The Shetland Isles are over 300 miles north of Edinburgh and are the ideal place to get away from it all and see some of the wildest and most unspoilt parts of the United Kingdom. The small island of Shetland actually accounts for 16 per cent of Scotland’s coast with 1697 miles of coastline. Shetland is famous for its birdwatching which includes a population of a quarter of a million puffins. The winter celebrations of Up Helly Aa attract many visitors each year and are a dramatic spectacle when a Viking longboat is set fire to by revellers.
Shetland has excellent climbing venues which ranges from sea cliffs like Lunning, and Boulders such as the Stanes of Stofa. There are also a number of sea stack formations which attract some climbers. For divers there is the wreck Gwladmena and diving off Lunna Kirk.
Lerwick is the main town on Shetland and the centre of activity, and the site of the Shetland Museum. At Mousa Broch see the Iron Age Tower which can be visited by boat from Sandwick, and a museum explaining the 3000 year old history is at Jarlshof. The wildlife here is stunning and sharks and whales can often be seen from the shore. Find a boat trip to observe seals and seabirds in their natural habitat including Great Skua, Razorbills and Herring Gulls.
The Isle of Noss is an excellent place to do this around the sandstone cliffs. The terrain makes excellent walking country both inland and along the coast. Shetland makes its own whisky and with a number of traditional bars on the island the ideal place to sample the local produce after an active day exploring the beautiful scenery and wildlife venues. Shetland is an artists favourite with its light and clear air.