More photos from the Shetland Islands

Dad came with us to the Shetland Islands and took much nicer photos of the puffins than I did so I thought I’d share his photos as they’re really terrific.




He also took some nice ones of Shetland Ponies:



And some of the beach:



Seals (that’s Lerwick in the background):


A photo of Scalloway:


And I took this one of the local dialect:


There’s a visible Viking influence in Shetland which is left over from when the Vikings arrived in the 8th and 9th centuries. Every year they celebrate Up Helly Aa, some kind of fire festival which celebrates the end of Yule. Some of the place names and words they use also have Nordic origins like Eid which is apparently old Norse for isthmus. The museum we visited next to Scalloway Castle was also opened by the Prime Minister of Norway. There is quite a lot about Norway and the wartime resistance movement known as the Shetland Bus in the museum. Up until about 6 or 7 years ago you could even catch the ferry from Lerwick to Bergen in Norway, a trip of similar distance to the one we made from Aberdeen to Lerwick. I wish that ferry was still going as I’d have loved to try it. I guess it would be similar to the trip the Vikings made on their boats but without the mod cons! I took this photo of a model of one of their boats in the ferry terminal (I don’t think they had an onboard cinema):


I have to say I’m very keen to return to The Shetland Islands so perhaps we’ll go back sooner rather than later. I’m already dreaming about where to go next. Any suggestions? It has to be near enough for a day trip or a one- or two-nighter since we all have work and school commitments.

25 responses to “More photos from the Shetland Islands”

  1. I see where the photographic eye came from 🙂 I have never seen a puffin before. These are wonderful.

    1. Puffins are the cutest little things. I hope to see them again. They’re smaller than I imagined and quite funny when they walk. They kind of waddle like ducks.

      1. A new photo of you 🙂

        1. Oh yeah. It took me a while to figure out what you were talking about. It’s good to update profile pics every once in a while.

  2. Lovely photos by your Dad 🙂

    1. Yeah, they’re great. Thanks.

  3. Love puffins; saw loads off the Northumberland coast a few years back, diving for fish. Just beautiful. And the mention of the fire festival put me in mind of the Wicker man. Have you seen this? Creepy as all hell. The original 1973 one is extraordinary.

    1. I haven’t seen it but it looks creepy! I hate ritualistic things for some reason.

      1. It is; it’s a good example of how that genre works but you do need to be cuddled up with a partner to watch it!

  4. Beautiful rustic charm .. a world away from glass and chrome skyscrapers that ‘screech’ at you.

    1. Exactly. I think that was part of the appeal for me – hardly any people, no traffic, very few cars, no ugly skyscrapers …

  5. Where to go? Just stick a pin randomly into a map of Scotland? Though our bit – East Lothian is a relatively unknown gem. Castles and old historic buildings & sites, seabird centre, John Muir birthplace, glorious beaches, surfing, hills etc, etc.

    1. I haven’t visited that area before so I’ll definitely put it on my list. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Was there and in Orkney last August. Fantastic place.

    1. I’d like to go to Orkney too. Was that nice?

      1. Yes, great stones!! not just Skara Brae but the Ness of Brodgar (the dig is underway) and more neolithic sites. Not so many tourists even in August that you can’t get close.

  7. When I lived in Dundee, we went for a trip to the Isle of Mull and Iona ( I think)- Isle of Skye is amazing, as is going to Glencoe. One thing I used to do is have a look at the postcards of an area in the gift shops- Its quite a handy thing to do when you arrive at an international airport, as it gives time for one to get their land legs back, and means one is less likely to be hassled by touts! In Dundee, I used to like exploring Fife and St Andrews- Its possible to see the Northern lights from ?Thurso- Your local library might have some books about local spots too- If there is a RAC nearby they often have touring info too and have several publications- There used to be a really good series of walk books (Published in the 1990’s) with a range of walks all over UK- many doable with kids as well! Perhaps don’t go for the ‘pub walks’ as the directions of them would make one think the author only went to the pub and no further! Also, some farmers get pretty territorial and I’ve faced the butt of a rifle once from an irate property owner- not family entertainment one would have in mind!

    1. Some great suggestions there! Thanks, Sarah.

  8. I’ve never been there. It looks wonderful. 🙂

    1. It’s lovely. I highly recommend it as a great place to visit.

  9. Great clicks! I want to live in one of those houses on the shore.

    1. They’re cute aren’t they. They look Norwegian to me.

  10. Oh Rachel, I have dreamed of seeing Puffins for years! What absolutely gorgeous photos, thank you for sharing this beautiful place with us, I can now keep dreaming. The nearest Puffins to us are in Pembrokeshire and we hope to go there this year…finger’s crossed 🙂

    1. Thanks, Sherri. I hope you get to see some puffins. They’re adorable. I want to go and see them again 🙂

      1. Thanks Rachel 🙂

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