How to find a holiday rental in the Shetland Islands with bird conservation workshops?

11 June 2024

Visiting the Shetland Islands, a picturesque archipelago in Scotland, is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in its unique wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. For bird lovers and photographers alike, it's a dream come true, as you'll find an astonishing variety of bird species residing here. In particular, the islands are well-known for their avian conservation efforts, with numerous workshops geared towards educating holidaymakers.

But how do you find the perfect holiday rental to serve as your base during your stay, whilst also indulging in bird conservation activities? Look no further. This article will guide you through the process, ensuring your trip to the Shetland Islands is unforgettable.

Finding Your Ideal Holiday Rental in the Shetland Islands

Finding a holiday rental that meets your needs and budget in the Shetland Islands doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a bit of planning and research, you'll find the perfect accommodation to make your stay comfortable and convenient.

The islands offer a wide variety of rental options, ranging from cozy cottages and traditional croft houses to modern apartments and seabird-view luxury lodges. If you're planning a group holiday, you may consider larger self-catering properties which are ideal for families or groups of friends.

Several online platforms allow you to search for rentals by location, price, size, and amenities. Some popular choices include Airbnb,, and Trip Advisor. These platforms often include reviews from previous guests, giving you valuable insights into the property and its surroundings.

When choosing a rental, consider its proximity to the bird conservation workshops you wish to attend. Some properties, such as those located near the RSPB Reserve at Sumburgh Head, even offer excellent bird-watching opportunities right from your window!

Embracing the Shetland Wildlife

Your trip to the Shetland Islands wouldn't be complete without fully embracing the rich, diverse wildlife that these islands are famous for. The Shetlands are home to a myriad of bird species, many of which you won't find anywhere else in the UK, such as the red-throated diver, the great skua, and the Shetland wren.

One of the exciting ways to get up close with the islands' birdlife is taking a wildlife boat tour. Companies such as Seabirds-and-Seals and Shetland Wildlife Cruises offer daily tours, often visiting islands like Noss and Hermaness, teeming with nesting seabirds.

Besides the boat tours, there are plenty of walking trails across the islands, allowing you to explore the wildlife at your own pace. The Hermaness National Nature Reserve is particularly popular, offering stunning views and a chance to spot puffins, gannets, and even seals.

Engaging in Bird Conservation Workshops

One of the unique experiences you can enjoy during your holiday in the Shetland Islands is participating in bird conservation workshops. These workshops are not just informative; they also provide an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of the island's unique birdlife.

These workshops usually involve guided tours, during which you'll learn about the different bird species, their behaviours, and the challenges they face in their natural habitats. You'll also find out how various conservation methods are being implemented to protect these species.

The RSPB Reserve at Sumburgh Head is a great starting point, offering educational workshops and guided bird-watching tours. Other options include Shetland Nature and the Wildlife Trust, both offering engaging bird conservation programs.

Capturing the Moment: Wildlife Photography

Finally, whether you're a professional photographer or just a casual shutterbug, the Shetland Islands provide a spectacular backdrop for wildlife photography. The bright, contrasting colours of the bird species against the rugged landscapes make for some truly awe-inspiring images.

Several workshops and guided tours are available, focusing on wildlife photography. They will help you improve your skills, teach you how to approach wildlife respectfully and safely, and tell you about the best times and places to capture the island's birds in their natural habitats.

Organizations like Shetland Wildlife conduct photography tours throughout the year, led by experienced local photographers. Not only will you learn practical skills, but you'll also get to know more about the island's wildlife and conservation efforts.

Remember, the diversity of the Shetland Islands' birdlife is truly remarkable. Through these workshops, tours, and your own exploration, you will have the chance to see and photograph a range of species in a variety of habitats, making your holiday a truly unforgettable experience.

Noss Boat Tours and Birdwatching Workshops

A trip to the Shetland Islands is never complete without a Noss boat tour. These boat tours are an excellent opportunity to be part of the island's rich birdlife, offering you an ideal viewing platform for observing and photographing the wide variety of birds that inhabit the islands.

There are several companies offering Noss boat tours, giving you the opportunity to explore the islands' stunning landscapes from a different perspective. You'll be able to see the spectacular cliffs teeming with nesting sea birds, the beautiful blue sea and the breathtaking panoramic views of the Shetland coastlines from your boat.

While on board, take the opportunity to engage with the knowledgeable guides who can provide valuable insights into the local bird species, their breeding habits and the challenges they face in the wild. These guides often have years of experience in bird conservation, making them excellent sources of information.

Workshops are also a part of the tour, offering lessons on birdwatching techniques, species identification, and the basics of wildlife photography. This is your chance to learn more about the Shetland Islands' unique avian inhabitants and how to best capture them on film.

Lastly, don't forget to check the price exc of the boat tours and workshops. Often, the price exc flights and accommodation, so ensure to factor these in when planning your budget.

The Beauty of the Shetland Islands: Ideal Viewing Locations and Activities

The Shetland Islands are not just about bird conservation and boat tours. They are also home to beautiful landscapes, national parks, and a rich history that is worth exploring.

The Isle of Mull and the Fair Isle are two must-visit locations when in the Shetland Islands. The Isle of Mull is famed for its diverse wildlife, which includes eagles, otters and red deer, and its breathtaking landscapes, with everything from dramatic cliffs to serene beaches.

On the other hand, the Fair Isle is a paradise for bird lovers. It's a birder's dream with its nesting seabirds, migratory birds, and rare species. The island also offers an incredible landscape, with its iconic lighthouse and traditional croft houses.

For those who enjoy walking, the Scottish Highlands offers a variety of trails that are perfect for all skill levels. Whether it's a gentle walk along the coast or a challenging hike up the mountains, you'll definitely find a trail that suits you.

Remember, the Shetland Islands offer more than just birdwatching and wildlife photography. There's a wealth of activities to enjoy and places to explore, making your holiday an unforgettable adventure.


In conclusion, finding a holiday rental in the Shetland Islands with bird conservation workshops is not as daunting as it may seem. With the right research and planning, you can find a comfortable and convenient place to stay during your holiday.

Whether you choose to stay in a cosy cottage, a modern apartment or a luxury lodge, the most important thing is that you are happy and comfortable in your chosen accommodation.

Don't forget to make the most of your time on the islands by engaging in bird conservation workshops, exploring the beautiful landscapes, and capturing the stunning wildlife through your lens.

After all, the main goal of your trip is to enjoy, learn, and take part in the conservation efforts on the Shetland Islands. So, immerse yourself in the experience, contribute to the protection of the island's unique birdlife, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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