Off the northern coast of Scotland are a series of lonely yet ruggedly beautiful isles with many beautiful attractions for you to see, giving you plenty of reasons to visit the Shetland Islands.
Its various natural attractions and historical sites will definitely leave you wanting more, as the scenery found here is considered by many to be the pride of the United Kingdom. There are also other destinations to be explored throughout Scotland, which is why you should be excited to see the rest of this great nation once you visit Shetland.
Shetland’s wild landscape is home to a lot of beautiful gardens, along with native plants and gorgeous wildflowers growing through its windswept countryside. One of its famous gardens is the Da Gairdins i Sand which is found in the western portion of the archipelago. Its 7 acre garden is home to a lot of rare plants and exotic specimens, making it a must see. There are also paths that will lead you to magnificent coastal views here.
Another country garden is Nonavaar. This well kept garden is surrounded by drystone walls, and once inside this garden, you will be in awe with its trees and bushes that grow along its ponds, terraces and lawns. As a treasured garden in the Shetlands, not is it a worthwhile attraction due to its precious flowers and plants, but also because of its outstanding greenhouse and vegetable garden.
Another tourist destination that you shouldn’t miss is its natural reserves, where you can see various birds and animals living in the area. One of these natural reserves is the Noss National Nature Reserve, which boasts soaring cliffs that support many species of nesting seabirds. During summer, its steep rock faces are flocked to by huge colonies of sea birds, which is why the locals refer to it as ‘seabird city’. If you walk along the coastal paths and if it is your lucky day, you might see porpoises offshore or giant skuas.
Other than the Noss National Nature Reserve, you should see the Sumburgh Head which should be included in your top reasons to visit the Shetland Islands. It is set to open in Spring 2014, though some parts will still be restricted. Even still, you shouldn’t miss this place because you get to have the privilege of observing the breeding practices of various seabirds. Aside from that, Sumburgh Head is a great place to see whales and dolphins, especially orcas and minke whales.
Shetland has a lot of natural attractions, but there’s more to see here than just that, as it also has many historical sites. If you want to learn more about this island chain’s history, then the best place to learn is at the Shetland Museum and Archives, where you will find out more about its people, whose stories will truely fascinate you. The museum’s collection includes laces that has been made since the late 19th century as well as traditionally made boats. Other museums that are definitely worth visiting in the Shetlands are the Crofthouse Museum and the Tangwick Haa Museum.
When you travel you always expect something exciting but there’s no need to worry this when venturing to obscure places such as the Shetland Islands. It is not as popular among other European destinations; nonetheless, don’t underestimate its natural attractions and tourist destinations because they certainly hold plenty of appeal for those that love nature and close knit communities. Don’t miss seeing its beauty: plan your trip to the Shetlands already!
*Image of Shetland, Scotland via Shutterstock