Shetland Isles wildlife holiday
Description of Shetland Isles wildlife holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe are firmly committed to responsible tourism and all of our tours reflect that commitment. Our holidays are purposefully designed to provide a visitor experience that maximises the positive benefits of tourism while minimising any negative impacts.
Leave No Trace & Our Guides
We are staunch advocates of the Leave No Trace principles, in which our guides are fully trained. On all of our activities, our guides will ensure that the impact on the environment, wildlife and local community is minimised. Along the way, our guides will teach you how to do this so that the knowledge is spread on your travels in Scotland and further afield. Our guides are ambassadors for Scotland's wild places and are passionate about sharing their knowledge. Your guide will not only lead your activities but tell you all about Scotland's flora, fauna, geology, history and culture along the way.
Our trips focus on enjoying the landscapes through human power, so by walking, biking or paddling through them. We minimise motorised transports as much as possible. On your holiday to the Shetland Isles, you will spend most of the day out and about on gentle walks and at wildlife hides.
Accommodation & Meals
We’ve handpicked your accommodation on this trip and we take the provider’s Green Tourism credentials into account during our selection process and encourage where possible for our partners to reduce, reuse and recycle. You’ll be staying at the well regarded Busta House Hotel - known for its warm hospitality, incredible food and fascinating history and heritage.
Scotland is known for its fantastic natural larder so we try to source all food and drink provided on the trip as much as possible locally, and endeavour to take our clients to establishments that celebrate seasonal Scottish produce, meat and dairy. 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’ll be sure to also try the local Shetland beer one evening!
In the Office
It's not just on trips that we promote sustainable processes! We operate our holidays out of a carbon-neutral headquarters which is powered by renewable energy. We reduce, reuse and recycle, using environmentally friendly products from local suppliers where possible. In addition, our office car park hosts two public EV charging stations, and we subsidise staff usage. We encourage car-sharing and compete monthly for the most environmentally friendly commute!
Our guides will do their best to take you to the best places to spot wildlife on this trip to the Shetland Isles. Travelling with us is about appreciating wildlife from afar, respecting their space and natural processes. From a distance, our guides will point out interesting species and the fascinating behaviours on show. You'll be able to learn about all the various beasties native to the area and how to identify them.
In preparation for our trips, we strongly encourage our travellers to bring a reusable water bottle and lunchbox on their holiday to discourage the use of single-use plastics.
Lastly, we are committed to contributing annually to a nature-based charity that promotes conservation in Scotland.
Although our office staff isn’t 100% Scottish, all members of our team live and work in the Scottish Highlands. Because of this, our passionate personnel are able to give expert insider advice on their own favourite playground and ensure the best experience for our visitors.
We ensure a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go as we’ve always strived to work together with the local community and businesses, ensuring that the economic benefits are shared. We seek out locally owned and family-run hotels and restaurants over chain businesses. Packed lunches and snacks are sourced locally, either directly from the accommodation providers or from small cafes and delis.
On each trip, we endeavour to introduce our visitors to local and unique experiences. On this wildlife trip to the Shetland Isles, you’ll spend a lot of time visiting nature reserves, but we’ll also carve out some time to visit the Jarlshof, a fascinating prehistoric site.
Some of the areas we visit suffer from over-tourism and we do what we can to manage this consequence. The crowding caused by over-tourism not only negatively impacts the natural environment but also the quality of life of the communities who live and work in the beautiful destinations that we visit. To mediate this we take our clients to the lesser-known spots in any given area, extend our tour departures into the less busy shoulder months to spread the flow of visitors and when we do visit ‘hotspots’ we aim to go outside of peak hours.
We deliberately keep our groups small for several reasons. Having smaller groups mean less disturbance to the environment and the local community. It also means that we can stay at smaller accommodation providers who are not eligible to benefit from mass tourism providers and have a better guide to traveller ratio.