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    Wildlife Adventures

    The Shetland Isles

    101 reviews

    Next Trip: 15th - 21st Apr 2023 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From £2,165 View Prices & Dates

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    Trip created by Stevie Christie
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    Region: Orkney and Shetland Isles
    Trip Type: Wildlife
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 3 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: £541.25 £541.25


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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    Join us on an unforgettable walking 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 5,000 years, leaving a mysterious legacy of ruined forts, ancient houses and standing stones.

    The islands are also rich in a diversity of wildlife, which we’ll explore on this guided tour. Huge colonies of seabirds cling to plunging cliffs. Sealife, such as cetaceans and seals play in the rolling waves. On land, rare flora twitch in the sea breeze, while underwater vast kelp forests roll in the tide.

    In the company of your highly knowledgeable guide, you will gain a privileged insight into Shetland’s unique history and natural world 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 wildflowers that live in the wild places of these intriguing islands.

    Trip Highlights

    • 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!

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Meet in Lerwick, Walking in the Shetland Isles

    This morning you will meet your guide at the ferry terminal in Lerwick to start your Shetland wildlife holiday. The trip starts shortly after the arrival of the overnight ferry from Aberdeen, or you may choose to fly to Shetland and stay in Lerwick the night before. We drive north to the little island of Muckle Roe where we enjoy a stunning coastal walk to North and South Ham. Afterwards, we settle into our accommodation. Tonight before dinner your guide will then formally welcome everyone to Shetland and deliver a full trip briefing. (L, D)

    Day 2 – Walking on the Islands of Yell and Unst

    Today we travel by ferry to the islands of Yell and Unst in northeast Shetland. On Unst, we will walk to Herma Ness, which is one of the largest breeding colonies of bonxie in the world. This is a superb and wild spot to gaze out across the sea to the sensationally placed lighthouse on the island of Muckle Flugga, and the tiny rock of Out Stack, the most northerly point of land in the United Kingdom. (B, L, D)

    Day 3 – Coastal Walk on Shetland

    One of the best routes for hiking in Shetland is found just a short drive north of our hotel at the superb headland of Eshaness. Here we will take a coastal walk to explore the fascinating coastal scenery around the Villains of Ure, the Grind of the Navir and the Holes of Scraada. (B, L, D)

    Day 4 – Jarlshof and Bird Watching on Shetland

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

    Day 5 – Bird-Watching Cruise to Noss and Bressay

    The cliffs of Noss and Bressay are a haven for seabirds. Today is the perfect opportunity for photography as you visit 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, D)

    Day 6 – Walking up Ronas Hill: Shetland’s Highest Peak

    Today we head north from our hotel and cross the narrow isthmus of Mavis Grind to Northmavine – a northern peninsula of Shetland. Here we walk through an Arctic landscape to the summit of Ronas Hill, Shetland’s highest peak at 450 metres. (B, L, D)

    Day 7 – Coastal Walk on St Ninian’s Isle

    This morning we drive to southern Shetland and walk across a beautiful sandy tombolo that connects to St Ninian’s Isle for great views out to the island of Foula. Afterwards, we head back into Lerwick for a short walk around The Knab before your walking holiday in Shetland ends where it started; at the ferry terminal. (B, L)

    Wildlife Adventures
    The Shetland Isles

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2023AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    15th Apr - 21st Apr 20232 places leftCONFIRMED£2,165Book Now
    29th Apr - 5th May 20232 places leftCONFIRMED£2,165Book Now
    13th May - 19th May 20233 places leftCONFIRMED£2,165Book Now
    27th May - 2nd Jun 20232 places leftCONFIRMED£2,165Book Now
    17th Jun - 23rd Jun 2023Trip FullFULLY BOOKED£2,165

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    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! It’s the perfect location to base ourselves to take advantage of the best of Shetland’s walks.

    Single rooms

    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 check availability. A single room supplement of £450 is charged if a single room is available.

    Due to the small size of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

    Meals Read More

    This trip is ‘All Inclusive’. 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.

    We will dine at Busta House several times during the week, where you can choose from its excellent restaurant or its extensive bar menu.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 6 nights accommodation in a country house hotel
    • All meals throughout from lunch on day 1 to 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
    Trip Grading Read More

    Green Graded 1-3

    Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More
    • 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. You will be returned to the ferry terminal for 2.30pm on the final day of the trip.
    • 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/

    If you would like to use your own vehicle on the trip please get in touch with our team to discuss.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Bridget Brown

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Bridget a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    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?

    Compare wildlife trip grades

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.91 out of 5 based on 101 reviews of Wildlife Adventures – The Shetland Isles


    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Howard Cohen

    Reviewed on 19/07/2022

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 09/07/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Worked out perfectly for us. We aren’t athletes but the hikes were very doable and Shetland is amazing, the geography, the geology, the history and the birds…and seals. Wildness Scotland is a great organization to use to see Scotland.


    Jane Bentley

    Reviewed on 18/07/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 09/07/2022
    Trips Taken: 3

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I had a fantastic trip to Shetland with Wilderness Scotland. As usual, the itineraries were well thought out and combined great walking, exploration of beautiful parts of the island, and opportunity to learn about wildlife and local history across the week. The group gelled well which made for relaxed and fun days, greatly supported by our excellent guide. The accommodation was very comfortable, with helpful and welcoming staff and great food. I had a lovely holiday and look forward to booking another Wilderness trip next year.


    Hugh Pringle

    Reviewed on 18/07/2022

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 09/07/2022
    Trips Taken: 2

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    It was an excellent trip, well organised and lead and very interesting.

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