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    The Shetland Isles: A Photo Love Story

    5 min read

    By Rupert Shanks, Chief Storyteller
    More by Rupert

    Formerly known as ‘Zetland’ this subarctic archipelago is a dazzling mix of geology, history, culture and wildlife.

    The Shetland Isles are one of our most magical destinations. Inhabited since the Mesolithic period, up to 8,000 years ago, this wild craggy collection of islands makes for an eye-opening experience. 

    We decided to collect our favourite photos from the Shetland Isles to give an insight into the variety of sights these islands can offer.

    Read on – Shetland Isles Wildlife adventure and trip reviews…

    Find out more about our trips visiting the Shetland and Orkney Isles

    Dore Holm Island

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Dore Holm is a small islet located in the west of Mainland, Shetland. The natural arch can be best seen from the coast between Tangwick and Stenness. The unusual shape has been suggested to mimic a horse drinking from water. Although the the name appears to be derived from ‘door’, the word ‘holm’ being of Scandinavian origin and meaning a small island.

    St Ninian's Isle

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Shetland Photo Blog

    St Ninian’s is a small island connected to the mainland by a spit of white sandy beach. This makes it the largest ‘tombolo’ in the UK! The ancient chapel on St. Ninian’s Isle is a great site to visit. A variety of treasure was discovered there. 28 Pictish silver objects and the jaw bone of a porpoise which were buried under a cross-marked slab close to the altar.

    Seabird colonies

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Shetland Photo Blog

    The Shetland Isles are often home to a huge amount of seabirds. The craggy cliffs and islets make an ideal home for nesting birds such as Puffins and Gannet colonies. The small island of Noss, a few miles east of Lerwick is home to over 60,000 seabirds amongst the 600 feet cliffs.

    Wildlife at Sea

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Shetland Photo Blog

    In addition to the seabirds, Shetland is also home to huge colonies of common and grey seals and an estimated 900-1000 otters. The passing Orca pods are now a regular feature with much more regular sightings in Summer months.

    Coastal walking

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Shetland Photo Blog

    Shetland Photo Blog

    The vast array of islands, winding coastline and craggy cliffs make the Shetland Isles a hard place to beat for stunning coastal walks! The landscape here is shaped by the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, which means a constantly changing light and flora and fauna.

    Interested in visiting the Shetland Isles? Browse our guided itinerary below and read the reviews from our previous travellers…

    Meet the Author: Rupert Shanks

    “After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Scotland and works within the Marketing team.”

    View profileMore by Rupert

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