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Volunteer/Community Tour
Shetland - Scotland

10th-24th May 
24th May-7th June 
7th-21st June
3 x two-week modules
Book for 2 to 6 weeks
From $580 per week

Remote Islands Muckle Flugga Haroldswick Lerwick Restore a 300 year-old stone house
Benefit the local community
Small Group Meet Locals Harvest Peat Culture Guided Tours Traditional Music Historical Sites Walks Hiking Cycling

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The isle of Unst, Shetland, in the far north of Scotland, is a special and magical place. Join us for a tour and retreat from your busy life. Experience a remote community and add your efforts to the development of the Hamars.

Although part of Scotland and the UK, Shetland’s heritage derives mainly from the early Norse settlers and its culture and traditions are seeped in the ancient lore of the vikings. The Celtic culture of Scotland has had some influence but is not predominant. Come and join this great adventure.

Remote Island

The Isle of Unst is a trip back in time, where family and community are at the centre of life, and despite the challenges of living in a remote area, the people of Unst are a proud reminder of a bygone era. 

To travel there you will need at least one UK inland flight, then two or three separate ferries to arrive at the island. But it’s worth it. We'll send detailed information for travel.

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The bay of Haroldswick is a favourite spot for the local seals and they often sun themselves on the rocky shore. The ‘Hamars’ was the property of one of the island’s most prominent families, and its restoration will help maintain a key part of local heritage. The house is a ‘Listed’ Grade ‘B’ historic building with the Scottish National Trust.

Your volunteer work on the Hamars will be tailored to your abilities and interests. Many options are available, including gardening, woodworking, masonry, painting and chatting with the many visitors. Please let us know if you would like to develop a special project.

Community Volunteering

You’ll be met in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, and be taken on a grand tour covering three islands and ending in Unst. About half your time will be volunteer work on the restoration of a the Hamars, our 300 year-old stone house, nestled in the bay of the village of Haroldswick, close to the most northern point of Scotland.

One work day in each module will benefit the local community – perhaps gardening at the local church, or entertaining residents of the Seniors Care Home.

Social activities include learning about Shetland's heritage and culture through activities that will bring participants into close contact with local people. Community dinners, music events and farmers markets are included. cutting peat, visiting a croft, hiking, and cycling will also be offered.

The group will have basic but comfortable self-catering accommodations. The people of Unst speak English and are very welcoming. Come and join us for the trip of a lifetime.


This 2-week itinerary covers a basic two-week module. Those of you who opt to stay for additional modules will follow a similar schedule but not participate in the tours which you will have already experienced. of course if there is additional seats on the tour transport, then you will be welcome to join.

Day 1 - Sunday
Arrival by ferry to Lerwick or air to Sunburgh, Shetland.
Checkin at Lerwick Hostel (private room or dorm)
Explore Lerwick on your own
Welcome dinner - orientation
Overnight Lerwick Hostel

Day 2 - Monday
Tour of Northern Main Island
View the cliffs of Eshaness. Few places in Shetland can rival Eshaness, either for scenery or historical interest. The area boasts a wonderful range of wildlife and habitats. Seals, Otters, Porpoises and occasionally Dolphins and whales can be seen from the cliff tops. Inland expanses of peat and heather are home to Mountain Hares, Rabbits, Polecats and a multitude of birds.
Visit to Tangwick Haa Museum. Different aspects of regional life through the years are illustrated by using a mixture of artefacts and photographs.
Lunch at the Braewick Cafe with a spectacular view of the cliffs we have been visiting.
Ferry to Yell • Ferry to Unst
Arrival at your accommodations

Day 3 - Tuesday
Review & walk through the Hamars at Haroldswick (the property we are restoring)
Assign tasks according to abilities.
Work a little if time
Visit Boat Haven - a history museum of Shetland's Viking & maritime heritage
Lunch at Victorias Vintage Tea Room
Afternoon driving tour of local sights on Unst, including a restored viking boat, and a visit to the Unst Heritage Centre with it's fascinating museum and exhibit of local knitting and lace

Day 4 - Wednesday
Work at the Hamars

Day 5 - Thursday
Work at the Hamars

Day 6 - Friday
Morning work at the Hamars
Afternoon - Optional 3 hour light hike to Muckle Flugga - the most northern point in Scotland. The name comes from Old Norse, Muckle Flugga, meaning "large steep-sided island". The hike is over rough heath and requires good general fitness and proper footware.
For those of you not inclined to hike, there's plenty of light walking near Haroldswick, or perhaps you just want to sit on the rocks by the shore and watch the seals sunning themselves.

Day 7 - Saturday
Work at the Hamars

Day 8 - Sunday
Free Day.
Attend church service for those that are interested. The local Methodist church is the most northerly church in the British Isles. There is also a Church of Scotland.
Lunch on your own.

Day 9 - Monday
Work at the Hamars

Day 10 - Tuesday
Morning Work at the Hamars
Free afternoon

Day 11 - Wednesday
Work at the Hamars

Day 12 - Thursday
Work at the Hamars

Day 13 - Friday
Free Day
Lunch on your own

Day 14 - Saturday
Work at community project
Festive farewell dinner

Day 15 - Sunday
After breakfast, we'll say goodbye to Unst, and tour south through the Islands.
Visit the village of Bigton with it's 'tombola', a unique strip of sand that links to Saint Ninians Isle. If the weather is fine, you'll be able to walk out to the island.
Your tour ends in Lerwick in the afternoon.

Departure options
Dropoff at the ferry - for those departing the same day
Taxi or bus to the airport - for those departing the same day
Overnight Lerwick Hostel or hotel (book yourself) - for those with a ferry or flight the next day - or opting to stay longer by themselves.

* Itinerary subject to change