Explore the Mousa Broch, the finest preserved example of a round Iron Age tower, on the Island of Mousa, Shetland. Learn about the brochs' history and more in the new Scotland's History in 25 Objects eBook!
An archipelago made up of more than 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited, the Shetland Isles are closer to Norway than mainland Scotland.
Scotland meets Scandinavia
The same goes for Shetlander'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 past.
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.
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.