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)

Brilliant Beaches

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!

Another day, another fine beach!

My view

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.

The People

Eating BBQ food

Don't let all the beauty fool you into forgetting that this is a real place where lots of people work and daily life is happening. As three headlines in a single edition of the Shetland Times report, there is "Algae in Spiggie", "Tourists on buses" and we need to "Be more tolerant with gulls". It is captivating stories like this that have made the Times the most read local paper, and I have to say, the printing quality is fantastic.

Perhaps there was more swearing than necessary in the show but personally, the profanity added to the very engaging performance.

- Shetland Times, p33, 31st July 2015

Eating Mr Stripey's Ice Cream

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.

Some of the insanely awesome places to visit in Shetland. 
At the Croft Museum
There are only three things to do in Shetland, and you have already done one of them.

- Phil Laver (resident of the island of Trondra, Shetland)

Sadly for him, Phil was wrong and there is lots to do! There are some real gems amongst the walks, voes, cliffsides and crofts that are well worth exploring. The right to roam is also really big here, you are free to walk all over the place, but apparently this does not mean going into people's houses uninvited for a cup of tea...

Bonhoga Gallery

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.

Scones and tea at Bonnhoga

Fort Charlotte

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...

Oooooooh! 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.

Stone Age tools at Scalloway Museum

Clickimin Broch

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!

He's hiding somewhere...

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 real fire in a fireplace (yeah - real fire! Take that health and safety nuts)

Shetland Museum

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!

So much to find out!

Local wildlife

Shetland Ponies (To scale)

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...

Some animals in Shetland.

Transport Links

Bikes are popular

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.

The road over the airport runway and some boats.
What a stunning place!

Shetland is an amazing place to visit, there is lots to do, but more importantly there is space to not do. Thanks for being so awesome Shetland - you rock!

Written by Andrew Guilder. Please note this publication has no affiliation to the Shetland Times (which is unusual in Shetland).

Created By
Andy Gee
Don't copy this guide, but do share it. Thanks to Ali for reading through for spelling and to Phil for being supportive. All photos taken by me on an iPhone - boom! Not all facts in this guide may be accurate... I don't always listen to what I'm being told, or pay attention to what I'm reading...

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