The Shetland Islands of Scotland are a beautiful archipelago of more than 100 islands located to the north of the UK. With its breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, and rich history and culture, the Shetland Islands are a great destination for travelers looking to explore the UK and experience something new.
History and Culture
The Shetland Islands have a long and rich history. It is believed that they were first settled by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers around 6500 BCE. The islands have also been occupied by the Picts, the Norse, and the Scots. The Norse influence is particularly strong, and many Shetlanders still speak a dialect of Old Norse called Norn.
Shetland’s culture and identity are closely tied to its long history. Many of the islands’ traditional customs, such as Up-Helly-Aa, a fire festival held in January, are still celebrated today. The islands are also home to a vibrant music scene, with traditional Shetland music being performed in local pubs and at festivals throughout the year.
Attractions and Activities
The Shetland Islands have a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. The islands are home to a variety of wildlife, including puffins, seals, and otters, which can be seen in their natural habitats. Visitors can also explore the islands’ many historical sites, such as the Iron Age Broch of Mousa, the ruins of Jarlshof, and the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick.
The Shetland Islands are also a great place to experience the Northern Lights. The best time to see the aurora borealis is during the winter months, when the night sky is dark and clear.
Tours and Admission
There are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the Shetland Islands. These include boat tours, which allow visitors to explore the islands’ stunning coastline, as well as guided walks and bus tours. Many of the tour companies also offer special packages for wildlife watching and aurora spotting.
Admission to most attractions in the Shetland Islands is free. However, some attractions may require an admission fee.
Tips for Tourists
When visiting the Shetland Islands, it’s important to remember that the weather can be unpredictable. It’s a good idea to pack warm clothing, even in the summer months.
It’s also a good idea to plan ahead and book accommodation in advance. The islands are popular with tourists, so it’s best to book early to ensure you get a room.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the Shetland Islands are part of the UK, so visitors should be aware of the local laws and customs.
The Shetland Islands are accessible by ferry from Aberdeen, Scotland, and by air from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and other cities in the UK. The main town on the islands is Lerwick, which is the capital of Shetland.
The official currency of the Shetland Islands is the British pound. Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants, but it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases.
The Shetland Islands of Scotland are a beautiful and unique destination for travelers looking to explore the UK. With its stunning landscapes, rich history and culture, and abundance of wildlife, the Shetland Islands are a great place to experience something new. From boat tours and wildlife watching to exploring historical sites and chasing the Northern Lights, there is something for everyone in the Shetland Islands.