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Shetland is a land of contrasts and contradictions it is a group of Scottish islands so far to the north (the UK's most northern island grouping) that they are closer to Norway than Scotland. The island archipegalo is so far north than in most maps of Scotland they are shown in a separate box or an insert, it is 104 miles (166.4 km) north-east of John O'Groats. Shetland is more than 70 miles from north to south with no part of it is more than 3 miles (5 km) from the sea. The islands show evidence of a long history of inhabitance with fine examples of Bronze Age round towers or brochs with the most famous being Mousa Broch.
Lerwick is the main town and capital of Shetland. It is the only town on Shetland of any size and was only a fishing season trading post until the 17th Century when it became permanently inhabited. The town is known for it's lodberries which greet you if you arrive by ferry. These old merchants' houses have their own piers and are built over the sea's edge.
St Ninian's Isle is 4 miles (6.8 km) south-west of Sandwick and connected to the mainland by a thin stretch of white sand, or tombolo. It was here that the first christian missionary to Shetland, St Ninian, decided to live. Now uninhabited the island has the ruins of a medieval church built around the 12th and 13th Centuries.
Things to see and do around Shetland
Jarlshoft Prehistoric and Norse Settlement, a site of great historical importance, can be found just over 20 miles from Lerwick. It is made up of a number of ancient settlements. The Bronze Age settlement is the oldest and is a small village of stone buildings built around courtyards. Ajacent to the Bronze Age village is an Iron Age settlement consisting of a broch and several wheel houses. Moving towards our present day there is an entire Viking settlement from end of the 16th Century with longhouses and a 17th Century mansion house. The site has an informative visitor centre.
Tel: 01950 460112
Shetland Croft House Museum, Dunrossness shows the history of rural life in Shetland. It is housed in a restored 19th Century thatched croft house furnished with furniture and utensils typically used in the period. There is also a corn-drying kiln and working mill of the horizontal Norse type.The museum is open to the public from around the middle of April until September.
Tel: 01595 695057