Shetland Isles wildlife holiday

A Shetland Isles wildlife holiday taking in the spectacular birdlife and marine creatures of this remote, mysterious and dramatic landscape. Led by a knowledgeable guide, the tour puts animal welfare to the fore, and explores protected areas where your visit helps fund vital conservation efforts.
Explore the Shetland Isles’ incredible wildlife Huge colonies of seabirds Whales and seals Privileged insights to Shetland culture and nature from an expert guide Dramatic island scenery makes for spectacular photography Stay at one of the finest, most historic hotels in the Shetlands Noss National Nature Reserve Jarlshof pre-historic site Walk to summit of Shetlands’ highest peak, Ronas Hill
£2345excluding flights
7 days
Small group
Group size
2-8 people
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Description of Shetland Isles wildlife holiday

This magnificent Shetland Isles wildlife holiday explores what must be some of the most raw and beguiling landscapes in Britain.

Accompanied throughout by an expert guide you’ll see immense colonies of seabirds such as gannets, guillemots, puffins and kittiwakes in dramatic natural settings, making for some truly outstanding photography opportunities. In addition, as you take RIB expeditions to locations including the towering sea cliffs of Noss National Nature Reserve you may encounter a clutch of characterful marine life – seals and whales are frequently seen in these waters.

However it’s not just the scenery and the wildlife that captivates in the Shetland Isles, but the culture too. People have worked the land and the sea here for some 5,000 years, and over the centuries they’ve left behind them a fascinating legacy that you’ll explore between the ruins of old forts, mysterious standing stones and ancient traditions that persevere to this day.

Another clear highlight of this Shetland Isles wildlife holiday is your accommodation. Your small group will be staying at the Busta House Hotel, which is renowned as one of the very finest in the islands. With parts of it dating as far back as the 16th century, the hotel is steeped in history and romance, and enjoys stirring views out to sea. Single rooms, where available are at a supplement.

You’ll work up an appetite as you walk around different sites every day, and the rewards for your efforts are manifold. The food here is absolutely exquisite: Shetland hill lamb; Bressay halibut; Muckle Roe mussels; scallops from Yell Sound, organic salmon and free range pork from Unst. There’s no better way to keep your holiday’s carbon footprint to a minimum than dining on locally produced food, and what a treat when it’s so delicious.

As you tour Sumburgh Head RSPB Reserve, the cliffs of Noss and Bressay, the coastal beauty around the Villains of Ure, the Grind of the Navir and the Holes of Scraada, and the Arctic landscapes on the way to the summit of Ronas Hill, your guide will help identify different species and interpret their behaviours. It’s a holiday that cannot fail to inspire conservationist behaviours. And as you visit nature reserves your entrance fees go towards helping to protect many precious and sometimes endangered species that depend on the habitats within them.

Price information

£2345excluding flights
Make enquiry

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1 Reviews of Shetland Isles wildlife holiday

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 08 May 2022 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The boat trip to Noss

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do some preparatory hill walking

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Through the hotel stay and Lerwick excursions the holiday supported the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Responsible Travel

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.


We 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!

Wildlife Encounters

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.


Local Team

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.

Local Partners

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.

Local Experiences

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.

Group Sizes

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.

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