Halfway between Orkney and Shetland, this is the most isolated inhabited island in Britain. It is famous for its migratory birds with over 345 species having been recorded here, more than any other place in Britain. The Fair Isle Bird Observatory – the place to stay – is well known for its research work with over 220,000 birds having been ringed here.
The biggest event in Fair Isle history was the wreck there on September 27 1588 of El Gran Grifon a 38 gun ship of the Spanish Armada. 200 men managed to get ashore. They were well looked after by the islanders, though provisions were scarce. Some 50 died and are buried in the Spanish cemetery. Others settled on Westray in Orkney where they married into the local population, their descendants being known at the ‘Westray Dons’.
Ferry from Shetland three times a week. Air service from Kirkwall.