the Shetland Isles...

a land of beauty and northern charm - make a break for it...
Shetland is a land of unmistakable beauty and northern charm and has never been so accessible. By air from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen and by sea from Aberdeen, Kirkwall, Denmark, Norway, the Faroes and Iceland. Over a hundred islands form this archipelago each with its unique brand of Norse character and tradition which is readily seen, heard and enjoyed through the local dialect, place names, music, craftwork and festivals - the annual Up Hella Aa and the Shetland Folk Festival being the most poignant. The strength of these traditions is matched by the spectacular natural environment - cliffs and seascapes to match anything in Britain, like Eshaness, Muckle Row and Papa Stour - and abundant wildlife including the highest number of otters in Europe and over a million breeding seabirds in wild locations such as Sumburgh Head, the Fair Isle, Mousa, Noss and Hermaness which overlooks Muckle Flugga lighthouse at the most northerly tip of the British Isles and the island of Foula, the original "Bird Island" in old Norse. The Vikings, however, were not the only architects of Shetland's culture. This is land of ancient civilisations going back 6,000 years. The broch at Moussa takes you back 2,000 years but is still a mere youngster compared to Jarlshof with its Iron and Bronze age remains.

These islands offer a great opportunity to get fit! There is so much to see that walking becomes a real pleasure and there is no better time to appreciate this than at the annual Walk Shetland week at the end of August. And, if is unique activities you are after, why not try golfing at midnight at the Dale, Asta or Whalsay Golf Courses during the tended twilight in mid summer called the "simmer dim"? This is also the name of one of the local beers which is a fine accompaniment to a dinner of local seafood complemented by the sound of a Shetland fiddle which can be heard in a number of restaurants, hotels and pubs of an evening. Shetland is an experience never to be forgotten and can now be enjoyed as part of an international itinerary thanks to the ferry links to Iceland, Denmark, the Faroes and Norway.