Shetland '15 the most northernlY amazing place ever
Shetland is a shockingly gorgeous place, with stunning landscapes dominated by rock and sea. This archipelago of islands, plonked 60°N, are long and thin and surrounded to the east by the North Sea and to the West by the Atlantic Ocean.
How would I describe Shetland? The word beautiful is pretty bland but fits. Barren and windswept, it's pretty wild and yet open and... I don't know really.
- Ali Laver (resident of the island of Trondra)
On a fine day, the white sanded beaches with crystal clear waters look idyllic, but it only takes a quick dip to remember you are in the Arctic Circle!
The view from my window... pretty stunning, eh?
The educational bit...
This impressive tombola is formed as the Atlantic Ocean meets around St. Ninian's Isle, pushing sand and shells into one place. The ocean is very cold.
Places to Visit
The Shetland visitor guide is packed FULL of things to do and is written in incredible detail. There is also LOADS more literature avaliable in the Shetland Times bookshop. There are many museums, and informative boards and signs are posted pretty much everywhere on the islands.
A beautiful gallery and cafe of scrummy local food set in the remote Scord of Weisdale. There is also a shop with expensive, but nice, things.
This fort on Bressay Sound overlooking Lerwick was first built to defend against the Dutch and then America. The cannons now face incoming cruise ships. The fort gives great views across the capital.
Known as "the forest" to locals, it's really more of a collection of trees...
Scalloway Castle & Museum
The Castle was built by an evil ruler (or misunderstood saint depending on which information boards you happen to read), it's a free and interesting look around. The museum costs a few quid for an annual pass and has lots of history from the Stone Age to the Shetland Bus.
These prehistoric stone roundhouses are to be found in a few places in Shetland, but this one on the outskirts of Lerwick is certainly the best for hide and seek!
Shetland Croft House Museum
This museum is a restored croft house from the late 1800s, and shows what life might have been like. Take care on doorways which are all tiny and made of stone - almost guaranteeing a good bump to the head. There is also a short walk along to the water house.
A two-floor local history fest awaits with loads of interactive displays for all the family. I didn't realise so much had happened on such a small set of islands, but it is all here!
Wildlife is in abundance from the instantly recognisable puffins and grey seals to the namesake pony and plethora of sea birds. There are also lots of farm animals to be seen and heard across the islands. The sheep especially sound like groups of humans screaming from a faraway hill...
People have been arriving in Shetland by boat since the Vikings, though today's tourists are a lot more friendly! In this modern age you can sometimes even arrive by plane - as long as there is no fog. Once you are here getting around Shetland is easy by car using the A970, but there is also a part time bus service. Many people love to walk and ride bikes around Shetland and there are boats you can catch to many of the more remote islands.