What's on inShetland Isles

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Nearer to Norway than the UK, the Shetland Isles sit far out in the North Sea and for a long time the only visitors they saw were those people heading out to oil rigs, military bases or the occasional biologist or ornithologist come to watch the wildlife. But over the years news of their beautifully desolate and rugged landscape with its extreme cliffs and abundant wildlife has got out and now the Shetland Isles are a popular destination for tourists and bird watchers alike.

People have been living on the Shetland Isles since around 3400 BC and there is evidence of their cattle farming and agriculture from this time.

Later, during the Iron Age stone fortresses were constructed around the islands, some of which survive to this day. Their heavy use of stone means that there are endless examples of ancient villages and communities and there is a fascinating new museum in Lerwick that details all the past cultures. In addition there is talk of the "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland" including Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof prehistoric and Norse settlements being added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

There are further sites scattered all over the islands offering examples of the different kingdoms and communities that have invaded and settled on the Shetland Isles, from the Picts to the Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries to the Norwegians who stayed for quite some time and whose influence is everywhere to this day.

Must-see places on the Mainland Isle include Lerwick, Shetlands only town with a historic waterfront and historic old houses, the Broch of Lickimin dating back to 2000BC, the fishing port of Scalloway and the ruins of Scalloway Castle and the scenery of the southern peninsula, following trails along the cliffs and coast. Here you will see visiting killer whales, minke and humpback whales and seals as well as kittiwakes, guillemots and puffins at the RSPB Sumburgh Head Nature Reserve. In addition the farm North of Quarff is where the world famous Shetland Ponies are bred.

Other places to visit are the Isle of Yell, Shetlands second largest island, covered in peat and a wonderful wildlife habitat, and home to some lovely old Otters. On the Island of Unst there is a broad range of incredible scenery, from heather-covered hills to inland lochs to tall jagged sea stacks and the wonderful Hermaness National Nature Reserve. With so much more to see and do the Shetland Isles are the perfect holiday destination. Just wrap up warm!

Days Out & Attractions

Attractions in Shetland Isles

Fun days out in Shetland Isles

Enjoy a fun filled and fantastic day out for all the family at a range of attractions in Shetland Isles, including theme parks, castles, zoos, museums and historic houses.

Zoos & Safari Parks in Shetland Isles

Zoos & Safari Parks

Get close-up and personal with a wild animal at a zoo or safari park in Shetland Isles.

Theme Parks in Shetland Isles

Theme Parks

Thrills and spills on rides and rollercoasters at a theme park in Shetland Isles.

Museums in Shetland Isles


Love British history?Come and take a stroll through the ages at a local museum.

Art galleries in Shetland Isles

Art Galleries

From timeless classics to modern masterpieces, enjoy art at its very best.



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Browse Local Towns

Towns in Shetland Isles

To find more localised events, attractions and activities, select a local town or city from the list below:

Updated: 24/07/2024 03:43:48