People come from all over the world to visit Shetland and experience its unique atmosphere and rugged, beautiful scenery. Shetland is home to the Shetland pony, Shetland sheepdog, Puffins and Up-Helly-Aa. The rugged landscape, with an almost total lack of trees, is simply inspirational.
Shetland is well known for its rich heritage and culture. Perhaps best known is the unique fiddle music and Norse heritage. Our traditional fiddle music is a mix of Scottish reels and Old Norse tunes, usually accompanied by a piano, accordion or guitar. This part of the island's culture has been kept alive and strong throughout the generations.
Viking fire festivals are held annually in Shetland. The largest is Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa. It is always held on the last Tuesday of January. The day involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a spectacular torch-lit procession and the burning of a replica Viking galley. There then follows hours of performing acts and dancing in halls throughout the town that go on through the evening and into early morning.
People from all over the world visit Shetland to see Up-Helly-Aa. It is the largest fire festival in Europe.
Some of the rural communities of Shetland also hold similar, though smaller, fire festivals in the weeks following the Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa. The last of these, the Brae Up-Helly-Aa, is held in March. Brae is a large village on the Shetland mainland about 23 miles north of Lerwick.
You can find out more about the festival on the Lerwick Up Helly Aa website.
[Image to the right: our very own Ivor Cluness as Guizer Jarl Ivar (The Boneless) Ragnarsson in 2014. See more photos on the Up Helly Aa website]
Other festivals in Shetland include the Shetland Folk Festival, where many folk musicians come to Shetland from all over the world to join in playing music with the locals. The Folk Festival concerts are held all over the Shetland islands, but we would recommend getting a ticket fast as they sell out very quickly.
One of the most popular events is Shetland Wool Week which started in 2010 and is now one of the largest events in Shetland with people visiting from all around the world to take part in workshops, tours and talks all centred around Shetland wool.
Taste of Shetland Festival is an increasingly popular event held each year, showcasing the best of Shetland food and drink as well as live entertainment.
Another festival, the Simmer Dim Rally, is now over 20 years old. Bikers visit Shetland and ride motorcycles around Shetland's country stretches for a week or so at midsummer.
For lots of useful tourist information about Shetland see: https://www.shetland.org
If you plan to visit Shetland, our two properties in Lerwick would provide you with an ideal base. The properties are located at 42 Commercial Road, and 64b Burgh Road. To enquire about staying with us, please contact us to enquire about availablility and booking.