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Review Highlights
A fascinating and well run exposure to Orkney archaeology and plenty of Orkney-ology

Our tour was with a small group, and included hotel, all meals, and guided visits to many... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
MDW554
Do Orkney properly!

Orkney isn't always easy to get to, but the visitor is rewarded by the sheer wealth of history... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
acmes
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All reviews ayre hotel caz mamwell wonderful week soup the small group size iron age knee pads comfortable accommodation sites visited six days martello tower whole week tour leader information provided day tour up to date exceeded my expectations
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My week touring archaeological sites of Orkney with Dr Dave Lawrence was tremendous. Dr Lawrence was the perfect host: generous with imparting his obvious enormous knowledge of the sites we visited; thoughtful in ensuring all his guests' needs were met; and, indefatigable during long days where he drove, walked and talked at length. All aspects of this tour were excellent - the accommodation, the vehicle, the meals and, luckily, the most enjoyable of travelling companions. A big thank you to Orkney Archaeology Tours, especially Dave. Jen

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Jenny T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2019

This is an extremely professional and well-organised trip of Orkney archeology and history from the Neolithic to WWII. Tour leader Caz Mamwell is a pocket-sized encyclopedia with a dry sense of humour. She takes great care to manage everything to the last detail, including special diets and how to enter and exit the mini-bus safely. The Ayre hotel is modern and comfortable (and planning further improvements under its new owners) with harbour views. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from Kirkwall's main streets, including 'The Reel' which is a mecca for folk music. The food was plentiful and good quality (except if you are trying to diet) and the staff friendly and obliging. The transport is a modern mini-bus of 3 rows of 3 seats with aircon and a rack at the back for rucksacks and poles. There is some (short) walking and crawling to do if you want to see everything, so discuss any limitations that you have before you book. All but two on our trip were 'concessions' and my wife is recovering from knee replacement, so she skipped one of the crawls and was a bit slow on one steep climb, but Caz was extremely kind and helpful.

My advice:

Ask yourself if you are really interested in archaeology (it's not a 'cruise ship' tour)
Book early (about 2 years ahead if you want to visit during the dig season)
Read up some background on Orkney, the Neolithic, the Viking sagas, and Scapa Flow
Read the tour brochure and instructions carefully and follow all of the advice

I really find it difficult to think of any negatives (even the legendary weather was kind to us). We are amateur 'armchair archaeologists' who had never visited Orkney before, and we came away highly satisfied. Thank you Caz.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Neil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2019

Caz Mamwell, PhD, expertly led us through Neolithic, Norse, and more recent Orkneys history on many sites and isles, timing our week to meet ferry schedules yet avoid crowds, sharing stories of Orkneys culture on the way. "Well organized" is an understatement, from arranging accommodations and lunches, to advising us to bring serious hiking boots, to attending to our needs, e.g,, providing me a walking stick for rocky slopes. Caz's wry sense of humor was a treat, and with only 8 of us (4 English, 4 American), our delightful group could - and did - talk rather than just listen to lectures. What a wonderful way to experience the Orkneys!

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Ellen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2019

What a terrific experience! This tour is led by trained, working archaeologists. They specialize in the Neolithic period, but are very knowledgeable about all things Orkney, and clearly love the islands. Chaz was our tour leader. She was a terrific guide, and took excellent care of our specialized needs. The Ayre Hotel in Kirkwall was very nice with a great staff. Very worth doing.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Pat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2019

Dr Dave Lawrence was our leader on this all inclusive tour of Orkney history and archeology - and I mean all inclusive from accommodation in the Ayre hotel to all meals and transport. Faultlessly timetabled and so many stories and facts that the group marvelled at Dave’s knowledge! Enjoyed the week immensely and feel we have learnt so much more about Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Norse age.... all featured together in some sites. Loved trips to Rousay and Hoy - unforgettable trip, thank you all who were in attendance and Dave...

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Fiona G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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