Last year I cruised a lot around Northern Europe and I made it to the Shetland Islands in Scotland.
The Shetland Islands are located in the North Sea and are around 170 kilometres (110 miles) north of mainland Scotland.
We went to Lerwick which is the capital and has the largest settlement. It has a population of 6,958 and about half of the total population of 23,167 of the Shetland Islands live within 16 kilometres (10 miles) of the town.
The Shetland Islands are made up of about 100 islands, but less than 20 are inhabited. Lerwick is Britain’s most northern town and is roughly the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska.
The Shetland Islands were not always part of Scotland they were part of Norway. They were given to James III of Scotland as a wedding dowry in the 15th century.
While we were there we were blessed with rain! It was sunny for all of five minutes and that was our heat wave!
I know at the time in the South of England they had high temperatures, but they did not reach Shetland! I had my umbrella and coat on again!
The town of Lerwick is small but quaint. There are small streets with shops and pubs.
It little out of the town centre is the Shetland museum, some restaurants and a cinema. All within walking distance.
I went to the Shetland museum (free entry) which shows the history of the Shetland Islands and how they survived years ago to how the modern life has changed everything.
The biggest crime in Shetland a hundred years ago was stealing clothes! Which you would be sent to prison for!
The museum was very interesting and it makes you realise how much we have evolved in technology and transport.
We ate in the museum restaurant, the food was lovely, I had the fish cakes.
Also worth a visit to is the Shetland Soap Company shop that sells lovely handmade soaps. The Shetland Soap Company is part of COPE Ltd, a Shetland-based social enterprise company that supports adults with disabilities to fulfil their expressed need to participate in productive businesses. They are in the main shopping area of town.
The Shetlands Islands are beautiful and are very green, due to all the rain. It is a lovely place to visit for a day.
- Weather: Summer months 5*C – 15*C and more than likely to rain!
- Language: English
- Currency: Pound Sterling
- Bring an umbrella and wear a rain jacket
- Wear layers, I live in my North Face zip-up jacket as you can wear layers underneath and wear a rain jacket over the top.
Love Lucy x
I have always wanted to visit this part of the world…but the rain scares me quite much!:)
Everyone seems to be wearing rain boots and rain coats in the pictures. But perhaps, we might be lucky! I hope you had fun inspite the rain.
Unfortunately it rains a lot in Scotland! But then there are those lovely surprising days and it is glorious! Just be prepared, I carry umbrella where ever I am in the world, but that is the British in me! Lol
Shetland looks so gorgeous — fantastic blog post!
Thank you Lucy 😀
We’ve been wanting to go to Scotland and haven’t thought about going via cruise. Will look into that! Thank you for the great post and sharing your experience!
Cruising around the British Isles is a fantastic way to see Britain
This is great. Scotland is my favorite country and the one I’ve explored the most, but I still haven’t been to the Shetland Islands. I really want to go for Up Helly Aa, if I can afford it. Otherwise, this is simply a great guide for whenever I go
Hope you get to the Shetland Islands at some point in the future!
Did you also see any Shetland ponies while you were there? I’ve never been, but I’ve seen photos of these adorable horses and I’d go just for the chance to see them! I’d love to visit in fall or even winter since the Northern Lights can sometimes be visible in the island too.
I didn’t! But they are there, you just need to go near farm land. In winter in will be freezing there!
I was in Scotland this year and I was thinking of going here— literally just saw it off the map. Now I wish I did.
There is always a next time!
I love the packing essentials, it’s so typical of Scotland to rain! Although it’s so beautiful it’s worth visiting the country even with the thoughts of rain damping holidays. Shetland lives up to the beautiful Scottish landscape!
It is beautiful there, just be prepared for the rain!
What a lovely place. Would love to check out the museum and soap company and some of the outlying islands. I love Scotland so much and can’t wait to explore more!!
If you love Scotland, you will love visiting the Shetland Islands!
I love the idea of the Shetlands as the scenery looks amazing. I just cannot face the thought of driving there though and the flights are so expensive. Any tips for getting a deal?
I went on a cruise, that is a good way of getting there as you see other places too. You can get a ferry from the mainland too.
Lovely. I have lived in England for a while but never managed to get to this part of Scotland. Hope to make it on my next trip.
I’m British and it took me to be on a cruise to visit!
Amazing, didn’t realise they were on the same latitude as Anchorage. Although not as cold thanks to the Gulf Stream.
Not as cold, but cold enough!
I have never heard of Shetland, but it looks like a really beautiful place! I will make sure to see it next time I am in Scotland.
It is a lovely place to visit!
I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland and the Shetland Islands look so pretty! I would be interested in visiting the Shetland museum and it’s nice it has free entry! That’s a funny story about the biggest crime being stealing clothes back in the day–I suppose if it got chilly it could get to be a problem, but prison sounds a bit much, lol!!
It is bizarre what you got put in prison for years ago! The museum is fantastic!