Shetland, Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2019
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Spiggie beach, Shetland

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An archipelago made up of more than 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited, the Shetland Isles are packed with amazing history, scenic landscapes and lots of exciting activities - you'll find plenty of great things to see and do. And they’ve just been awarded Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2019 as one of Europe’s top destinations, so now is the perfect time to head 60 degrees north! Find out why Shetland is the perfect Scottish escape in our new Shetland blog!

Scenic drama

Ruggedly handsome and wonderfully secluded, the Shetland Islands boast a landscape quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Think miles of breathtaking coastline fringed by pristine beaches and crystal-clear, vivid blue shores. Not to mention the glistening sea lochs, heather-clad moorlands, monumental rock formations and towering clifftops sculpted by millennia of wind, sea and sand.

Scotland meets Scandinavia

The same goes for Shetland's unique cultural heritage. The Old Norse language crops up everywhere, from practically every place name to the local dialect spoken with a distinctive Scandinavian lilt, while fantastically preserved archaeological sites and the spectacular Up Helly Aa festival are vivid reminders of the islands' Viking heritage.

Over 6,000 years of history

It's not just the Vikings who left their mark on Shetland. Traces of ancient peoples stretching as far back as the islands' earliest Neolithic settlers are laid bare at astoundingly well-preserved archaeological sites and ruins. From Iron Age brochs to mysterious standing stones, from Pictish wheelhouses to traditional crofthouses, we invite you to delve into the lives of Shetland's inhabitants through the ages.

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Bressay And Noss

Bressay lies east of Lerwick and is just a short ferry trip, while Noss is off the east coast of Bressay and is a paradise for nesting birds.

Fair Isle

Midway between Orkney and Shetland Fair Isle lies.


Fetlar, south of Unst and east of Yell, is the fourth largest island in Shetland and is known as the ‘Garden of Shetland’.


Foula is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the British Isles and lies 20 miles west of Mainland Shetland.


Towns & Villages
Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, has a strong fishing heritage and is famous for its annual winter fire festival, Up-Helly-Aa.

North Mainland

Towns & Villages
North Mainland is the area of Mainland Shetland north of Voe and features some of Shetland’s most spectacular scenery.


Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and is part of the Shetland Islands.


Whalsay is an island with a strong fishing heritage and is half-an-hour by ferry from the east coast of Mainland Shetland.


Yell is the largest of the Northern Isles and is part of the Shetland Islands.

Lerwick iCentre

VisitScotland iCentres
Located at the Market Cross in the centre of Lerwick’s main shopping street the VisitScotland iCentre is open all year and has everything you need to plan your visit to Shetland as well as a range of Shetland Crafts.

Travel in Shetland

Getting here

Shetland may be the most northerly point of the British Isles, but a range of transport options make it surprisingly accessible. Direct flights to Sumburgh Airport are available from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Kirkwall in Orkney and take under two hours. You can also take the Northlink ferry from Aberdeen which takes around 12 hours.

Get to Shetland now!

Getting around

Getting from A to B in Shetland is simple. In fact, when it comes to jumping on a plane, hopping between the isles on a ferry, or whizzing around empty roads by car or bike, the journey is just as fun as the destination itself.

Shetland is part of the National Cycling Network and the North Sea Cycle Route passes through the islands, and the inter-ferry service and flights which take off from Tingwall are frequent, fast and used as much by the locals as they are visitors.

Plan your trip around Shetland

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