This is a magical place, with a completely different feel from the rest of Scotland. What's more, the Shetland Isles are experiencing ever increasing popularity thanks to BBC's hit TV series “Shetland” based on Ann Cleeve's gritty, iconic crime stories.
After collecting your hire car by the airport, you will have ample time to explore with three nights on Shetland. For this holiday we have selected a comfortable hotel situated right in the centre of the islands and ideally placed to access the many treats that Shetland has in store.
Your hotel on Shetland
Set on the edge of a village overlooking a peaceful bay, the original, historic building dates from the 1500’s and has benefited from many tasteful additions throughout the centuries. Low ceilings, winding corridors, steep steps and sloping floors all add to the characterful ambiance of the place which, rumour has it, includes its very own ghost. Guests comment on the friendly welcome and traditional service they have received here, and the hotel even has royal connections. The Queen of England once took afternoon tea in the library. Less regal guests can enjoy meals in the hotel bar or restaurant, both of which offer high quality, locally-sourced produce. All the bedrooms are individually decorated and named after the surrounding isles, and have views of the bay or the gardens, complete with trees – a rare and welcome occurrence on Shetland.
Things to See & Do on Shetland
You could perhaps take a short trip on the passenger ferry to visit impressive Mousa Broch, an Iron Age round tower and one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in the world. For something rather different, you could follow a craft trail, popping in to galleries and wee shops, where you will find traditional items, such as fair isle knits, or more contemporary textiles. Or you could take the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves' Shetland crime dramas, recently filmed on location by the BBC.
If you are interested in recent history and stories of great bravery and heroism, head into Scalloway, with its Scandinavian-style painted houses and fascinating museum about the "Shetland Bus" - the secret wartime operation supporting the Norwegian resistance.
The dramatic cliffs of Eshaness are within a short drive, and this is an ideal location to head north by ferry to Yell and Unst, perhaps to look out to Britain's most northerly point - the Muckle Flugga lighthouse. There's plenty to explore on Unst - from a reconstructed Viking longhouse to the Shetland Ales craft brewery and Foords' Chocolates, where you can sample the delights made on the premises. Don't forget to stop and admire/photograph the famous Unst Bus Shelter - complete with carpet, comfy seats, TV and themed decorations - one of Britain's most quirky attractions - it even has its own website and visitors' book!