Come and experience the warm, genuine welcome of Shetland, the beautiful and wild group of islands set like jewels in the far north sea whose dramatic and striking scenery will enchant you and warm welcome of its people charm you.
Revel in the distinctiveness of Shetland, whose culture is certainly unlike that of anywhere else. Shetland roots lie deep in Viking heritage with islands littered with old Norse names and remains. Trows (trolls), Selkies (seal folk) and Norse Warriors people the myths of Shetland history and winters are warmed by the Up Helly Aa festival in which the burning of Viking Longboats gives way to nights of revelry …
The Victorian stained glass window in the Town Hall in Shetland’s capital, Lerwick, celebrates Viking history and the many archaeological sites – including the sites at Jarlshof,Mousa Broch and Scatness allow fascinating glimpses of peoples inhabiting Shetland up to 5000 years ago. Norse influence drenches all aspects of modern Shetland, from place names and fishing tackle to local dialect.
The sea – in Shetland you’re never more than 3 miles from it – also plays a continuous and important part in the past and present of Shetland. Sea wrecks litter the coastline. Fishing, as well as crofting, was a traditional mainstay of life with the menfolk braving the sea and the womenfolk tending home and croft. And the sea, which bore folk away from the islands, as well as providing bountifully for them, has also given Shetland a network of family connections across the continents with strong communication links. Because of the many trading links over the centuries Shetland has absorbed numerous cosmopolitan influences into its culture and has consequently achieved a strong sense of its own identity.
Shetland speaks in colour – deep blue and emerald sea and land, fuschia and gold of sunset, purples and pinks of heathered hills, swirling greys, carmines and yellows of rock, the shimmering opalescence of the sweet, heady air and in winter the velvet black of the night sky where you can reach up and touch the nearness of silver stars or witness the wonder of the Merry Dancers (Northern Lights) choreographed in greens, reds and white.
The long, lazy days of summer where the sun shines for up to 19 hours, with the remainder just the period of twilight known as ‘Simmer Dim’ will restore your sense of wonder and your soul. Every season in Shetland has its own fascination and the movement of nature never stops. Be inspired by long walks over soft sands, tranquil hills and secluded shores. Winter walks will yield much for you to discover, too. Re-capture your energy,serenity and peace …
• Find a quiet spot all on your own
• Discover unusual pebbles and beachcombing finds
• Go for midnight walks
• Embark on star gazing missions
• Have long walks and fireside chats in winter
• Consider Spring and Autumn break possibilities
Want Romantic Time? – You got it.
What better setting to spend with that special person in your life. Shetland has a history of being a romantic escape for famous and historical figures. Be together in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Be as private as you like, then rejoin the world when you’re ready. But we warn you – you may fall in love with Shetland, too …
Shetland – wild enough to retreat to, sophisticated enough to enjoy …
Rest and Relaxation…
Well, for things to do to relax there's lots going on in Shetland …
Walking/Cycling/Touring – Could there be a greater variety of walks or more glorious scenery to walk, cycle or drive through? We doubt it! Shetland offers a variety of different locations in which to experience a quiet stroll or exhilarating stride, cycling fun or comfortable drive. The West Mainland offers some wild and beautiful walks with the greatest percentage of sunshine in Shetland. See the abandoned village of Kellister, ancient farmsteads and field systems, drive through the pretty villages of Aith and Walls. Experience pink beaches, secluded bays and moorland walks. Central Mainland yields steep heather hills and wide straight lochs. Go to the island of Burra, go for coastline walks and stroll along beautiful shell sand beaches, see the voes around Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale. North Mainland will give wild cliff scenery and dramatic rugged landscapes. Experience Mavis Grind (which separates the North Sea from the Atlantic) Ronas Hill (the highest in Shetland) and Eshaness, superb volcanic cliff scene! South Mainland for beautiful scenery, wildlife, seabirds, cliffs and whale-watching viewpoints! Visit archaeological sites and tour the superb coastline. The Islands – Three main islands make up the northern isles, Yell, Unst and Fetlar – all with remote and wild atmospheres. Also experience Fair Isle, Out Skerries, Papa Stour and Whalsay each with it’s own unique character and history. The driest months are during April and July but locals boast that you can often experience all four seasons in a day.
Birdspotting – Paradise. So many and varied species – fulmars, guillemots, puffins, gannets, lapwings, oyster catchers, gulls, great skuas – even the rare red necked phalarope in Fetlar – to name but a few. Prolific and natural and set in the wild.
Nature – Shetland is the only place in the UK where otters can be seen during daylight hours. In addition, it’s not unusual to spot whales, dolphins, jellyfish, seals, hares and polecats. Shetland contains a profusion of wildlife to be seen, photographed, drawn, recorded and adored. Shetland also produces a profusion of excellent produce, fish from the sea and lamb from the hills. Salmon and mussels are locally farmed. All are delicious.
Fishing – Try midnight fishing at ‘Simmer Dim’. Also all the loch and sea fishing you can cope with.
Photography – So much to see and capture. Photographers will be in seventh heaven.
Art – Shetland houses a large art community, the reason being the unusual quality, clarity and unique luminosity of the light here. Plus Shetland has the Uk’s most northerly art gallery, the Bonhoga.
Golfer’s bliss – Again, midnight golfing in Shetland is not unheard of during the summer. This popular sport flourishes here.
Pony Trekking – Ever been pony trekking on Icelandic horses? You can here.
After all that rest and relaxation, you’ll be looking for something to do.
Enchanting and stimulating Shetland offers lots to get involved with. Events that occur throughout the year are diverse:
• Musical Festivals – Shetland’s musical heritage is alive and kicking.
• These happen either side of summer.
• Book Festival – this attracts some heavyweights in the literary world and takes place in September
• Up Helly Aa – the most famous Viking Festival in the World in January of each year
• Boating Regattas – in profusion in summer
• Fêtes and Fayres – abound in summer
• The Walking Festival – takes place in September
• Simmer Dim – in mid-summer
There is so much to see and do in Shetland and a wide range of things to experience. What there is in abundance though is warmth, charm and friendliness such as you’ll rarely find now. Whether you choose to visit during the summer months, take a short break during spring and autumn or choose a snappy and exhilarating winter get-away, Shetland has something for you.
You’ll go home revived, refreshed and relaxed and no matter how many times you visit there’s always something else to discover.
Lerwick - The Base Camp…
During your pleasure stay or business trip it makes sense to make this attractive and energetic sea-port town, Shetland’s main town, your natural base. Lerwick is the heart of Shetland. All roads lead to Rome – or in this case Lerwick – and this interesting and vibrant town offers easy access to all parts of Shetland and is therefore the ideal base location for all visitors.
With its busy and charming harbour – one of the best natural harbours in Scotland – there’s always something to see and boat trips are available both from and round the harbour. Check out the 17th and 18th century architectural remains and imposing Victorian houses – the Lodberries (trading stores, houses and piers on the sea front) – Museum and Böd of Gremista Museum, and individual Shetland craft shopping facilities for that must-have purchase. You’ll also find the traditional knitting crafts and local jewellery well represented. The charming Library has free internet access and houses the Shetland Collection of rare books – the Archive Centre being the place to go for old documents.
Exploring Shetland from Lerwick is easy and fun with island hopping by air – regular services to the outer islands, ferry services operating from various Shetland ports and the inter-island ferry services’ regular timetable. Travel by car becomes a long-forgotten pleasure again with low volume traffic and excellent signage and roads. It’s easy and fun and you’ll love it. Details available from Brudolff Hotels reception areas.
Lerwick – the natural place to stay …