- Experience the 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.
- Hike to the dramatic coastline of Muckle Flugga, the most northerly point in the UK.
- Enjoy a boat trip to view the bird colonies at Noss National Nature Reserve where we’ll be deafened by the noise of 20,000 gannets, 25,000 guillemots, 3,000 kittiwakes, 1,200 puffins and hundreds of razorbills, shags and skuas!
- 6 nights accommodation in a country house hotel
- Breakfast and packed lunches throughout the trip, from Day 2 through to packed lunch on Day 7 (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- A boat trip to the Noss National Nature Reserve to view the prolific birdlife
- Entrance fees to the Jarlshof centre
- The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
- All transport throughout the trip, starting from the ferry terminal on Day 1 and finishing there or at Sumburgh Airport.
- All ferry transfers while on Shetland
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:
- Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
- Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
- Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?
13th Apr - 19th Apr 2019
Tim FrancisA passionate biker and hill-walker, Tim is a former business development manager who spent 4 years working in South America...
27th Apr - 3rd May 2019
Kirsty ChuchlaJoin the effervescent Kirsty as she leads groups to Scotland's beautiful wild places.
11th May - 17th May 2019
Ken KeithKen saw the light and left the bright lights behind for a Highland existence. Read more here.
22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2019
Craig McDonaldCraig's love of history and discovering the footsteps of his clan is what has drawn to his ancestral homelands.
29th Jun - 5th Jul 2019
Mike BrianA former School teacher. Learn more about Mike's thrill for the outdoors and read an interesting story about the Firth of Forth!
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Accommodation on this trip is at the wonderful Busta House Hotel, well regarded as the best hotel in the Shetland Isles. Located on the shore of sheltered Busta Voe on mainland Shetland, Busta House 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 – it is even said to have a resident ghost!
At Busta House food plays a major role in your experience – especially Shetland produce. Shetland hill lamb, free range pork from Unst, fresh seafood from all around the islands – Muckle Roe mussels, halibut from Bressay, Yell Sound scallops, organic salmon from Unst. Also, most recently and a world first; organically farmed cod from Johnson Sea Farms at Vidlin.
Although evening meals are not included in the trip cost, we will dine at Busta House several times during the week, where you can choose from its excellent restaurant or its extensive bar menu.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will look into this for you. A single room supplement of £225 is charged if a single room is available – please see booking form terms and conditions.
- You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Holmsgarth Ferry Terminal at 8:30am on Day 1 of your trip. If staying in Shetland the night before we recommend finding accommodation in Lerwick.
- Shetland is reached by an overnight ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick (operated by Northlink Ferries). Alternatively, Flybe operate flights to Sumburgh Airport from Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
- Upon booking the trip, please confirm whether you will travelling to Shetland by ferry or plane. If you are flying to Shetland, please arrive the day before the trip starts to ensure a prompt start for the group on Day 1.
- For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/
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.
Day 1 – Meet in Lerwick, Walking in the Shetland Isles
This morning you meet your guide at the ferry terminal just north of Lerwick. We drive north to the little island of Muckle Roe where we enjoy a stunning coastal walk to North and South Ham. (D)
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. (B, L)
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. (B, L)
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. (B, L)
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. (B, L)
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. This is a great place to look for mountain hares in their natural environment. (B, L, D)
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. (B, L)
Prices and Dates
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by Marjolein van Veldhuizen 20/06/2018
Very swift response from the Wilderness team to my questions.
We were very well looked after by our guide (Ken Keith) and the lovely hotel staff. The organisation of the trip was very smooth, including changes to the itinerary due to the weather. We had a great time with all the lovely people in our group and felt very lucky with the weather and all the wild and bird life we were able to see. We definitely recommend this trip!
Accommodation and Food
Busta House Hotel is a lovely old building with character (and a ghost!), ideally located to explore the Shetlands. The food was great, and the hotel staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Ken Keith is a great guide with lots of experience. He very quickly has a good understanding of the individual abilities and interests within the group and is very good at matching that with walking route options and other things to do and see on the day. He is very approachable and always has an interesting story to tell.
The Bottom Line
The Shetland trip was our third with Wilderness Scotland and another wonderful experience also due to the smooth organisation and the great guide. We are already looking into our next trip. Can't wait!
by Ian Caldwell 15/06/2018
Accommodation and Food
The sower took a long time to warm up and was only just hot enough on some occasions.
by Gavin Bateman 12/06/2018
Wonderful wildlife, a fantastic group and a brilliant guide.
Accommodation and Food
Great staff. Couldn;t be friendlier
Third time with Kirsty and better than ever.
A wonderful ambassador.
The Bottom Line
Been on six and this was the best yet.
by Nina Taunton 11/06/2018
Everything fine. If probs arise, they are dealt with almost by return of email.
I am a Londoner. I can recognise perrokeets, robins and pigeons. But now, thanks to the Shetland experience, I am becoming quite a twitcher.
Accommodation and Food
One weenie point; would have liked less paper thin and rubbery toast for breakfast! But really, this is being unnecessarily picky. The food, the staff, the room, were all of a very high standard.
I am a seasoned Kirsty groupie. What more can I say? Her knowledge and expertise match her stamina and personality. There is nothing that is not enormously impressive about her. We know we are in safe hands.