Orkney Islands (Kirkwall) | K O I - 4 0 0
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$ 69.95
Min. age: 12 years (See special notes)
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Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Ornithologists and nature lovers will relish the time spent in the spectacular nature reserves of Orkney, with diverse scenery ranging from sea cliffs and farmland to wetlands and moorlands, all owned and maintained by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Your tour begins when you depart from port and relax on a picturesque drive through Orkney's idyllic countryside to Birsay Moors, the RSPB's largest nature reserve on the Orkney Mainland.

With its spectacular moorland landscapes and windswept beauty, Birsay Moors is the breeding ground for a variety of species of birds. Each season brings different experiences, but there is always an abundance of wildlife. Although no specific sightings are a guarantee, keep your binoculars and cameras focused for red -throated divers, high-speed merlins, the hen harriers – especially the grey colored adult males, and curlews, which are brown wading birds known for their lively song. In the spring, the air is alive with sweet bird songs, in summer tiny birds make their way out of the nest for the first time, and in autumn migrating birds can be seen overhead. Even winter months bring activity, and flocks of birds gather here to feed and to form large roosts to keep warm against the cold winds. From your hilltop vista, you'll also enjoy the views of mainland Orkney and the small islands that dot the horizon.

Continue on to the west coast of the island and arrive at Marwick Head RSPB nature reserve. This rugged landscape supports the largest cliff-nesting seabird colony on the Orkney Mainland, and up to 25,000 birds can be found on a mile-long stretch atop the red sandstone cliffs. Here, you'll walk the 1.25 -mile (2-km) route that makes the most of the spectacular vistas and breathtaking Atlantic sea views. Focus your binoculars on a wonderful array of birdlife, such as guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, razorbills and puffins.

At the completion of your walk, settle into the motorcoach for your relaxing ride back to port. Along the way, you will pass the ceremonial Ring of Brodgar, arguably the last great henge built in the British Isles, a perfect circle of megaliths once comprising more than 60 stones. Today, 27 stones remain standing. The exact ceremonial purpose of the ring remains unknown, but several of the stones align with the surrounding hills and the rising sun during the winter and summer solstices. The Ring of Brodgar is the third-largest circular henge after Stonehenge and Avebury and is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

Return to port with a camera filled with memories of this extraordinary day spent surrounded by nature.

Special Notes:

Recommend bringing warm clothing, waterproofs, stout walking shoes or boots, as well as binoculars and bottled water.

Please note there is no toilet stop on this tour or usable toilets inside motor coaches.

Details

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Board the Motorcoach and head to Birsay Moors RSPB nature reserve

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
45
Travel time:
00:50
Wheelchair accessible:
No

Arrive Birsay Moors RSPB nature reserve (bird hide visit & photo stop)

Time at site:
00:30
Free time at site:
15
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Walking distance:
50
Steps:
1
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Depart for Marwick Head RSPB nature reserve

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
45
Travel time:
00:30
Wheelchair accessible:
No

Arrive Marwick Head RSPB nature reserve (walk to clifftop viewpoint)

Time at site:
00:55
Free time at site:
30
Inside visit:
No
Walking distance:
2200
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Re-Board the Motorcoach for the ship

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
48
Travel time:
00:45
Wheelchair accessible:
No