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Day One – Journey to Shetland
Depart Aberdeen early evening on the overnight ferry, giving you a chance to enjoy dinner on board before retiring to your cabin.
Day Two – Exploring Shetland
You arrive in Shetland’s capital, Lerwick, at 0730 so with plenty of time to start exploring today. Get under the skin of these remote, Northern islands from the outset, in the company of a local tour guide. You will spend the day visiting some of the main attractions – both natural and man-made – in the south of Shetland. The exact itinerary will depend on your interests and the weather, with options including the beautiful St Ninian’s Isle and its unusual “tombolo” sandy beach, the ancient settlement of Jarlshof, and Sumburgh head, a nesting place for puffins until early August.
Your hotel in the South Mainland
Set in the tranquil village of Bigton on the picturesque west side of the island, your guesthouse is perfectly placed for touring the South Mainland of Shetland. Five minutes walk from St Ninian’s sands, with many more unspoilt sandy beaches close by, you will be spoilt for choice and how better to enjoy your breakfast than by feasting on the beautiful, unrestricted views of St Ninian’s Isle and westward to Foula.
Day Three – Exploring Shetland
A day to explore at your leisure, perhaps taking a short trip on the passenger ferry to visit impressive Mousa Broch, an Iron Age round tower and one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in the world. For something rather different, you could follow a craft trail, popping in to galleries and wee shops, where you will find traditional items, such as fair isle knits, or more contemporary textiles. Or you could take the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland crime dramas, recently filmed on location by the BBC.
Day Four – Day of Leisure
A day for you to discover more in the west of Shetland. Take a morning walk along the dramatic cliffs at Eshaness, perhaps, with the sea crashing and foaming far below.
Day Five – Noss Boat Trip
This afternoon you will enjoy a unique and spectacular wildlife experience. Thousands of birds nest and feed in the Noss Nature Reserve, and seals laze on rocks beneath the cliffs or nose around the boat. Your guides on board will share their in depth knowledge aboard the vessel which is equipped with colour viewing screens and a submersible ROV mounted camera that shows the stunning variety of life beneath the waves. Afterwards, drive to your next hotel on your Shetland exploration, situated in the West Mainland.
Your hotel in Brae
Set on the edge of a village overlooking a peaceful bay, the original, historic building dates from the 1500’s and has benefited from many tasteful additions throughout the centuries. Low ceilings, winding corridors, steep steps and sloping floors all add to the characterful ambiance of the place which, rumour has it, includes its’ very own ghost. Guests comment on the friendly welcome and traditional service they have received here and the hotel even has royal connections: Queen Elizabeth once took afternoon tea in the library. Less regal guests can enjoy meals in the hotel bar or restaurant, both of which offer high quality, locally-sourced produce. All the bedrooms are individually decorated and named after the surrounding isles, and have views of the bay or the gardens, complete with trees – a rare and welcome occurrence on Shetland.
Day Six – Exploring Unst
There’s plenty to explore on Unst – from a reconstructed Viking longhouse to the Shetland Ales craft brewery and Foords’ Chocolates, where you can sample the delights made on the premises. Don’t forget to stop and admire/photograph the famous Unst Bus Shelter – complete with carpet, comfy seats, TV and themed decorations – one of Britain’s most quirky attractions – it even has its own website and visitors’ book!
Day Seven – Day of Leisure
A final day to explore at your leisure. If you are interested in recent history and stories of great bravery and heroism, head into Scalloway, with its Scandinavian-style painted houses and fascinating museum about the “Shetland Bus” – the secret wartime operation supporting the Norwegian resistance.
Day Eight – Return home
Journey back to Lerwick for the overnight ferry to Aberdeen. The holiday can also be arranged as a fly-drive, with flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen direct to Sumburgh and car hire included on the islands.
Day Nine – Arrive in Aberdeen
This holiday has two centres: the south of Shetland near Sumburgh, the West Mainland convenient for Lerwick, and the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, Unst, where you will enjoy a day trip.
£985 per person in April, £1035 per person for May, June, September & October, £1100 per person for July & August.
Prices based on 2 adults sharing a room, for 6 nights on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels as described, a day trip to Unst, return ferry travel for car and passengers from Aberdeen to Shetland, including accommodation in an outer two berth cabin in both directions. Meals on board are not included.
The holiday also includes a full day guided tour with a private local guide, and boat trip around Noss. The return ferry travel to Unst for car and passengers is pre-booked but must be paid on boarding.
This holiday can also be arranged as a “fly-drive” with return flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen to Shetland, and car hire while on the islands. Add £50 per person to the ferry-based holiday price for this option.
All our Shetland holidays include a map of the islands with recommended routes from your specified starting point, suggestions on places to see and visit depending on your personal interests and our expertise to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
This holiday can be arranged from late April to the first week of October.
To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest-houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.
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