- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Shetlands are a group of subarctic islands located about 110 miles north of mainland Scotland. One of the jewels of the archipelago is the Isle of Noss, a National Nature Reserve and Special Protection Area. Here, enjoy a splendid ship cruise along the coastline where towering sandstone cliffs have been weathered into horizontal ledges, making perfect nesting sites for thousands of seabirds including gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, black-legged kittiwakes, razorbills and fulmars. This is also a great place to spot seals and otters in the water.
On the uninhabited island of Mousa, find the famous Broch of Mousa, the finest preserved Iron Age fortification in the British Isles. At over 40 feet tall, this 2,000-year-old round tower is the tallest broch still standing and is among the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in Europe. The island itself supports a rich diversity of plant life and is also known for grey and common seals, Arctic terns, and a significant colony of storm-petrels.
Come alongside at the port of Lerwick on Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands. On a walking tour of this historic town visit the award-winning Shetland Museum to learn all about Shetland’s fascinating heritage and culture. From here take a scenic overland coach ride through the fertile countryside of Dunrossness to discover Shetland’s best destinations. Birders will relish the opportunity to visit the historic lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, the southernmost point of Mainland Shetland. These rugged cliffs attract thousands of seabirds and the grassy slopes above are particularly great for enjoying close encounters with puffins amongst beautiful wildflowers. Also on the itinerary is Jarlshof, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the British Isles. Here you will discover beautifully preserved stone structures spanning 5,000 years of human settlement, including Bronze Age oval houses, Pictish wheelhouses, an Iron Age broch, a Viking longhouse and a medieval farmhouse.
Historic crofts, scenic lighthouses, and friendly residents entice visitors to Fair Isle, an isolated island of rolling moorlands and craggy coastlines. Birders flock to the island because of the richness of British species and the numerous records of eastern rarities and migrants. Fair Isle is also one of Europe's best spots to see seabirds up close, particularly puffins. The island's wildflowers are also renowned for their richness and diversity. Its bays are frequently frequented by seals. Finally, during our journey, we will be able to see and buy hand-knitted items in the elaborate and distinctive style that has made Fair Isle famous for hundreds of years.