Discover a unique blend of Scandinavian and Scottish culture in this stunning archipelago of more than 100 islands, 200 kilometres off the north coast of Scotland.
Uncover ancient history combined with diverse landscapes, incredible geology, fascinating wildlife, world-renowned archaeology and many fantastic events and festivals. Shetland’s nature reserves offer a diverse range of creatures, from Shetland ponies grazing on hillsides to otters, bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and seals swimming in coastal waters, and vast colonies of seabirds.
The towering cliffs of the spectacular Noss National Nature Reserve are home to an extraordinary range of nesting birds – gannets, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes can be seen in spring and summer – with great skuas nesting inland. Britain’s most northerly point, Muckle Flugga, is overlooked by the remote Hermaness National Nature Reserve whose cliffs are home to puffins, shags and gulls, and whose moorland turns blue when the spring squill comes into bloom, before turning deep pink with the flowering of sea pinks.
The remarkable nature reserve on Unst more closely resembles a lunar landscape, but its apparent barrenness is misleading as it is home to a unique collection of specialised plants that have adapted to survive on the rare serpentine rock that constitutes the island. These include Edmondson’s chickweed, found nowhere else in the world.
Sumburgh Head is one of the best places to see wildlife in the UK; the cliffs beside the imposing lighthouse are crowded with seabirds, and a good spot to watch dolphins and whales, particularly minke whales, bottlenose dolphins and orca.
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