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.
Where is Shetland?
The Shetland Islands are the most northerly part of Scotland. Shetland consists of approximately 100 islands, but only 15 of them are inhabited.
Visiting Shetland let you get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to enjoy the wildlife and stunning scenery. Shetland?s landscape is made up from the Caledonian mountains which once stood as high as the Himalayas. These were eroded by glaciers and weather over millennia, shaping the complex geology we see in Shetland today. In fact, Shetland's geology is so special that the whole of Shetland has been awarded Global Geopark status.
People have lived in Shetland for over 6,000 years, from Neolithic times through to the present day. Shetland's history is fascinating. It is preserved in its ancient buildings and modern museums packed with heritage and culture. The excellent Shetland Museum and Archives is only a short walk away from both of the self-catering accommodation owned by I & F Properties.
Today, Shetland continues to have a rich tradition of seafaring and crofting. Shetland still has a good fishing industry and sheep outnumber people 10 to 1. The oil industry has brought wealth to the islands, whilst having very little impact on Shetland's landscape. The Shetland community's oil fund has provided the community with worthwhile facilities, such as Shetland's excellent leisure centres.
Shetland has good transport links with regular flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a daily overnight ferry to and from Aberdeen. You can discover more on our Getting to Shetland Page.
Shetland Culture and Heritage
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.
Up Helly Aa
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.
Festivals and Events
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. The Shetland Blues Festival is also incredibly popular with visiting and local musicians, again playing in concerts throughout Shetland.
Flavour of Shetland is an increasingly popular event held each year. It gives visitors a taste of Shetland foods as well as the sounds of local musicians.
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.