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Wildlife Adventures – The Shetland Isles

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Price from: £1,195

Next trip: 23rd May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Orkney and Shetland Isles

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

9 review(s)
  • Experience the diverse landscapes and fascinating wildlife of Scotland’s most northerly islands
  • Be amazed by the prolific birdlife at Sumburgh and the heritage of the Vikings at Jarlshof
  • Enjoy the very best local produce and cuisine while staying in one of Shetland’s best and most unique hotels

Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3

All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!

So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself:

  1. Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
  2. Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
  3. Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?

Accommodation on this trip is at the wonderful Busta House Hotel, well regarded as the best hotel in the Shetland Isles.

Busta House, located on the shore of sheltered Busta Voe on mainland Shetland, blends history, romance and intimacy with an attention to detail which makes for a perfect stay. The house was built during the 16th, 17th & 18th century and is steeped in history u2013 it is even said to have a resident ghost!

The house has a beautiful garden, and comfortable lounges to relax in with their premium wines and whiskeys before retiring to your bedroom after a day out in the wilderness.

The bedrooms at Busta House are all named after islands around the coast of mainland Shetland and are individually decorated to give each a unique character. The rooms are all en-suite and have direct-dial telephone with modem port.

A limited number of single rooms are available – early booking is recommended for these rooms. The supplement for having a single room is £225. If you are travelling on your own but don’t need a single room, we will arrange for you to share with another client of the same sex.

At Busta House, food, especially Shetland produce, plays a major role in your experience. Shetland Hill Lamb, Free Range Pork from Unst, Fresh Seafood from all around the islands Muckle Roe Mussells, Hallibut from Bressay, Yell Sound Scallops, Organic Salmon from Unst and, most recently and a world first, organically farmed Cod from Johnson Sea Farms at Vidlin. Even their milk and butter are locally produced, along with cream & ice cream. And where they find that consistently high quality local produce is not available in the quantities they require, they don’t have to travel far – Orkney beef and Cheese are also world famous, and you’ll soon understand why!

To access the remote Shetland Isles, which are located far to the north of Scotland, clients have two options for traveling there:

Option 1 – Fly to Sumburgh Airport on Shetland. Direct flights are available from London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. The busiest route is from Aberdeen, which has several flights each day. For flight details, see www.britishairways.com Please fly in at least a day in advance of day 1 of the trip. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Lerwick, then please contact us for a list of accommodation options to Lerwick from the airport.

Option 2 – Travel by ferry to Shetland along with our guide. Ferries depart from Aberdeen most days and this is an overnight crossing, arriving in Lerwick at approx 7.30 am the next day. The following morning you willl make your way to the Shetland hotel with the guiide to meet the rest of the group at 9.30 am. For ferry timetables are fares, see www.northlinkferries.co.uk

If you travel to Shetland by ferry from Aberdeen, you will meet our guide at 8pm at the reception area on board the ferry on the evening you depart. The following morning you enjoy a short coastal walk before travelling south to Sumburgh in the afternoon to meet any clients who have flown to Shetland. Upon booking the trip, please confirm whether you will travelling to Shetland by ferry or plane.

For more information on getting to Scotland see our Travel to Scotland section.

100% Unedited Reviews

Our clients receive a feedback survey automatically after finishing their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once it's submitted the review is automatically published on our website just as soon as our database updates. We read all our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience and if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 6

4 star 3

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Jane Williams 09/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Liked the informality of the emails. You always responded quickly and answered all questions. I was reassured from day 1 that I would be well looked after.
Trip Comments
Wonderful 13 hour day to Muckle Flugga with so much packed in it would be hard to ever forget.

Thanks to Gatwick security, the most awful travel experience to get to Shetland, sadly causing me to lose 3 days of my holiday.
Accommodation and Food
Liked the informality of the emails. You always responded quickly and answered all questions. I was reassured from day 1 that I would be well looked after.
Your Guide
Warm and friendly but my head was reeling for 5 days with all the knowledge he imparted and I was determined to digest! Fortunately I had a notebook to help the brain remember everything! I really appreciated his kindness in lending me his binoculars for the whole trip. Graham taught me a wonderful awareness of all things around me that grew, flew, sang, swam or just looked beautiful.
The Bottom Line
Have already mentioned Wilderness Scotland to several people.
Best Moment - can't say. I loved it all. I had been told in advance that in Shetland - it always rained - you were bitten by midges - the beaches were not special. We had no rain, but some lovely sun - there are no midges on Shetland - I doubt there are many more beautiful beaches in the UK. I will no longer listen to other peoples opinions.

by Judith Norcross 05/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
I have walked with Graham on another wilderness trip which was also terrific.
In Shetland his knowledge of the islands and the wildlife really made this a holiday to remember. Thank you Graham.
The Bottom Line
After several previous visits to Shetland I already was familiar with the Islands but this trip really added to those experiences and now I can`t wait to go back again.

by Luisa Ferrari 17/08/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Jill Powlett Brown 13/08/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
In particular, it was very helpful this time to receive information about the meeting point and Graham's contact details.
Trip Comments
There were many highs - seeing otter, the variety of birds, the beautiful wild landscape and of course the weather!
The low point is the accommodation: from your description of Busta House as "wonderful ... well regarded as the best hotel in the Shetland Isles" I anticipated something far better than we experienced (see a fuller description below).
Accommodation and Food
In particular, it was very helpful this time to receive information about the meeting point and Graham's contact details.
Your Guide
Graham was an absolutely wonderful guide; passionate and vastly knowledgeable about the natural history of Shetland in particular, he also brought the social and cultural history of the islands to life in a special way. As a small group, we benefitted from his willingness to build some flexibility into the itinerary so that we had an opportunity, for example, to visit Papa Stour. And he patiently answered the dumbest of my many questions so that I learned a huge amount from him. He made this trip magical for me.
The Bottom Line
So many inspiring moments ... the power of the sea, seeing the merlin hunting on Papa Stour, the Viking mills, the music.
But I would counsel caution on the accommodation!

by Cherri Moseley 08/07/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I was disappointed to lose a day of the holiday because my flight was unable to land at Sumburgh. It was turned back due to fog at Sumburgh. This is apparently a frequent occurance at this time of year, but no mention was made of this when I discussed travelling.
Trip Comments
Would have liked a rest day from walking mid week, though much depends on what is available locally for that to be a success. Walking just a little more than I would like.
Accommodation and Food
I was disappointed to lose a day of the holiday because my flight was unable to land at Sumburgh. It was turned back due to fog at Sumburgh. This is apparently a frequent occurance at this time of year, but no mention was made of this when I discussed travelling.
Your Guide
Graham was a superb guide. He went the extra mile, always! He was so knowledgeable about all aspects of wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble.
The Bottom Line
Mousa Broch at midnight, hearing and seeing the storm petrols. The sunset, light until gone midnight.It was beautiful, serene, magical. The fact that this dwelling was over 2000 years old etc etc

by Dianne Edgar 05/07/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Shetland was quite different to my last trip to Cape Wrath, but equally enjoyable, despite some rain. There were a lot of high points, but i think seeing the storm petrels in daylight at midnight on the Broch at Mossa was probably one of the best experiences of my life.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
How does one man know so much about the area? He was knowledgeable about birds, geography, geology, wildlife, plants, history, archaeology. He had good contacts and local knowledge, and told us many stories about life on Shetland which enriched our experience.He was patient when we asked him the same thing several times, he showed us things we would not otherwise have seen, he was sociable at meals, and very organised, getting us to maximise our experience in Sheltand. I thought last year's guide was excellent, but Graham was excellent plus!
The Bottom Line
I have had two holidays with Wilderness Scotland, and each of them has exceeded expectations. I have also recommended you to two people who have come on your holidays. Your trips are well organised, well structured, pack in variety, and your guides combine a rare combination of people skills and technical expertise.

Most inspirational moment was Mossa ( see above)

by Mary McCabe 01/07/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
When we arrived we discovered we had forgotten to print out the email stating exactly where we would rendezvous with the guide. At this point we could have done with a few more contact telephone numbers on the literature - the centre for Wilderness Scotland appeared to be closed for the weekend.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
When we arrived we discovered we had forgotten to print out the email stating exactly where we would rendezvous with the guide. At this point we could have done with a few more contact telephone numbers on the literature - the centre for Wilderness Scotland appeared to be closed for the weekend.
Your Guide
Graham Uney was an outstanding guide. His ability to spot, identify and discuss every seabird which crossed our horizon was uncanny. As an official RSPB ringer for various species of birds he also knew the locations of all the nests and none of us will forget "helping" him to catch and ring baby oyster catchers and baby gulls. He added into our programme other extra highlights such as the storm petrels in the Broch at Moussa Island. He knew every square inch of the topography of Shetland and from his conversation he appeared to be equally intimate with many other locations on a world scale. Yet despite his vast experience he was patient with the slower walkers and never patronising in answering our questions.
The Bottom Line
It is a trip I will remember forever. The two highlights for me were the ringing of the birds, especially getting to handling the baby oyster-catchers as Graham was ringing them; also the midnight trip to Moussa to watch the enigmatic storm petrels fluttering in on the simmer dim. (here also Graham our guide was able to show us a storm petrel close up).

by Greg Robertson 01/07/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Good and helpful advice, staff responded to all our questions.
Trip Comments
This trip was simply the best experience you could wish for. The range of experiences and places we walked was simply amazing. While the weather was mixed - started and finished wet (it was,after all, Shetland) but fine days in between - the day's walks were adjusted to cope. The scenery and wildlife was stunning, and made all the more memorable by the added information from the guide.
Accommodation and Food
Good and helpful advice, staff responded to all our questions.
Your Guide
One could not speak highly enough of Graham Uney. He went out of his way to vary the published program to suit the weather (and no doubt the physical ability of the group), but also added significantly more than was promised. His knowledge of the area (history, geology and people), and of its wildlife and plant life, was incredible, Nothing was ever too much trouble. An exceptional example of "customer service". He is a great credit to you.
The Bottom Line
This trip has been an exceptional part of our holiday. Cannot speak too highly of it. Highlight was probably the visit to Moussa at midnight to see the broch and the storm petrels come in.

by Rosemary Robertson 01/07/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
As we live in Australia, and had never been to the UK before, we needed quite a bit more information, particularly about getting to the Shetlands, and this was excellent.
Trip Comments
Seven days was a really good time frame to see and do a great deal on the Shetlands. Also, distances can be great from one end of mainland to the other, and these were all taken care of. They were long days but so so enjoyable. High point: Moussa boat trip late one night to see the broch and storm petrels. Low point: none, even the rain was good - it has to rain on Shetland!
Accommodation and Food
As we live in Australia, and had never been to the UK before, we needed quite a bit more information, particularly about getting to the Shetlands, and this was excellent.
Your Guide
You have an asset in Graham. He went out of his way so any times; infinite patience. He had evening meals with us every night except one, which is a big thing, despite the long trip back to his home and his wife. So so committed, extremely knowledgeable in every aspect. Loved ringing the chicks!
The Bottom Line
An extremely well planned tour with the best guide one could get. Well done Graham and Wilderness Scotland.
Moussa - the broch and the storm petrels (the time of the year was an asset to this too)

Prices and Departures

35 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
23rd May - 29th May 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left
18th Jul - 24th Jul 2015
£1,195
4 place(s) left

Trip Details

Join us on an unforgettable journey to the Shetland Isles, a little-visited archipelago of more than 100 exposed islands lying far north of the Scottish mainland, as close to Norway as they are to Scotland.

People have worked the land and sea around Shetland for 5000 years, leaving a mysterious legacy of ruined forts, ancient houses and standing stones.

In the company of your highly knowledgeable guide you will gain privileged insight into the unique history and natural world of Shetland as you explore the varied landscapes of these isles on day hikes to their wildest and most dramatic places. Here, you will experience the incredible wealth of birdlife, marine life and wild flowers that in the wild places of these intriguing islands.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Walking in the Shetland Isles

Travel to Shetland and meet your guide for this walking holiday in the Shetland Isles. We drive north to the little island of Muckle Roe where we enjoy a stunning coastal walk to North and South Ham.

Day 2 – Coastal Walk on Shetland Isles

One of the best coastal walks in Shetland is found just a short drive north of our hotel at the superb headland of Eshaness. Here we will explore the fascinating coastal scenery around the Villians of Ure, the Grind of the Navir and the Holes of Scraada.

Day 3 – Jarlshof and Bird Watching on Shetland

We visit Jarlshof pre-historic site and a walk to Sumburgh Head RSPB Reserve for some birdwatching. We enjoy a wonderful coastal walk with excellent views of sea bird colonies including gannets, auks and bonxies. Whales can also be spotted offshore. If time permits, we will explore the Ness of Burgi Stone Age Fort.

Day 4 – Walking on the islands of Yell and Unst

Travel by ferry to the islands of Yell and Unst where we walk to Muckle Flugga, the northern-most tip of Britain and the world’s largest bonxie breeding colony at Hermaness.

Day 5 – Bird-watching cruise to Noss & Bressay

The cliffs of Noss and Bressay are a haven for seabirds. In one of the world’s prime locations for bird-watching, the Noss National Nature Reserve is home to 20,000 Gannets, 25,000 Guillemots, 3,000 Kittiwakes, 1,200 Puffins and hundreds of Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Shags and Skuas. We’ll enjoy a cruise round the spectacular cliffs in what is sure to be a highlight of this trip.

Day 6 – Walking up Ronas Hill: Shetland’s highest peak

Today we head into the most northerly part of Mainland Shetland, climbing through an Arctic landscape to the summit of Ronas Hill, Shetland’s highest peak at 450 metres.

Day 7 – Coastal Walk on St Ninian’s Isle

Back in South Mainland we head over the tombolo to St. Ninian’s Isle for great views out to the island of Foula, before heading into Lerwick for a short walk around The Knab.

Please note that the itinerary above is an intended programme only. The order of daily walks / activities may be amended and alternative routes may be selected at the guide’s discretion. A limited number of single rooms are available – the single supplement is £200 per person.

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Prices and Departures

35 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
23rd May - 29th May 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left
18th Jul - 24th Jul 2015
£1,195
4 place(s) left

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
Have already mentioned Wilderness Scotland to several people.
Best Moment - can't say. I loved it all. I had been told in advance that in Shetland - it always rained - you were bitten by midges - the beaches were not special. We had no rain, but some lovely sun - there are no midges on Shetland - I doubt there are many more beautiful beaches in the UK. I will no longer listen to other peoples opinions.

Jane Williams
09/06/2014

4

After several previous visits to Shetland I already was familiar with the Islands but this trip really added to those experiences and now I can`t wait to go back again.

Judith Norcross
05/06/2014

5

Rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 9 review(s) of Wildlife Adventures – The Shetland Isles

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