There's no better way to experience the Shetland outdoors than to join one of our walking holidays: Shetland is a walker's paradise! Our walks typically cover around 8 to 10 miles a day and are set at a leisurely pace to enjoy the wonders of the island landscape and explore the things we find along the way - ancient monuments, wild-flowers, birds, mammals and geological features. Our itinerary is as follows...


Summer Sunset

Arctic Tern

Hermaness Cliffs

Westing, Unst

Fairy Flax

DAY 1  Saturday - Welcome Dinner

Late afternoon / early evening rendezvous at Sumburgh Hotel. After our welcome dinner, maybe stroll along the beautiful beach at West Voe of Sumburgh or explore the ancient settlement of Jarlshof. Overnight at Sumburgh Hotel.

DAY 2  Sunday - Sumburgh Head & St Ninian's Isle - 8 miles combined

Our first morning sees us on a circular walk from around the most southerly point of Shetland Mainland. From the heights of Compass Head, we will get breathtaking views of the east coast of Shetland, before heading along the cliff tops above 'The Slithers' to Sumburgh Head, dominated by the impressive lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson in 1821. Sumburgh Head is home to an array of seabirds and we should see plenty of photogenic Puffins! After a picnic lunch, we'll follow the coastal trail back along the shore of West Voe via the archaeological site of Jarlshof, where a series of settlements exist, some dating back to the Neolithic period. In the afternoon we drive to the township of Bigton and head west to one of Shetland's most iconic attractions - St Ninian's Isle. The isle itself is connected to coast of the Mainland by the largest active tombolo in the UK. After crossing this sandy isthmus, we will visit the ruins of the 12th Century chapel which is famous as the site where in 1958 a local schoolboy discovered a hoard of Celtic treasure under a cross-marked slab in the floor whilst helping visiting archaeologists at a dig on the site! On our way around the isle we will take the time to enjoy the sight and sounds of the beautiful seascapes, perhaps with a glimpse of Foula out to the west, Sandness Hill to the north and Fitful Head to the south. The waters around the isle are particularly good for Harbour Porpoise and both Common and Grey Seals. Overnight at Sumburgh.

DAY 3  Monday - Quendale to Spiggie - 8 miles

Our walk today starts at the beautiful Quendale Bay and takes us through the deserted village of Garths Ness before heading through the Noup, to the summit of Fitful Head - the home of 'Norna' the witch, who features in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Pirate. We'll enjoy a panoramic view of St. Ninian's Isle to the north, Foula to the west and Fair Isle to the south. After a picnic lunch, we follow the towering cliffs north along Fora Ness and the Wick of Shunni. From our high vantage point we'll see thousands of seabirds, including Great and Arctic Skuas, Puffins, Guillemots and Fulmars, watch Seals fishing beneath us and maybe even encounter a small party of Harbour Porpoises. We end the walk at the beautiful Peerie Voe, where the north isles steamer used to call in during the last century. Overnight at Sumburgh.

DAY 4  Tuesday - Eshaness Peninsula - 9 miles

The combination of dramatic coastal scenery, unusual natural features and historical sites make this an event-filled day. Our walk begins at Eshaness lighthouse, 200 feet above sea level. We head north along the coast on a springy grassland of plantains and Sea Pinks, among some of the most dramatic scenery Shetland has to offer. The coastline, indented with caves and natural arches, culminates at the Grind of the Navir, a cross between a quarry and an amphitheatre created by the huge seas of violent winter storms. On the return to the lighthouse we will stop to admire the Holes of Scraada, a gaping 132-yard collapsed cave, and explore the Houlland broch set in a shallow tranquil loch and boasting a diameter of 57 feet! Then we will set off via Ronas Voe to the Isle of Fethaland (the fertile land) the most northerly tip of the Shetland Mainland. The 'island' is actually connected to Mainland by a storm beach, on which an Iron-age homestead and one of the best remaining ruins of Shetland's Haaf (deep sea) fishing stations is situated. It is a site of both great poignancy and beauty. We will walk on to the Point of Fethaland, overlooking Ramna (raven) Stacks across green pastures, which are full of flowers in season. Throughout the day we will see most of Shetland's seabirds, including Puffins and Arctic Terns, and also several of Shetland's northern waders including Ringed Plover. Late in the afternoon we catch a ferry to Yell and then cross Bluemull Sound to Britain's most northerly inhabited island - Unst. Overnight at the Baltasound Hotel.

DAY 5  Wednesday - North Unst - 8 miles

We spend the day hiking on Hermaness National Nature Reserve. From the old lighthouse shore station at Burrafirth we cross the heather moorland to reach the towering cliffs, which are home to over 100,000 seabirds, including some very approachable Puffins. A true seabird city! We skirt the western flank of Hermaness to reach the northern edge of the reserve. This is as close as one can get on foot to Muckle Flugga lighthouse and the Out Stack - the most northerly point in Britain! We'll spare a thought for Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the ill-fated Arctic explorer, Sir John. Lady Franklin visited Unst in the 1850s and asked to be taken to the most northerly spot. Jessie Saxby wrote: "She stood on the Out Stack and said 'send love on the wings of a prayer', quite silent with tears falling slowly and her hands stretched out toward the north". Hermaness is also a wonderful place for wild flowers - amidst the tapestry of Heather, Crowberry, Bog Bilberry and Bog Cotton we'll search for the carnivorous Sundew and Butterwort. After dinner there's an optional walk to the Keen of Hamar to seek out more rare flora - in particular Shetland Mouse-Ear Chickweed - found here, but nowhere else in the world! Overnight at the Baltasound Hotel.

DAY 6  Thursday - South Unst - 8 miles

We spend the day hiking around the southwest corner of Unst. We start at Belmont (where photographers will find some pedigreed Shetland Ponies!) and skirt the coastline of Hoga Ness - an excellent spot for Otters. From here we walk northwards along the shore of Blue Mull Sound, where the tide, in full flow, rips by at 6 knots carrying seals and seabirds and sometimes freewheeling Harbour Porpoise. Then on to the headland of Blue Mull itself, where there are ancient outlines of buildings thought to have been Iron Age watchtowers or monastic settlements. Here we will have lunch looking west across to the north coast of Yell and north along the rugged west coast of Unst itself. In the afternoon we will descend the Mull to Lunda Wick and spend a little time exploring the 12th century church of St Olaf. We then cross the beautiful sandy beach of Lund and make our way to Shetland's largest standing stone at Boardastubble. From there we will cross the moorland to the now isolated and deserted crofts of Easterhouse, Westerhouse and Southerhouse, all built from the stones of a once huge broch, now in ruins. We complete the circle back to Belmont, via the Loch of Snarravoe, with a brief visit to the partly excavated remains of a Viking longhouse. Overnight at the Baltasound Hotel.

DAY 7  Friday - Muckle Roe - 7 miles

This morning we cross back through Yell to Mainland, passing by Sullom Voe and its well-hidden and well-managed oil port, to Muckle Roe. Throughout the week we will have walked over almost every example of Shetland's rich geology. From the sandstones of Fitful and Sandness, to the tuffs and lavas of Eshaness and from the calcareous rocks of Fethaland to the schists and serpentines of Unst. We complete our 'geological tour' on the rugged and red granite rocks of Muckle Roe. Our walk starts from Little-Ayre and takes in the Hill of Tongues and Pict's Ness as well as the wild west coast of the island. There is much that is different from the rest of Shetland on this hike - the moorland is rich in the prostrate northern shrubs of bilberry, bearberry and juniper and, early in the season, the coast is dotted by the pin-cushion flowers of Moss Campion. We will also pass by one of Shetland's very few Cormorant colonies. If we have time (and energy!), we may hike the extra mile to the spectacular Erne (eagle) Stack on the north coast, unfortunately no longer occupied. From there we will return across the moorland via the deserted crofts of the Hams. We drive back to Sumburgh for our well-earned farewell dinner. Overnight at Sumburgh.

DAY 8  Saturday

After breakfast we'll transfer you to Sumburgh airport, or make arrangements for you to travel to your onward destination in Shetland.

Holiday Information 2019 Operating Dates

Sat 13th July


Sat 20th July





Single Supplement





Sat 20th July


Sat 27th July

Group Size - maximum 8 travellers

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