Your holiday summary
|Price range||From £675|
|Travel partner||Brightwater Holidays|
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Shetland and its Outer Isles
We visit the little island of Mousa, whose Iron Age broch is the best-preserved example anywhere in the world, the Shetland Croft House Museum which gives an insight into a typical 19th century croft, while Jarlshof provides a unique archaeological time-capsule, spanning 3000 years of successive settlements. On our middle day, you have the option of exploring the islands at your own pace, or joining our optional excursion to Foula, one of the most remote inhabited islands in Britain. Finally we have a tour of the northernmost islands of Yell and Unst, a day of stunning seascapes and air so fresh it takes your breath away.
We will be cruising with Northlink Ferries, whose purpose-built vessels, the Hrossey and the Hjaltland, which have set new standards for comfort and speed on this route. From the time you step on board you'll appreciate that these ships have all the attributes of a mini-cruise liner. Your cabin will have its own shower/toilet facilities en suite and the ship boasts a delightful restaurant where you?ll spoil yourself with some delicious meals. There is also a comfortable bar and lounge. Our base on Shetland is the comfortable Shetland Hotel, the most modern and well equipped on the island, with a high standard of food and service. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
2 nights accommodation in 2-berth cabins on Northlink Ferries MV Hrossey/Hjaltland with dinner and full breakfast. All cabins have private facilities
Comfortable coaching throughout
Two full day guided coach tours of mainland Shetland and the islands of Yell and Unst, including all ferries and entrance to Jarlshof and Mousa broch
Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager
We depart from our designated departure points and travel to Aberdeen where we will join the Northlink ferry (Hrossey or Hjaltland) for the 1900hrs overnight sailing to Lerwick. Accommodation is provided in comfortable 2-berth cabins with en-suite facilities. Dinner is served on board in the evening.
Day 2 - Saturday
We arrive early in the morning at Lerwick and after our full Scottish breakfast on board we will depart on a full day tour which begins on the South Mainland with a visit to the Shetland Croft House Museum. The house is a typical thatched croft house of the 19th century restored with traditional materials, low doorways and uneven floors and warmed by a peat fire. We then head for the southern tip of Mainland Shetland, where we visit the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, with over 3 acres of remains, spanning 3000 years since the days of the Stone Age, including oval shaped bronze age houses, iron age broch and wheel houses, Viking long houses and medieval farmhouses. After an opportunity for lunch at the Sumburgh Hotel (not included), we cross as foot passengers to the fascinating little island of Mousa. Here we will visit the 2000 year old broch, the best preserved example in the world. The island is also a nature reserve and is rich in wildlife. Storm petrels, Arctic terns and skuas nest here, and harbour seals lounge on the shore. Keep a sharp eye on Mousa Sound and you may also spot porpoises and the odd killer whale. Overnight accommodation has been arranged at the Sumburgh Hotel & Lodge, where dinner is served in the evening. All rooms are en-suite with tv, telephone, hairdryer, trouser press, and tea/coffee making facilities.
Day 3 – Sunday
After a leisurely breakfast we depart for a full day tour to the northern isles of Yell and Unst. We travel north through Tingwall and Girlsta and past the oil terminal at Sullom Voe, which has transformed life in Shetland over the last 25 years, before arriving at Toft, where the ferry departs for the island of Yell. After a 15-minute crossing we travel across Yell to Gutcher at the north end of the island. After a refreshment stop we make another short ferry crossing to the island of Unst. Here we visit Muness Castle and Nornova Knitwear before driving north to Baltasound, our lunch stop. After lunch (not included) we continue northwards again, (about as far north as it is possible to travel by coach in the British Isles) and enjoy the marvellous views from Saxavord Hill. Our return route takes us via East Yell and Burravoe. We return to our hotel in evening where dinner is served.
Day 4 - Monday
After breakfast this morning we will transfer to Lerwick where you are free to explore at your leisure. Alternatively, join our optional excursion, a full day visit to the outer island of Foula. Weather permitting, our private charter boat takes us 25 miles out into the ocean, to the western side of Foula where spectacular cliffs rise to over 1200 feet above the sea and are home to a huge seabird population. We will sail past the detached cliff formations that over the centuries have been sculpted by the sea into great arches, with thousands of skuas, fulmars and kittiwakes circling overhead, before landing on the narrow eastern coastal strip where the crofting townships are situated. We have around three hours ashore here, and we will be met by one of the resident wardens who will give us an insight into both the wildlife and the human dimension on this remote but very special island which leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Back at Lerwick we will re-join our ship, which sails at 1730hrs for Aberdeen. Dinner is served on board.
Day 5 - Tuesday
After breakfast on board we will disembark in Aberdeen at around 0900hrs. We will then return to the original pick up points, where we anticipate arriving late morning/early afternoon.
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