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Ancient Shetland

Some of Britain's best preserved archaeology is here, at places like Jarlshof and Scatness, a reminder that the islands have seen 5000 years of habitation.

Historic Sites & Monuments


Böd (booth) is an old Shetland word whose meanings include trading post or warehouse, as in the 16th-century Bremen Böd on Whalsay, and also store for fishing gear. Camping böds are historic buildings offering basic accommodation for visitors.

Hostels & Bunkhouses in Shetland

Walking in Shetland

Wild seascapes, cliffs and beaches, archaeological sites and wildlife encounters - these are some of the rewards for walking in Shetland.


From the museum in Lerwick to croft and farm museums, woollen mills, and heritage centres, there are many ways to gain an understanding of Shetland’s past.

Museums & Galleries
Heritage Centres

Festivals & Events »

From a deep-winter fire festival to celebrations of the musical traditions of the islands, Shetlanders make the most of their heritage in a packed events programme.

Soapstone Bowls

Close to the Lerwick-Sumburgh Road by Cunningsburgh, look for the old quarries along the Catpund Burn where the Vikings and earlier peoples carved out bowls from the soft steatite or soapstone.

Catpund Seatite Quarries

Lerwick »

Lerwick, from the Norse ‘leir vik’ - mud bay, is the Shetland capital. The Dutch used it as a fishing base and Lerwick began life in the 17th century as a trading post.

Shetland Ponies »

The highly characteristic Shetland pony may no longer be a vital part of crofting life on Shetland today. Nevertheless they are still kept throughout the islands.

Wildlife of Shetland »

There are eight million seabirds around Britain. One million of them are around Shetland. For sheer spectacle, what else needs be said.

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