Wildlife Tours 2016: to Orkney and beyond – our 13th season.

Relaxed tailor-made wildlife and culture holidays for small groups of up to 5 people: I’m often asked how to sum up an Orcadian Wildlife Tour? These 4 pictures might help, or see the bullet points below.

Puffins always feature: our best-loved bird! Pic Sarah Sankey

A typical group enjoying the Old Man of Hoy

Skara Brae is one of Europe's finest stone-age villages and is just over 5,000 years old  At the Gannetry on Noup Head, Westray

From above left: Orkney’s best-loved bird, the puffin, always feature in our itineraries; a typical group enjoying the Old Man of Hoy; Skara Brae and other 5,000 year-old Neolithic sites are a must; and finally gannets at Noup Head gannetry on Westray.

Sea eagle on South Ronaldsay - picture courtesy www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk

We’re delighted to announce that a pair of white-tailed (sea) eagles nested on the island of Hoy, in the Orkney Islands in 2015 – as seen on Springwatch! Hoy always features in our itineraries and there is a reasonable chance of seeing the birds in the new season (2016) at a safe distance as advised by the RSPB. They are presently on site, and behaving as if they are laying or sitting. All bodes well for the 2016 season. For more information on Orkney’s sea eagles please click here.

Steve Sankey with his Electric car pic orkney photographic

Hot News!  It’s now possible to hire an electric car from Orcadian Wildlife for use with your self-catering holiday: click here for details – available to all tourists to Orkney, not just Orcadian Wildlife guests.



Steve has also recently completed a ‘World Host’ customer-service training course in advance of the 2016 season. Availability News: Orcadian Wildlife tour availability is now restricted to three weeks in June 2016 (4/11/18 June 2016, as at late-May 2016). Orkney in June is delightful: seabirds, raptors, sea pinks in full bloom, wading birds with young – and the archaeological sites are bathed in summer light. Please enquire June 2016 Tour Enquiry for details.

A German Battlecruiser at the Battle of Jutland 31 May 1916.

The centenary of the Battle of Jutland this year gives added poignancy to our trips to Hoy, where a visit to the naval museum at Lyness is always included in our itinerary (along with looking for sea eagles and a walk out to the Old Man!).  A large part of the British fleet sailed out of Scapa Flow under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe to engage with the German fleet at Jutland, and there are new displays and lots of photographs to admire at the Lyness museum. There’s still space in June if you wish to book…


Our 2016 schedule (13th season of operation) is now available and includes tours to Spain in May and Shetland in July. Small group size is one of our strengths, in 2016 in Orkney for operational reasons up to 5 persons only.  Our ‘traditional’ Orkney Wildlife and Archaeology tours are of course also still available.  To view our schedule please click here. Please look at our testimonials to the right of the page or check out our Trip Advisor page – we offer relaxed, tailor-made wildlife and activity holidays for small groups of people. Prices are all-inclusive of accommodation, transport within Orkney (or elsewhere), meals and guiding, and may be found on the ‘Wildlife Tours Availability‘ tab.

Over the last decade an exciting archaeological dig has been taking place at the Ness of Brodgar in West Mainland, in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. This site has been the subject of a TV documentary by Neil Oliver, and has contributed much to our knowledge of the Neolithic peoples and their lifestyle. If you wish to learn more, read this excellent piece done by Roff Smith for the National Geographic – for visual click here; for the feature article click here.

Steve at the Ring of Brodgar
Steve at the Ring of Brodgar pic courtesy Mary Dominey

What makes a holiday in Orkney with Orcadian Wildlife different?

We like to pride ourselves on no two days ever being the same. Orkney’s shifting skies and seas help, as does the weather – frequently all four seasons in one day. So it’s best to bring your waterproof jacket and trousers, and your boots.

Wildlife doesn’t stop for the weather and neither do we (unless with your agreement!).Wildlife, walking, photography and of course Orkney’s superb 5,000 year old Neolithic (new stone age) sites always feature in our itineraries. 

Orkney is one of the best places in Britain to get close to and enjoy seabirds, birds of prey and whales & dolphins (cetaceans).
  • We keep groups small (max 5 guests only) on purpose in order to enable you to see more – you will see lots of memorable sights with us, whatever the time of year. We specialise in a blend of wildlife and culture.
    We listen to you carefully about exactly what you’d like to see and where you would like to go – there are no sites on set days. Visiting islands is included and great fun!
  • We actually live here (unlike most tour groups who visit) and so we know more about daily life in Orkney.
  • Our holidays are all-inclusive, so that all you have to do is get here, and we do all the rest.
  • We’re proud of our approach to the environment: a very small group; an organic lifestyle; Green Tourism Business Scheme gold award for our self-catering; and a generator of renewable energy to help offset your carbon footprint.
  • We encourage repeat visits (Orkney gets a grip of you…) and returning guests benefit from large discounts.
  • Last – but most important – we really look after you! See the many testimonials on our website from our guests who have appreciated our relaxed style over the last 13 years.

There is always something special to see at any time of the year, from sky dancing hen harriers, to hunting orcas, and migrant birds.

Download the 2016 Orkney Tourist Brochure 

Download our Orcadian Wildlife Tours Leaflet

Please visit the Orcadian Wildlife Facebook page for up-to-the-minute sightings and other current Orkney daily blog-type content: http://facebook.com/orcadianwildlife – this site also contains a photo-documentary account of a 14 mile walk along the Atlantic seaboard of Orkney undertaken in April 2015. Have a look at our stunning scenery and wildlife!

See some short videos of seabirds by clicking on this You Tube link:


And you can access lots of useful general information about Orkney by clicking on the following link: Orkney.com

Finally, details of our preferred accommodation at Pentland View may be found by clicking www.orkneyunlimited.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Orkney-Unlimited-and-The-Island-Kitchen


Self Catering Holiday

If self-catering is more your style we’re delighted to announce that that our Peedie House self-catering was given a GOLD Green Tourism Business Scheme award, a reward for all our hard work! In addition, the Peedie House was shortlisted for the Green Tourism Business Scheme Goldstar Awards in 2012 and 2014. The shortlist is compiled from the highest scoring Gold graded businesses from 2011 and 2013 representing the greenest 2% of the total 2,400 GTBS membership. See our Self Catering Holidays pages for more information.

Please note that ‘high-season’ bookings for 2016 are already going well.

Please book or enquire through the ‘self-catering’ section.

For a flavour of what Orkney has to offer the holidaymaker have a look at our Orkney Photo Album


Orcadian Wildlife uses Swarovski equipment including this ATX65 scope.
Orcadian Wildlife uses Swarovski equipment including this ATX 65 scope.



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