2009 - 2010 Reviews of our Tours

Orkney ancient archaeology is astonishing. But Orkney's history offers even more, from Norse sagas and Earls' palaces to a murdered saint and a magnificent cathedral, plus Scapa Flow and WWII memories. Caz, who runs these tours and is a career archaeologist, lives all year in Orkney, and it shows. Her small groups get a wide range of archaeological information and expert choice of route - but they also get the benefit of folk history and local gossip - and excellent soup'n sandwich lunches in local pubs, finished off with tea/coffee and Orkney homebakes. We went in 2009, and have booked to go back in 2011. Couldn't recommend more highly.

 

2010 was our second trip to Orkney with Orkney Archaeology Tours. Caz is an extremely knowledgeable guide who shares her knowledge freely with anyone on the tour, Tours include some of the normal tourist spots of Skara Brae, Maes Howe etc but also some outlying islands such as Rousay (on our first trip) and the wonderful Westray and Papa Westray (on our second trip). Very clean, well looked after tour vehicle with sound facilities to hear the all important snippets of local knowledge.

 

From May 8th until 15th, I joined a trip by Orkney Archaeology Tours. I had never been to the Orkneys before but I live in Norway and the Viking history has always interested me, especially the history concerning the islands north off Great Britain. So what a surprise - not only the Vikings had been to the Orkneys - it was Bronze Age and Stone Age, Vikings, Rural History, a bit of Arctic Exploration - one of my favourites: John Rae, and WWII.  I had not expected such a variety of sites and many of them are really impressing. Sometimes I felt if you just dug a little bit, ancient things might start turning up.  The tour is organized and guided by archaeologist Caz Mamwell who is very knowledgeable and a good organizer. I really do recommend this trip and I hope I shall be able to join her on a tour in the near future.

 

Orkney Archaeology Tours offer brilliant one-week tours, and also briefer visits. I took the one-week tour, and it was superb. Caz Mamwell is an excellent guide, knowledgeable and smart, with a great sense of humor. She mixes up each day, with Neolithic sites, Viking sites, and more recent places as well, including the Churchill Barriers and the charming town of Stromness. The accommodation at the Ayre Hotel was also excellent. Highly recommended for anyone with even the slightest interest.

Orkney Archaeology Tours offer brilliant one-week tours, and also briefer visits. I took the one-week tour, and it was superb. Caz Mamwell is an excellent guide, knowledgeable and smart, with a great sense of humor. She mixes up each day, with Neolithic sites, Viking sites, and more recent places as well, including the Churchill Barriers and the charming town of Stromness. The accommodation at the Ayre Hotel was also excellent. Highly recommended for anyone with even the slightest interest.

 

What a fantastic week we had with Orkney Archaeological Tours and the amazingly informative Caz Mamwell. We recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in archaeology and history. Caz is definitely the person to show you the so many overwhelmingly interesting sights in the Orkney Isles and explain the present culture of the locals. The accommodation and meals were excellent and the September weather was kind. Strong winds some days but this kept the midges away. Light weight layering with wind proofing was the go!. The tour bus was very comfortable and eight in the group was perfect.

I want to go again!

 

My tour in August 2009 was a real delight. It was well organized and conducted in a very professional manner. There was no feeling of being "pushed" in order to visit a desired number of scenic places. Caz was extremely knowledgeable of the island history and well versed about the ruins visited. The tour van was even equipped with several sound speakers so that information given while traveling from point to point could be clearly heard, even in the rear seats. Water and other amenities were always available. I will always remember being able to hold a ancient artifact recovered the day prior to our visit to the "dig". I highly recommend this tour.

 

I have wanted to visit Orkney since I read an article in National Geographic years ago....and we finally arrived with Orkney Archaeology Tours for a week experience in July 2010. I cannot say enough good things about this trip; there were NO disappointments. My husband and I have traveled quite a bit over the years, although never before on a tour. This particular tour was a good decision: the information was invaluable, the small group worked perfectly, and the food/accommodations just as we would wish. The information imparted by Caz was fascinating. For an enormously successful trip on many fronts...education, fascinating spots, beautiful scenery, and all creature comforts... one can do no better!

 

We visited Orkney for two full days in July 2010. We discovered Orkney Archeology Day Tours online, and we booked two full days of touring with Caz Mamwell. We read the brochure and booked our trip over three months in advance.

Touring with Caz, a professional archeologist, was an awesome privilege for us. She really knows the sites and her explanations brought so much more depth to our experience of seeing these places. Our interests were primarily with Orkney’s Neolithic Sites and Caz “rocked” our world.

 

We had tremendous fun crawling and climbing in and out of places on the tour, and Caz was right there to point out a significant detail, or to fill us in on what was originally discovered, or to explain the structural features of a place.

Caz picked us up promptly each morning and drove us to and from places in a very clean and comfortable touring van. The van has many windows and we snapped great pictures of the island on the drives. Caz took us to perfect places for a spot of lunch with meal choices for every palette and every budget. At the end of each spectacular day, she dropped us off at our hotel. This is a tour for everyone, whether your interest is history, archeology, geology or just plain having fun, you won’t go wrong. We highly recommend it.

 

We recommend reading the Orkney Archeology Tours Brochure and booking well in advance of your trip. For the trip, pack your well-worn hiking shoes. Bring layers and be prepared for changeable weather: rain, wind, hot and cold. Bring your camera and some cash for lunch, snacks, and the gift shops. Bring your Historic Scotland Explorer Pass if you get one, and I definitely recommend getting one if you are touring all over Scotland.

 

My husband and I were in a group of 8 that spent a week touring archaeological sites in Orkney with guide Caz Mamwell. We visited everything from Neolithic Skara Brae to WWII-era defenses. Caz was wonderfully organized. We always stayed on schedule, and yet I never felt hurried. She knows Orkney history and archaeology thoroughly, and is also conversant with natural history, and local folkways. Her van accommodated all of us comfortably, and her microphone set-up meant even the folks in back could hear everything. We were put up at the Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall, where the food was great, the rooms had been recently remodelled, and the host was an attraction in himself. We felt cherished and catered to from the moment we showed up.

 

My husband, his sister, her husband and I (4 over 60 duffers) had pre-arranged a day tour with Caz over the internet. I wrote many times trying to work out a schedule, I rarely had to wait more than a couple of hours for a reply. She was very responsive. We arranged to met at the ferry terminal so we could leave our car on the other side. Then the fun began. I had supplied a list of everything on the island that we wanted to see, or should I say a list of everything on the island. Caz worked out the best way for us to see the top 8 or so sites. BTW, this is not easy; Mainland island is not small and the sites are far apart. AND the sites are not drive by sites. Despite my best efforts to do strafing runs at the sites, they were so interesting that we dawdled and learned. Because Caz lives on the island, she knew the schedules of the lectures and visited other sites until it was time, so we ended up doing more. Would we do it again? In a heart beat. Would we recommend it to our loved ones? In half a heart beat. Caz is charming and interesting, a good driver and patient. The only bad thing about the day was the weather. I had on 5 layers of clothes. It turned out that Caz had _6_! So dress very warmly, very and bring a rain coat. Forget the umbrella, it is just too windy.

 

For many years, I had dreamed of a visit to the archeological sites on Orkney. Caz Mamwell singlehandedly fulfilled this dream and then some. Her expertise was unsurpassed, and I left the islands with an outstanding background in the Neolithic, Viking, and later history of the islands. The tour van was comfortable, and the room and board were terrific. The 8-member group of like-minded adult travelers was intimate and friendly, and supported by Caz's first-hand knowledge of the land, sites and people. We saw not only the sites one hopes to see, usually depicted in guide books, such as Maeshowe, Skara Brae, and the variety of standing stones, but also ancient tombs and other sites off the beaten track. All of these sites had a gorgeous background of fertile hills, beautiful skies and charming architecture. Caz's wit and humble deportment were only matched by her amazing stamina and friendly contact with the people running restaurants and attractions. I highly recommend Orkney Archaeological Tours for anyone who loves ancient history travel and fascinating places.

 

We went on a week long tour in July which covered all the main archeological sites on the mainland as well as sites on two of the other islands - Hoy & Rousay. Our guide comprehensively covered all the points of interest, and was friendly and informative. Not only that, but as a professional archeologist provided insight into the sites far beyond any guidebook or anything provided at the sites themselves - especially the off the beaten path ones. The Hotel included in the package was comfortable and new, and the service and meals there were excellent. The transport from site to site was also comfortable, and by far the best way to get around the mainland. Would recommend to anyone with an interest in history, particularly pre-history.

 

My wife and I took an eight day tour of Orkney's archaeological wonders in May of 2009. Caz Mamwell was our guide. The tour was limited to a maximum of eight members which gave us a unique touring experience. Each day was filled with exciting adventures as we literally climbed and crawled through ancient history guided by a real archaeologist, Caz Mamwell. We stayed in a marvellous hotel in Kirkwall and dined with superb food breakfast and dinner. For lunch we always dined locally with soup, sandwiches, and shortbreads. Caz was a font of information and a wonderful guide. There were only seven of us on the tour and we became good friends almost instantly. I highly recommend this tour to anybody who is interested in history which dates thousands of years in the past. Your will not be disappointed

Orkney Archaeology Tours, 

Bayview, Birsay, Orkney, KW17 2LR  

VAT Reg. No. 107 1132 67   info@orktours.co.uk