UNST SELF CATERING HOUSE IS A RARE FIND FOR SUMMER WILDLIFE WATCHERS!
The island of Unst in Shetland, the UK’s most northerly island, really comes into its own in May and June for bird and nature watching – possibly the best time of the year to visit.
Self catering Belmont House on the island has put together a special package to help groups of up to twelve people, take advantage of what this island has to offer – not forgetting the many daylight hours that make for extra exploring.
High Season package prices, from May to September, in this delightful, fully restored House, now rated 4 star from Visit Scotland, are £1800 for a week long five night let, a three night break at £900, and a two night break at £800.
An impressive Mansion House of this nature, originally a kit house of its day, shipped in its entirety from Edinburgh to be re-assembled on Unst by its proud owner, is something of an unexpected find on a small island like Unst.
Now, lovingly saved to enjoy a new use as a holiday home, Belmont House offers a very special and unique place to stay. Also a registered charity, those staying in the House can know that they are doing their bit to ensure its future.
With its five bedrooms and three bathrooms, up to twelve people can be easily catered for, giving the flexibility nature groups are often looking for, whether its social space together to plan out the various tours and plans of action, or a bit of privacy at the end of a long day out and about exploring.
Congregate in the morning in the cosy and rustic kitchen to discuss the best places to find colonies of puffins, storm petrels and skuas, known locally as “bonxies”. It’s a great time for spotting Orcas, which visit the islands between May and August.
Wild flowers, heathers and grasses fill the meadows at this time of year too. In early summer especially, dazzling displays of colour are visible, with highlights including red campion, yellow primroses, delicate orchids, and frothy sea pinks. Endemic species include Edmondston’s Chickweed.
Discover all of this, and afterwards, enjoy some time chatting about the day in the Drawing Room, before retiring to the comfortable bedrooms, the perfect mix of modern and heritage.
Belmont House can put groups in touch with expert birding guides for land tours around this very accessible and interest packed island, just forty six miles square in size, with stunning coasts and grasslands. Or you can get out on the water for a marine safari to see other marine wonders such as seals, porpoises and dolphins.
Shetland ponies are everywhere, but not actually wild. Owned and cared for by local crofters, but given freedom to roam, seeing these symbols of the islands can be another highlight. It’s the time for them to foal, and the miniature varieties cause even greater delight! Lambs are in abundance too.
Unst’s other natural wonder is the otter, with around 1,000 of them swimming all over Shetland, but particularly liking Unst, the most northerly island!
Unlike other parts of the UK, otters can be seen during daylight hours – another draw for wildlife enthusiasts. Again, expert local wildlife guides can be hired for this purpose to enhance a group stay.