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    Wildlife Adventures

    The Shetland Isles

    118 reviews

    Next Trip: 27th - 3rd May 2024 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From: £2,695 View Prices & Dates

    Travel Planning & Advice

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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 2 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: £694


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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 adventure to the Shetland Isles – a remote archipelago of more than 100 exposed islands off the northern tip of Scotland. 

    A UNESCO Global Geopark, the geology of Shetland gives rise to a unique habitat for wildlife – from the eclectic birdlife that nest on the plunging cliffs to the otters, seals, and dolphins that play in the salty waves. In the company of your highly knowledgeable guide, gain a privileged insight into the culture, heritage and biodiversity of this beautiful place. With a human history that stretches back over 500o years, explore ruined forts, ancient houses and standing stones. Hike out to the island’s wildest, most dramatic corners and stroll along quiet, sandy beaches that stretch out brightly beneath the sky. If you’re familiar with the gripping TV crime drama ‘Shetland’, which grew out of Ann Cleeves’ award-winning detective novels, then you’ll be gifted with many recognisable backdrops – from machair fringed dunes to the sandstone houses of Lerwick. Enjoy every day – soaking up the tranquillity of nature while learning about the island’s fascinating ecology. As the sun sinks below the horizon, relax in hand-picked accommodation, enjoying delicious food and lovely company.

    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 over to the northwest coast of the mainland, where we enjoy a stunning walk to ease you into our week on the Shetland Isles. 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 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 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 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 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

    All payments taken in local currency GBP

    Trip Dates for 2024AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    27th Apr - 3rd May 20243 places leftGuaranteed £2,695Book Now
    11th May - 17th May 20241 place leftGuaranteed £2,695Book Now
    18th May - 24th May 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED £2,695
    25th May - 31st May 20242 places leftGuaranteed £2,695Book Now
    15th Jun - 21st Jun 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED £2,695
    6th Jul - 12th Jul 20245 places leftGuaranteed £2,695Book Now

    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 request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £450 is charged.

    Due to the nature 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.

    Included dinners are two courses as standard.

    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 Lerwick Ferry Terminal at 8.30am on Day 1 of your trip. If staying in Shetland the night before we recommend finding accommodation in Lerwick.

    The trip will conclude at Lerwick Ferry Terminal at 2.30pm on the final day of the trip. We can also offer a drop off at Sumburgh Airport before we head to Lerwick if requested, please let us know.

    Shetland is reached by an overnight ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick (operated by Northlink Ferries). Alternatively, Loganair operate flights to Sumburgh Airport from Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Please note that Sumburgh Airport is 25 miles from Lerwick and is served by bus or taxi.

    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 see our travel advice page: 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 4.92 out of 5 based on 118 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.


    Michael Peters

    Reviewed on 04/07/2023

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 0

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    We planned to take this trip back in 2021 Wilderness Scotland walked us through COVID cancelations and rescheduling there times. The quality of our guide, Lucy, put our experiences over the top. Amazing Holiday!



    Reviewed on 04/07/2023

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 0

    The Bottom Line


    Mary Kay Thomas

    Reviewed on 28/06/2023

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 5

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Excellent..phenomenal and memorable!

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