UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies
Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram

Wildlife Adventures – The Shetland Isles

  • 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.

Customer Kudos

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.

5 star 23

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Donn Hutchins 02/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
the folks in customer service are very knowledgeable, prompt and friendly.
Trip Comments
We were in the Shetlands for a week and the weather bad (WET) most of the trip; main reason for the good versus excellent trip rating. Trip venue and accommodations were fine. Missed seeing a lot of the birds in natural habitat that we were looking forward to (because of visibility). Starting the trip at the museum in Lewrick was a great way for us to get "into" the Shetlands.
Accommodation and Food
Liked staying at one hotel versus having to change. Hotel staff was excellent. Food was very good. Despite the drive. we would recommend going out to different restaurants for dinner; having 4 meals at the same restaurant was too much for us.
Your Guide
We liked Zoe and appreciated her passion for the outdoors Scotland, and overall knowledge. She worked hard to make the trip work for everyone and we appreciated it. Guides make or break a trip; Zoe did a very good job; unfortunately she did not control the weather!
The Bottom Line
We are Wilderness Scotland fans, this is our second trip with you and we look forward to doing more in the future. Group size, great trips and knowledgeable guides. Staying in local hotels also appeals to us.

by Beverley Lambert 27/07/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The info received was timely and always useful.
Trip Comments
We felt well looked after, our guide was flexible regarding our own preferences, her love of the outdoors was infectious. Mother Nature threw her a huge challenge (rain & wind for the week!) but she always had an alternative plan (Plan B). She did her homework each evening to ensure we would have some good options the next day - Zoe worked hard for us! Zoe, your choice of Frankie's Fish & Chips on the one and only sunny evening was a master stroke! Sitting in the sun on that verandah was a top night for us all! As Zoe came across by ferry and hired a van in Lerwick, her vehicle did not have a mic. So at times if you were sitting in the back, you couldn't always hear what she was telling us although she would be trying to speak loudly. On the Orkneys tour, we had a WS van which had the mic in it - so much better.
Accommodation and Food
Lunches were great. The staff & management were extremely pleasant and obliging. It was nice to have a couple of meals away from Busta House though as we became used to its menu. Having said that we can appreciate why WS uses it as it's centrally located and you can travel out from it each day in different directions. However I do think you need to explain this in your information brochure. Some people in our group would have preferred to have been in a town so they had other choices for night meals but I can see now that the Shetlands isn't that kind of place really and Busta House was actually well positioned for our walks etc. Oh & if there were any complaints about the toilets not working - they did. You just have to pump that lever 7-8 times and you get the most amazing waterfall/flush! It's just an old building that's all and I loved the fact that it was hundreds of years old - it's part of what we came to experience.
Your Guide
See previous comments. Zoe was pleasant to be with, her knowledge of the outdoors (flora, faune etc) was impressive. Nothing was too much trouble for her and we felt well looked after.
The Bottom Line
Every aspect of the trip was well planned for and executed. The driving was excellent, we received an amazing education about Scottish culture, geology, wildlife & history.

by Jean Foster 25/07/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Everything went smoothly. The office even alerted us to the possibility of train strikes, but thankfully we weren't affected.
Trip Comments
Unfortunately the weather wasn't great but hey, this is Scotland. We got some sunshine towards the end. Great variety of seabirds and wild flowers. Highlights were the cliffs at Eshaness, the boat trip to Noss and St. Ninian's Isle.
Accommodation and Food
Busta House was a very nice hotel. The staff were very friendly. Food was good. We had great fish and chips at Frankie's down the road and the restaurant at the museum in Lerwick was excellent. They dealt very well with a mix-up in booking which meant 9 of us turned up a night too early.
Your Guide
Zoe was flexible and adapted the activities according to the weather and the wishes of the group.
The Bottom Line
This was our third trip with Wilderness Scotland and we will certainly come again.

by Catriona MacKenzie 16/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The website is great and everyone in the office are just lovely and helpful.
Trip Comments
I was certain my previous trips with Wilderness were the best possible trips, I have just been on the Shetland trip and it too was the best ever! Unsurpassable
Accommodation and Food
Busta House is the loveliest hotel to stay in. The staff are friendly and attentive. The food is superb, we all agreed that the packed lunches were the best we'd ever had. They really went out of their way. Busta House itself is a gorgeous building, interesting and very comfortable indeed.
Your Guide
As always Kirsty was the lynchpin of the trip, she has such a lovely personality that everyone warms to her, relaxes quickly and enjoys their holiday. She is always perfect, there could be no improving of her. I'm sure it's all been said before!
The Bottom Line
I have been on several trips with Wilderness Scotland so I had very high expectations of the trip to Shetland. They were surpassed even on the first day, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Although I always go by myself it feels as though I have spent the time with my best friends by the end of the trip. Perfect from start to finish. Thankyou

by Mike Cheshire 13/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Clear information, easy to contact
Trip Comments
Great walks, thousands of birds and flowers, excellent hotel. Simply brilliant guide, Kirsty.
Accommodation and Food
Best picnics we have had on walking holidays.
Your Guide
Energy, knowledge, cheerful, knows when to say yes and no. Faultless, brilliant.
The Bottom Line
Shetlands scenery and wildlife amazing. Very well thought out itinerary.

by Valerie Koyl 13/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very helpful with pre and post Wilderness Scotland trip plans, trains, hotels, etc.
Trip Comments
All details well thought out.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Kirsty was phenomenal!!! She is very knowledgable in all aspects of anything Shetland/Scotland. Kirsty is a great people person, taking time to get to know each individual in the group. She made everyone feel at ease and allowed everyone to walk at their own pace.
The Bottom Line
The whole experience was wonderful, from the office staff to the actual trip and our guide.

by Jane Cheshire 13/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Wonderful scenery wildlife and an excellent guide
Accommodation and Food
Very good accommodation and picnics to die for
Your Guide
Kirsty was brilliant very knowledgable and a perfect guide
The Bottom Line
A wonderful holiday

by Irene Riley 27/05/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
So many highlights hard to choose.Coming out of the swirling mist on Hermaness with piratical Bonxies over head to emerge on to sea stacks iced with guano and Gannets 100s of feet below was stunning.To see Muclkle Flugga just visible was memorable.
The boat cruise to the cliffs of Noss and Bressay was wonderful and exciting with great views of the sea bird colony's,,Gannets,,Guillemots,Gulls in profusion.
All walks along the coast are impressive with rock formations and geology in abundance.
Jarlshof and other historic sights interesting and fasinating contrast to the wildlife.
Great contrast in scenery from the Artic landscape of shattered rock of Ronas Hill to beautiful Tombolo of st Ninian's Isle.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Cory could not be faulted from his knowledge of wildlife,birds,plants,geology etc..Worked very hard to ensure our daily expedition were well planned,interesting,safe.Tea and treats at lunch nice.All provided with kindness and good humour.
The Bottom Line
Go on it..The sights,sounds and smells(of the Gannet coloney) will provide a lifetime of memories to reflect on.

by Liz Turvey 23/05/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
A really good mixture of culture, walking and wildlife. Flexible and it was great that walking options were provided as much as possible.
The Bottom Line
A really good mix of culture, wildlife and walking, with shorter walking options offered where possible. Felt very relaxed to have someone else manage the organising of the trip. May have made more sense for the guide to stay at the same hotel but there may have been reason for not (ie cost, and him needing some time off!).

by Angus Andrew 22/05/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
More detailed info about the trip and facilities
Trip Comments
The only things that marked it down were the hotel rooms (dated) and the itinerary on the first and last days
Accommodation and Food
See previous. The food exceeded expectations and the hotel staff were brilliant. The rooms (or at least our room) was more than a little dated
Your Guide
Actually Cory was brilliant: its just a little cheeky describing an Englishman from the West Highlands as a "local guide"
The Bottom Line
It was a great holiday that exceeded expectations

Prices and Departures

45 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
6th May - 12th May 2017
£1,395
4 place(s) left
3rd Jun - 9th Jun 2017
£1,395
Trip Full
15th Jul - 21st Jul 2017
£1,395
3 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. This is a great place to look for mountain hares in their natural environment.

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.

Download Dossier

Call Your Adventure Consultant Now

Meike van Krimpen

Speak to the Team

Call or message. Get straight through to a local expert in the Highlands of Scotland.

Phone

Prices and Departures

45 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
6th May - 12th May 2017
£1,395
4 place(s) left
3rd Jun - 9th Jun 2017
£1,395
Trip Full
15th Jul - 21st Jul 2017
£1,395
3 place(s) left

Price from: £1,395

Next trip: 6th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Orkney and Shetland Isles

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

27 review(s)

Trip Photos

shetland-wildlife-walking-1shetland-wildlife-walking-2shetland-wildlife-walking-3shetland-wildlife-walking-4shetland-wildlife-walking-5shetland-wildlife-walking-6shetland-wildlife-walking-7shetland-wildlife-walking-8shetland-wildlife-walking-9shetland-wildlife-walking-10shetland-wildlife-walking-11shetland-wildlife-walking-12shetland-wildlife-walking-13shetland-wildlife-walking-14shetland-wildlife-walking-15shetland-wildlife-walking-16shetland-wildlife-walking-17shetland-wildlife-walking-18shetland-wildlife-walking-19shetland-wildlife-walking-20
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

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

 

  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier

Meet your guide

Click on a guides name for a full bio.

View guides for all departures

Location


Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
We are Wilderness Scotland fans, this is our second trip with you and we look forward to doing more in the future. Group size, great trips and knowledgeable guides. Staying in local hotels also appeals to us.

Donn Hutchins
02/08/2016

5

Every aspect of the trip was well planned for and executed. The driving was excellent, we received an amazing education about Scottish culture, geology, wildlife & history.

Beverley Lambert
27/07/2016

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 27 review(s) of Wildlife Adventures – The Shetland Isles

5 star 23

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

Read All Trip Reviews