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The new name for Ramblers Walking Holidays & Adagio. A new name, a new world of possibilities! Learn more about us

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The Shetland Archipelago

Discover ancient historical sites, wildlife and remote British walking. Here in the far north of the British Isles expect long hours of sunshine to enjoy the beautiful views.

  • Shetland Islands

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • Coast & Islands

    Landscape

    Wildlife & Nature

  • May

    Jun

    Jul

    Aug

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

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Tour codes: 75107

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Walking grade

Grade 4

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy fascinating scenery, deserted beaches and warm hospitality.
  • Local coastal walking directly from the hotel as well as visits to neighbouring islands.
  • An excellent chance to observe seals, otters and birdlife on the unspoilt coast throughout Shetland.
  • Visit the most southerly point on the mainland and walk to Sumburgh Head for close encounters with puffins (depending on the time of year you visit).
  • take the ferry to Yell and Unst! As far north as you can go in Shetland.

Visitors have been coming to enjoy the fantastic scenery, deserted beaches, warm hospitality and abundant wildlife on Shetland for millenia. The Vikings are perhaps the best known arrivals and they enjoyed the islands so much, they never left! 

Shetland, 150 miles northeast of the UK mainland, is a beautiful place for a walking holiday. The Shetland Islands offer some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery - various wild beaches, soaring sea cliffs and rolling moors. As we explore the islands on foot, we will have plenty of company with some of Britain's most charismatic birds and animals - puffins, seals, otters, dolphins and free roaming Shetland ponies. 

We are based in Lerwick, the main town and capital of Shetland. There is some beautiful coastal walking directly from the hotel door, however to see the best of Shetland, we will travel a little further afield. We are based in the hub of the excellent public transport network, enabling us to reach the best walking on the islands, as well as using private hired transport as appropriate. 

We are never far from the sea in Shetland, Everywhere we go keep an eye on the coastline for an excellent chance of seeing seals and otters and of course, a huge variety of ducks, gulls and waders. Anyone with an interest in the fauna, could hardly fail to be captivated by the ease with which the wildlife can be seen.  

To the south of Lerwick and the most southerly point on the mainland is Sumburgh Head, where we will walk for perhaps the best chance of a close encounter with the sea life. From here, it's a short walk to the Jarlshoff Prehistoric and Norse Settlement where you'll journey from prehistory to history. Delve into more than 4,000 years of human settlement in the same location. Neolithic people first settled at this site in Shetland around 2700 BC, and it remained in use until the AD 1600s. Discoveries made here include an Iron Age broch, wheelhouses and oval shaped Bronze Age houses. 

You might also be interested to know this holiday is combined with our Orkney tour; please see Orkney & Shetland Islands

  • Return flights from Glasgow to Sumburgh
  • Airport transfers
  • En suite three-star hotel accommodation on a half board basis
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach and ferry boat
  • Entrance fee to Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement
  • Entrance fee to the Scalloway Museum
  • Entrance fee to the Unst Boat Haven
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Lunches
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We fly to Sumburgh airport and transfer about 40 minutes to The Lerwick Hotel in Lerwick (Shetland's capital). Dinner each evening will be in the hotel.

Please rooms at the hotel will not be ready for clients arriving on early flights. The hotel promises rooms will be available from 15.00 but some may be available before that time. There is a coffee bar in the hotel, the town centre with all facilities is about 10 minutes’ walk away and there is a large supermarket 5 minutes away.

Transfer Time = 40 minutes

Day 2

Clickimin, Ness of Sound & Lerwick

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

A walk around Clickimin Loch and a look at the broch, followed by visits to two headlands; almost all on surfaced paths and roads. After lunch, your leader will provide an orientation walk around Lerwick and a visit to the tourist office.

Day 3

Jarlshof and Sumburgh Head

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5.5 (including time sightseeing) hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    150m

A visit to the fascinating Jarlshof archaeological site, followed by a walk to Sumburgh Head, the most southerly point on the mainland. There will be ample time to watch the puffins (in season) and other sea birds.

Day 4

The Ness of Hillswick

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    230m

Today we take a hired bus north to walk on the Ness of Hillswick. This is a lovely walk around a headland offering some great views of sea cliffs, arches and stacks. We should enjoy a display of wild flowers inland and plentiful bird sightings. Particularly look out for the Bonxies, Great Skuas. If they are around you will see them. The walking is generally good under foot. We start on grassy paths rising gently from the shore to the sea cliffs. The views improve through out the walk. Particular highlights include Tur Ness and the Drongs.

Day 5

Muckle Roe

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation


  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    310m

We will carry out an superb walk today on the island of Muckle Roe, now linked to Mainland by a bridge. There are two delightful bays at the northern end, North and South Ham which we will explore.

Day 6

The islands of Yell and Unst & Muckle Flugga lighthouse

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    330m

Today, we will go as far north as you can go in Great Britain to the islands of Yell and Unst. This is probably the highlight of the week with magnificent cliff scenery and puffins at close quarters. Whilst on Unst, we make a worthwhile visit to the Unst Boat Haven.

Day 7

St Ninian's Isle & Scalloway

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 (plus sightseeing time) hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

We start the final day on St Ninian's Isle, with a walk across a tombolo to walk around the island. After lunch will be a walk along the low cliffs in Scalloway and a visit to Scalloway Museum.

Day 8

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

After breakfast we return to the airport for our flight back to mainland Scotland.

We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and we look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

11th May 2024 - 18th May 2024 (7 Nights)

8th Jun 2024 - 15th Jun 2024 (7 Nights)

6th Jul 2024 - 13th Jul 2024 (7 Nights)

13th Jul 2024 - 20th Jul 2024 (7 Nights)

24th Aug 2024 - 31st Aug 2024 (7 Nights)

7th Sep 2024 - 14th Sep 2024 (7 Nights)

5th Oct 2024 - 12th Oct 2024 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

Return flights from Glasgow. There are regional flights from place airports in the U.K. to connect with the onward flight to Sumburgh.

Transfers between Sumburgh airport and our hotel are included if the 'flight inclusive' option is booked. Sumburgh airport is 25 miles from Lerwick.

Flights to and from Sumburgh can on occasion be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions, in which case it may be necessary to travel by ferry. 


Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

The Lerwick Hotel

The comfortable, three star, Lerwick Hotel is located a 10 minute walk from the town centre, nestling on the shore of Breiwick Bay. The hotel is situated on the edge of the sea with views to the island of Bressay. Breakfasts and evening meals are taken in the hotel restaurant. 

 Room facilities include:

  • Flatscreen TV
  • Hairdryer 
  • Tea & coffee making facilities
  • Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • 24 hour room and bar service is available 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

Walks & Excursions

Shetland offers some of the finest walking in the United Kingdom, at all times of the year. The combination of spectacular coastal scenery on both North Sea and Atlantic facing cliffs, quiet inland lochs, and gentle heathery hills is unsurpassed. The landscape is open with the added extra thrill of the archaeology sites and the wildlife. 

Some days include longer walks than others and reaching some islands can take time but the journeys are rewarding in themselves. Walking will be on a mixture of roads and paths, however be prepared for uneven walking in certain areas, so good footwear is essential (as is the correct clothing to cover all weather eventualities). 

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. 

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organized they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organized group program, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

We fly from Glasgow to Sumburgh on Loganair. There are regional flights from place airports in the U.K. to connect with the onward flight to Sumburgh.

Although there is no passport control between Shetland and the rest of the United Kingdom, please do not forget your passport to satisfactorily establish your identity and nationality when boarding your flight. Nationals of EU countries may use their national identity cards instead of passports.  

Nationals of countries other than Britain or other EU member states travelling to the UK should check with the nearest British Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence as to whether they require a visa. If a visa is required, it must be obtained prior to travel.

Some people prefer to make their own travel arrangements and to get to Shetland on the ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick. This is operated by Northlink Ferries and the journey is approximately 12.5 hours. See https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/  for further details. 

Hotel Transfers

When you book a Flight-Inclusive holiday, transfers between the airport and hotel and back are included. On some holidays, where we offer various flight options, the transfer vehicle may wait for all flights to land before transferring to the hotel.  

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Meals

This tour is on a half board basis. Breakfasts and dinners are offered at the hotel. Please note that lunches are not included on this holiday.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWW15 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

The walks carried out on this holiday are covered by the following map:

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
No. 466 Shetland Mainland South (1:25,000)

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
No. 467 Shetland Mainland Central (1:25,000)

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
No. 470 Shetland Unst, Yell & Fetlar (1:25,000)

You may wish to look at the following website for more information on walking in Shetland https://www.shetland.org/things/outdoor/walking 

If you are looking to purchase a guidebook, we recommend the Cicerone book 'Walking on the Orkney and Shetland Isles'. 

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.


Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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