Shetland, Fair Isle & Foula
It may come as a surprise to some to learn that Shetland is closer to Bergen than to Aberdeen, is the same distance from London as Milan and is further north than Moscow to the east and Cape Farewell on Greenland to the west!
The islands were Norse until the 15th century when Scotland annexed both Orkney and Shetland and they still feel very different from the Scottish Mainland.
Lerwick is the capital of this archipelago of 100 islands and is our destination for crew changes. Shetland is an archipelago of islands stretching from Sumburgh Head in the south to Muckle Flugga in the north. It also administers two offshore islands of Foula and Fair Isle.
Rugged Shetland is very different from the fertile Orkney Islands. In common with Orkney it has a Norse tradition. The fierce tides command respect and careful planning. We are able to visit some remarkable places and enjoy great sailing. At Jarlshof are remains dating back to 2500BC and including later Pictish and Viking settlements. At Mousa is the best preserved Broch to be found in Scotland. At Noss, we can sail in close beneath gannets nesting on sheer cliffs. At St Ninians Isle we can anchor off the beautiful tidal spit. At Scalloway we can admire the modest memorial to the Norwegian sailors who operated the “Shetland Bus” to wartime Norway. At Foula we can squeeze into the tiny harbour, and walk to the dramatic western cliffs.
Fair Isle, which is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, is well known for its bird sanctuary and wonderful flora. The island is some thirty miles north of Orkney and twenty-five south of Shetland, so a useful stopping off point on our way to and from Orkney.
More information at shetland.org