of Scotland, Shetland Islands
northernmost islands are home to wildlife of all sorts, gulls,
skuas, puffins and seals crowd the shorelines, and inland domestic
sheep and the diminutive Shetland ponies outnumber people. Sparsely
populated though the Shetlands are, they have a long history of
human occupation as the remnants of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Norse
Bod of Gremista
restored 18th-century booth for fish curing. One room devoted
to Arthur Anderson, founder and developer of the Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Navigation Company, who was born here.
of best-preserved brochs in Scotland. Round stone tower built
during Bronze Age.
thatched croft house equipped with 19th-century furniture and
utensils, showing typical crofting life. Outbuildings include
kiln where corn was dried. Nearby lies preserved water mill, still
of few cliff-top viewpoints in Shetland accessible by car. Fulmars
and puffins nest in cliffs. Good walking country.
nature reserve's bird life includes Arctic skuas, storm petrels,
whimbrels and snowy owls. Otters, common seals and grey seals
abound. Bronze Age stone circles at Hjaltadans.
westerly Shetland isle with population of 45. Kame Cliff, at 1,220ft,
second only to St Kilda in height. The Sneug, at 1370ft, has views
of surrounding countryside. Gaada Stack has impressive natural
arch. Area abundant with sheep, Shetland ponies, fulmars and razorbills.
village on attractive natural harbor. Nearby cliffs, called Villians
of Hamnavoe, have views of eroded lava rocks with blowholes, arches
and caves. Good walking area.
post office in Britain can be found here. Special card and letter
franking available. Island heritage centre at nearby village of
northerly tip of Britain. Hermaness Nature Reserve is home to
great skuas and gannets. Views take in offshore lighthouse on
Muckle Flugga and the tiny island of Out Stack, final fragment
of Great Britain.
centre includes show-room and workshop. Visitors choose from silver,
gold and enamel settings. Viking, Celtic and wildlife designs
are produced at Shelland Silvercraft work-shops, in nearby Weisdale.
archaeological site --ancient homestead for over 3000 years. Earliest
remains date from Stone Age, later settlements occupied during
Bronze Age and Iron Age. Stone rectangular houses remain from
Viking community, spanning 200 years. Ruined 'Laird's House' dates
from 17th century -- the 'Jarishof' of the novel The Pirateby
Sir Walter Scott.
set around old but busy harbour. Some old merchants' houses have
'lodberries' -- loading piers built out over the harbour. Rides
around harbour in replica Viking ship on summer evenings. Shetland
Museum has displays on archaeology, folk life, textiles, shipping
and seafaring -- illustrating history of Shetland. Ramparts of
17th-century Fort Charlotte give view over harbour to Bressay
and Noss. In January, town celebrates Norse fire festival, Up-Helly-Aa.
Replica Viking longship hauled through streets then ceremonially
burned as prelude to night of revelry.
swans, ducks, waders, gulls, terns and skuas inhabit this reserve.
Nearby lies Scousburgh Sands where visitors can picnic and swim.
ice-moulded headland of Lunna Ness provides good walks, JARLSHOF
HOMES Circular stone-walled houses replaced defensive brochs during
the Iron Age.
of Castle of the Year award in 1989. Most complete Iron Age broch
in country. Circular tower rises 43ft above outer ram-part. View
of seals from white sand beach at West Voe. Boat to island from
Sandwick. Evening sea trips view storm petrels in natural habitat.
of Britain's northernmost stronghold. Castle was built by Laurence
Bruce in 1598, but was abandoned within a century. Sections of
original three-storey Z-plan design can still be seen. Circular
tower also remains.
cliffs rise 600ft in 774 acre bird reserve, which includes gannets,
gulls, skuas and waders. Sea campion, scurvy grass and rose-root
thrive here, amongst 150 species of flowering plants. Interpretive
display at 17th-century house. Remains of 19th-century croft houses,
mausoleum and a pre-Reformation chapel. Restored pony-pund is
where Shetland ponies were bred for work in Durham coalfields.
Has of Burravoe
building on island of Yell contains exhibition of local plants,
animals, arts, crafts and history. Also has photographic collection
and video and tape recordings of local musicians and storytellers.
Nearby Hoose of Burravoe has sea-bird colony of puffins, guillemots,
shags and fulmars, as well as common seals.
coastline reveals stacks, arches and caves, including Kirstan's
Hole -- vast sea cave. Archaeological trail takes in recently
discovered foundations of medieval house.
of restored water mill with large vertical wheel. Beach at Bay
of Quendale is Shetland's largest at almost a mile long.
to mainland only by narrow beach. Hoard of ancient Celtic treasure
found beneath remains of 12th-century chapel.
capital of Shetlands named after Norse skali, or hall. Houses
cluster around the well-preserved remains of castle -- built 1660.
Local artefacts and old photographs in converted shop museum.
Also on show is the story of Norwegian Resistance's 'Shetland
Bus' boat shuttle to and from Norway during World War II, smuggling
saboteurs and refugees out of their homeland.
of large Neolithic house surrounded by domestic remains, field
boundaries and clearance cairns. Further finds at nearby Bridge
razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins breed near 1821 light-house.
Grey seals share waters with dolphins and killer whales. Car park
display board details breeding sea birds.
harbour lies Pier House, where German merchants stored bartered
has a collection of old crofting tools. Display housed in Victorian
1790 on site of towered Church of St Magnus, dating back to early
period of Norse Chris-tianity. Old kirk's burial vault still stands
of piers and huts at Balta sound and spoil heaps at Nikka Vord
are reminders of former herring and chromite industries. Island
also has restored Norse water mill, Shetland ponies and Celtic
fish carving in old Kirk of Lund. Caves and islets surround Burra
Firth in north a dramatic sea inlet flanked by cliffs of Saxa
Vord (935ft) and the hills of Hermaness. Austere rocks of Muness
Castle in south-east.
most northerly golf course lies at Skaw. Coastal walks to south
and east reveal breeding seals and birds. Ruined Iron Age blockhouse
stands beside Loch of Huxter. Remains of Neolithic houses lie
at Isbister. Out Skerries have Bronze Age stone circle and l857
of Iron Age fort at Aywick, and White Lady -- wrecked ship's figurehead
at Otterewick. Shell sand beach at Wick of Breakon, near Gloup
Memorial to 58 drowned men. Otters and Shetland field mice abound.