• Explore the wonderfully atmospheric, uninhabited Isle of Mousa, home to seabirds and waders including storm petrels
• Absorb the remarkable history of Shetland, from Neolithic settlements to Viking remains
• Make an excursion to the island of Unst to visit the Keen of Hamar Nature Reserve, with its otherworldly appearance and rare plantlife
conservationist and ornithologist who works for the RSPB
Tour assembles early afternoon at Sumburgh Airport (subject to 2020 flight schedules – to be confirmed) or midday at Lerwick Ferry Terminal. Afternoon: Sumburgh Head (puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes with possibility of seals, humpback whales). Transfer to Lerwick for five nights. Welcome and introduction.
South Mainland for Croft House Museum, St Ninian’s Isle then by boat from Sandwick to uninhabited island of Mousa (broch with towering walls), seals and seabirds.
Tingwall: valley (wild flowers) and loch (whooper swans), Althing (Viking parliament), 18th century Tingwall Kirk then by ferry to island of Whalsay (centre of Shetland fishing industry): Yoxie and Beenie Hoose (Neolithic houses), restored Hanseatic booth (warehouse). Late night excursion to Mousa to view storm petrels (weather permitting).
North mainland: moorland and coastal scenery around Ronas Hill with visits to Mavis Grind, Ollaberry (Great Glen fault) and Urraforth Ayre.
By boat to bird cliffs of Noss (guillemot, gannet, Shetland wren, rock pipit) followed by walking tour and free time in historical Lerwick (esplanade, 17th century Fort Charlotte, Victorian town hall).
By boat from Toft to Fetlar (waders, whimbrels, serpentine moorland): Houbie, Loch of Funzie, serpentine moorland. By boat from Fetlar to Unst for two nights at Baltasound Hotel. Optional evening walk in search of otters.
Whole day excursion to Hermaness National Nature Reserve (puffins, gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes) and Keen of Hamar (serpentine desert landscape). Evening talk.
Depart hotel by coach and ferry for Sumburgh via Jarlshof. Arrive Sumburgh Airport in time for Loganair flight departing 1635, arriving Aberdeen 1735.
22 Jun — 29 Jun 2020
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FITNESS / PRACTICALITIES:
This tour will involve frequent walks, some short and others of up to two miles, mostly over paths but occasionally along cliff tops and over rough ground. Participants should be able to walk for up to 90 minutes and stand for 30 minutes.
Cost of £1995 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, seven lunches (five packed), dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: return travel, travel insurance, single room supplement £285.