Arts and culture in Shetland

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Immerse yourself in Shetland’s exciting music scene and discover how its proud creative heritage remains very much alive today. Discover what makes Shetland such an irresistible subject for artists and photographs.

Visit at the height of summer when the islands, with their rugged cliffs and tranquil lochs, are bathed in the other-worldly twilight of the ‘simmer dim’, or in winter when there’s a greater chance of seeing the night sky illuminated by the ‘Mirrie Dancers’, the Aurora Borealis.

Explore Shetland’s wonderful array of arts and culture attractions and discover the unique cultural identity of the islands.

From examples of stunning traditional Shetland boats at the Unst Boat Haven at Haroldswick to demonstrations of spinning and knitting at Shetland Textile Museum in Lerwick to great music, dance and theatre performances at the Mareel, there’s a great choice of attractions reflecting the region’s heritage.

Shetland is proud of its traditions and the islanders always find something to celebrate. There is the Shetland Folk Festival in spring, while in June and July Shetland Races take place in Lerwick.

Music is a big part of the islands’ life, hence you will come across number of various music festivals and events from the Shetland Accordion & Fiddle Festival to Shetland Fiddle Frenzy.

With a strong influence of the region’s landscape, Shetland has no shortage of shops, galleries and studios where diverse array of arts and crafts can be purchased.

From Viking and Celtic inspired jewellery to handmade knitwear and exquisite ceramics, glasswork, paintings and more, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up that special gift or souvenir of your stay. You can even watch the handcrafted goods being created at the many workshops and studios included in the Craft Trail.

  • Hoswick Visitor Centre, Mainland
    Hoswick Visitor Centre, Mainland
  • Folk musicians playing in the Lounge Bar, Lerwick
    Folk musicians in the Lounge Bar, Lerwick
  • Jewellery for sale in Lerwick VisitScotland Information Centre
    Jewellery for sale in Lerwick VisitScotland Information Centre
Hoswick Visitor Centre, Mainland

Arts and culture attractions

Explore the fantastic arts and culture attractions on offer in Shetland and discover the island’s unique creative heritage.

Up Helly Aa procession, Mainland

Arts and culture events

The best way to experience Shetland’s thriving creative scene is at the islands’ fantastic arts and culture events.

Lerwick VisitScotland Information Centre

Arts and craft shopping

Enjoy fantastic arts and craft shopping in Shetland and find that perfect gift or souvenir of your stay.

Shetland Museum and Archives

Culture

Discover the truly remarkable culture of Shetland that is strongly rooted in the Viking’s history.

Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, Unst

Literature

Many writers and poets have literary connections to the Shetland Islands. Discover the places that inspired them.

Broch of Clickimin

Architecture

Discover Shetland’s remarkable architectural heritage which spans thousands of years.