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    Selected Trips

      Wildlife Adventures
      The Shetland Isles

      70 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 17th Apr | 8th May Duration: 6 night(s)

      From £1,725 View Prices & Departures

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      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by David Russell
      View David's Profile

      Region: Orkney and Shetland Isles
      Trip Type: Wildlife
      Comfort: Classic
      Max Group Size: 8
      Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
      Deposit From N/A £431.25


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

      Download Itinerary

      Trip Details

      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. Sea life 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 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 wildflowers that 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 – 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 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 – 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 5 – Bird-Watching Cruise to Noss & 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)

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      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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      What's Included

      Accommodation - Accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels 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.

      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 £385 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 - Meals Info (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) Read More

      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.

      Travel - All transport throughout the trip 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/

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2021 Availability Status Price Book
      17th Apr - 23rd Apr 2021 4 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,725 Book Now
      8th May - 14th May 2021 7 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,765 Book Now
      29th May - 4th Jun 2021 1 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,765 Book Now
      19th Jun - 25th Jun 2021 1 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,765 Book Now
      26th Jun - 2nd Jul 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,765 Book Now
      3rd Jul - 9th Jul 2021 1 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,765 Book Now

      Make This Trip Private

      Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

      Speak to an Expert

      David loves the lure of wild places. He’s regularly seen heading off with his canoe, camera and tent for a night under the stars. David spent 5 years as an outdoor guide and instructor with qualifications from the Mountain Training Association and British Canoe Association. His love of Scotland’s wild place took him to the remote and beautiful Isles of Shetland. The islands are brimming with life and he couldn’t help but be inspired to create a wildlife trip exploring the area.

      - David Russell

      Ask David a Question

      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 4.90 out of 5 based on 70 review(s) 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.


      Jennie Smith

      Reviewed on 15/08/2019

      Age: 70 - 80
      Country: United States of America
      Trip Date: 13/07/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line


      Katherine Smith

      Reviewed on 03/08/2019

      Age: 30 - 40
      Country: United States of America
      Trip Date: 13/07/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Loved it!


      Mary C Hahessy

      Reviewed on 29/07/2019

      Age: 50 - 60
      Country: Ireland
      Trip Date: 13/07/2019
      Trips Taken: 3

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      My trip to Shetland met and exceeded all my expectations as my earlier trips with Wilderness Scotland have. The advantage of such beautiful places is added to by W.S.'s commitment and expertise.

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