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Shetland Experience

Time to immerse yourself in these islands' unique culture and environment

A holiday designed to give you the chance to see the best of Shetland – both south and north. This option is based on the comfortable overnight ferry services from Aberdeen. This is a magical place with a completely different feel from the rest of Scotland. What’s more, the Shetland Isles are experiencing ever increasing popularity thanks to BBC’s hit TV series “Shetland” based on Ann Cleeve’s gritty, iconic crime stories.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Sept

Why not...

extend your stay and combine with a visit to Orkney?

Prices From


No of Nights

6 nights including return overnight ferry from Aberdeen

Speak to Us

Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

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Day One – Journey to Shetland

Your ferry departs Aberdeen in the early evening, giving you a chance to enjoy dinner on board before retiring to your cabin.

Day Two – Exploring Shetland 

Arrive in Shetland’s capital, Lerwick at 0730, so plenty of time to start exploring today, before taking a short drive to your first guest house set in the tranquil village of Bigton on the picturesque west side of the island.

Your Guesthouse

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. Owners, Les and Mary offer a warm and friendly welcome to their guests, and will do everything they can to ensure you enjoy your stay.

Day Three – Tour with local guide

Today you will explore the island as part of a small group tour with our local guide.

You will spend the day visiting some of the main attractions – both natural and man-made – on Shetland. You could visit the beautiful St Ninian’s Isle and its unusual “tombolo” sandy beach, the ancient settlement of Jarlshof and the new Lighthouse Visitor Centre at Sumburgh head.

Day Four – Head North…

Your touring today will take you to the west of the islands, perhaps to the dramatic coastline of Eshaness and the newly established Geopark.

Your Hotel

Your second hotel is 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. The Queen of England 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.

Days Five – Exploring further North

Free days to explore the islands at your leisure. We would recommend taking a day trip to the northern islands of Yell and Unst, the most northerly parts of the British mainland, using the regular ferry services. These islands are still vibrant communities: Yell has wonderful sandy beaches, while Unst has over a third of Shetland’s pony population – watch out for them as they behave like sheep on the roads!  To the north of Unst lies Muckle Flugga, with its famous lighthouse at the very far north of Great Britain.

Day Six – Final day to explore the island

Depart Lerwick at the end of the afternoon for the overnight journey on the cruise class Northlink Ferries service to Aberdeen. Accommodation on board in a double/twin en-suite outer cabin is included in the price.

Day Seven – Arrival in Aberdeen

This morning you will arrive in Aberdeen at 0700 and enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking.


Map Shetland

This is a twin-centre holiday on Shetland, staying in the small village of Bigton in the South and in the West Mainland.


£725 per person in March, £750 per person in April, £780 per person for May, June & September, £800 per person for July & August. Prices based on 2 adults sharing a room, for 4 nights on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels as described and return overnight 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 small group tour with our local guide.

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.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £8 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.


Check availability for Shetland Experience

This holiday is available from the end of March to the end of September

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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