Shetland Area Guide
Nature and Wildlife
You won't be short of things to see and do outdoors, with 200,000 puffins, 900 miles of coastline, 138 sandy beaches and 19 hours of midsummer daylight.
Arguably Shetland's most impressive scenery is found at the cliffs at Eshaness. Further north, in fact the most northerly point in Britain, is the Hermaness National Nature Reserve: "a place of bird cries and sea smells, of myth and mist." Closer to Lerwick is a National Nature Reserve on the Island of Noss, home to 150,000 birds and chicks, as well as many seals around the shore. The most accessible seabird colony is at Sumburgh Head, where puffins breed almost within view of the car park.
Shetland also has a fascinating human story going back over 7,000 years. The broch, or fortified Iron Age tower, on the little island of Mousa is the only one in the world to survive almost complete from more than 2,000 years ago. Jarlshof, which includes the remains of a Viking village, is regarded as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles. Overlooking Scalloway harbour stands Scolloway Castle, a fortified house built by the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart in 1600. Shetland's history is preserved in several fascinating museums around the islands. Three which shouldn't be missed are the new Shetland Museum and Archives, the Unst Boat Haven and the Fetlar Interpretive Centre.
Shetland Heritage Association
Visit the Shetland Heritage Association's new website which highlights the unique network of voluntary groups which has become established throughout Shetland. Some 36 member organisations comprises of local history groups, independent museums and heritage centres and specialist interest groups, such as textiles, crofting, dialect, storytelling, family history and the Norwegian connection.