outdoor adventure activities
Shetland has a stunning natural environment for outdoor activities, with dramatic cliffs, unspoilt beaches and secluded voes in which to experience memorable outdoor adventures.
Shetland Islands Council provides an exciting range of outdoor activities, for adults and young people at coastal and inland locations across Shetland, led by a team of qualified and experienced instructors.
Our Outdoor Education programme is busiest during the summer months, when instructors have a packed diary of sessions with a wide range of groups.
Activities continue throughout the year, where local knowledge of specific venues can offer activity choices in many different weather conditions. The Outdoor Education programme is inspected annually and licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) to provide adventure activities for young people.
"To offer young people and adults opportunities for personal challenge in the outdoors and an intimate appreciation of the place in which they live."
Depending on the weather and conditions, activities often include the following:
This popular activity involves an exploration of the coastline at sea level, jumping in and out of the open water, along cliffs, swimming into caves and cracks in the rocks. Participants are given wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets and special sticky boots and enjoy a memorable day on the coast.
One of the best ways to explore the rugged coastline of Shetland is by canoe. Using a fleet of open canoes, participants learn basic paddle strokes and open water safety procedures before exploring some of the numerous arches caves and stacks. Groups may also find themselves having lunch on a secluded beach or building a catamaran.
The geology of Shetland provides some perfect locations on which to experience the mental and physical challenges of rock climbing. Instructors will show participants how to move over rock, how to manage the ropes and how important it is to trust each other.
Abseiling involves a technique used by climbers to descend (using the rope and a metal friction device) down cliffs and across the entrance to caves and overhangs. This unforgettable activity usually takes place on sea cliffs with the chance to climb back up the rock face, with the sea below.
- Eleven P7 pupils from Whalsay School took part in a John Muir Trust Award exploration
- Fifteen young people involved in the Bridges Project went climbing
- Ten young people from the Scalloway Youth Club took part in an evening trip in open canoes
Adventure days / weekends / evenings for youth or adult groups, can be organised in advance when staff and equipment are available. Please contact Pete Richardson to discuss your ideas.
- All technical equipment is provided, but participants will need to bring a towel, swimming costume, warm outdoor clothing (and a complete change in case you get wet), packed lunch and a drink
- Unless agreed otherwise, most activities start and finish in Lerwick, at the St. Sunniva Street Outdoor Education base (opposite the Lerwick Up Helly Aa Galley Shed)
- Many youth groups bring along adult helpers as chaperones. We'd encourage adults to join in the fun and experience the same challenges as the youngsters
- Consent forms will be required for all participants
To contact Pete Richardson, Outdoor Education and Activities Officer, please call Sport & Leisure on 01595 744006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org