The nights might be starting to draw in but that doesn't mean there isn't still plenty to see and do in Shetland during the autumn months. For birders, particularly, a visit to Shetland during the autumn migratory season and the chance to spot a rarity can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Autumn is also a great time for a cycling, walking or kayaking trip, and to taste some in-season produce from Shetland's delicious island larder. Read on for more travel inspiration...

Autumn birding in Shetland

Natural history writer, photographer and experienced wildlife tour leader Jon Dunn first visited Shetland as a naive youngster keen on spotting rare birds, and left amazed. Thirty years later he lives here and still enjoys the thrill of witnessing the autumn migration. In this blog post, he relays the thrill of Shetland's autumn birding gold.

If you'd like to experience Shetland's autumn migration, we recommend you check out this list of wildlife trip and tour providers who will be able to help you plan your visit and the best places to go to spot a rarity.

Where once birders came to Shetland in September to spend a week or two on Fair Isle, now they come, in greater numbers than ever before, to spend a holiday looking for birds elsewhere in the islands.

Jon Dunn, natural history writer, photographer and experienced wildlife tour leader
A world-renowned event

Shetland Wool Week

Textiles enthusiasts travel from all over the world to experience Shetland Wool Week, a celebration of the islands knitting heritage and thriving creative spirit. Learn all about authentic Fair Isle knitting, Shetland lace and much more.

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More Autumn events

Autumn cycle routes to enjoy in Shetland

One of the best ways to see the real Shetland during the autumn months is by bike. Cycling offers the opportunity to cover the whole of the islands. You can set your own pace, allowing you to experience all aspects of Shetland life.

Shetland has everything a cyclist could hope for. The various islands are accessible by regular ferry services and with 1,000 miles of road waiting to be explored, excellent road surfaces and a low volume of traffic on even the main roads, cycling is a pleasure.

More things to do in Shetland in autumn

Shetland's autumnal traditions and recipes