The North

You could be forgiven for thinking the Shetland islands lived in a little box just off the coast of Aberdeen, as depicted on many maps of the United Kingdom. But turns out they're actually a looooong way from the mainland. 600 miles north of London and just 400 miles south of the Arctic circle, to be precise!

Cliffs at Eshaness

If The Mothership ever went to Shetland I can imagine her gushing to all and sundry, "Oh, you gotta go. You GOTTA GO. And the history. THE HISTORY!" Yep, Shetland is not all ponies and woolly sweaters. It's an ancient place with a rich turbulent history full o' vikings and battles and salted fish. It became part of Scotland in 1468 when a Danish king pawned the islands to pay his daughter's dowry to the King of Scotland. I hope the wench was worth it!

Viking Bus Station, Lerwick

In some ways Shetland felt like another planet. The landscape was beautifully barren and treeless, somewhere between Iceland and Caithness. There were beautiful bays and empty beaches then crazy, rugged cliffs that have been battered by the sea for millions of years. The main street of Lerwick, the capital, had the usual banks and shops like on the mainland, but then a few miles down the road is an ancient broch or a cliff dripping with puffins. Suddenly you get that wonderful wild sense of isolation, feeling every mile between you and home.

A beach on Yell, Shetland
Gareth on a cold, windy beach on the island of Yell

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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14 thoughts on “The North

  1. Oh, you lucky people! That’s definitely on my list of places to go… (there is actually no reason why we couldn’t just get ourselves together and do it, but we’re not as organised as you are).

    If it weren’t for G’s woolly hat, Yell would look positively tropical.

  2. Hi darling

    You’d be right – The History, The History!!!

    Where can I learn more of this Viking history?

    Love the view – looks almost tropical I agree.

    Love to you both

  3. Yell.


    AND history too, gotta love that.

    I’ll just note that down on my itinerary.
    My LONELY little itinerary. *sigh*

  4. Oooooh….I’ve always wanted to go to the Shetlands.

    I’ve only gotten as far as Orkney so far though.

    I have envy.

  5. As is usual, you’ve seen more of Scotland than I have… ‘local apathy’ I call it… although the Shetlands aren’t exactly local but I’m a hell of a lot more local than.. ohh never mind…

  6. That’s remarkably few comments for your blog. I therefore thought I should add another. Are all your readers on holiday, or can they think of nothing to say apart from, ah, nice beach/hat/sky? – and those have already been covered, more or less?

  7. I didn’t know vikings caught the bus. I always thought they like sailing on dinky little boats. Learn something new every day, I guess 😉

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