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Day 1: Edinburgh to Shetland We head north to the ancient university town of St. Andrews with time to explore the home of golf. We then head to the stunning Dunnottar Castle and on to the picturesque harbour town of Stonehaven. Further up the east coast to Aberdeen where the adventure really begins as we board the ferry and embark upon our voyage on the North Sea. This overnight journey, via Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, will arrive in Lerwick the next morning. Day 2: Shetland We explore the island, taking in Scalloway, the original capital of Shetland then onto Burra Island with its gorgeous beaches. We sample the scenery of the south of the island and climb amongst the huge bird population within the Nature Reserve of Sumburgh Head. There will undoubtedly be some revelling in town with the locals in preparation for tomorrow's festivities. Day 3: Up Helly Aa! The big day dawns! The morning sees the Viking procession and a chance to have your picture taken beside this year's 'Jarl' (Chief Viking). In the afternoon there is time to explore Lerwick and a good chance to get warmed up with a dance (and perhaps try some whisky) for the long night ahead. The evening starts with the Junior Jarl Squad procession which is the youngster's version of the full blown affair. After a torchlight street procession of up to a thousand 'guizers' (local performers), the festival reaches a crescendo as a full-size replica Viking longship is ceremonially burnt. Day 4: Shetland to Scotland The next morning (or at the end of the night, depending on how much fun you have!) we will join the 'guizers' again as they sing away their hangovers. We then venture north taking in the area of the ancient Tingwall parliament and explore the northern area of the island before returning on the overnight ferry back to the mainland. Day 5: Return to Edinburgh We will pass Crathie Kirk where the Royal Family worship when at their Highland residence. We also visit the resting place of John Brown, ghillie to Queen Victoria and made famous in the movie starring Billy Connolly. We then make our way through the mountains and Royal Braemar on the way back to Edinburgh.

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