July 2011 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby - the author of Shetland My Love and I'll be bringing you monthly Shetland happenings, information and holiday suggestions.
If you are considering a visit to Shetland, please do not hesitate to contact us for holiday planning advice using either the contact form on the website or by phoning +44 (0)1595 98 98 98.
Come rain or shine, Shetlanders and visitors alike enjoy the many activities and events available during the summer season, and the opportunity to experience our world-class natural heritage is a particular highlight of a Shetland break. A visitor recently shared her day of natural wonders via Facebook: 'might be wet and windy but we've been watching the Nesbister otters from the Böd at 5 o'clock this morning as the tide was very low. Then I set up my hide (camo 2 man tent) near the beach and been watching the oystercatchers and Arctic terns brooding their eggs. Weather is no hindrance for them!'
Four seasons in one day - such is the Shetland climate. Handy tip: pack the following essentials before you arrive!
- ✔ Spirit of adventure
- ✔ Waterproofs and sun cream
- ✔ A watch set to Shetland time
Now you're definitely ready to play I-Spy!
I-Spy with my little eye...
I-Spy, reintroduced in 2009, has now launched a Scottish Nature guide - available to purchase at the Visitor Centre, Lerwick. Featuring over 200 photographs, 129 different species and habitats; highlighting everything from sea eagles and butterflies to dolphins and rock pools. Just like the original I-Spy books, points are awarded based on the rarity of the object, with certificates being awarded for every 1,000 points. This book will inspire the whole family to explore our pristine wilderness and engage with nature, especially when visiting our National Nature Reserves: Keen of Hamar, Hermaness and Noss. The perfect compact travel companion for the Shetland Nature Festival (2nd-10th July) and the free Cycling Scavenger Hunt Sundays
A peerie jewel - The Cabin Museum
Visitors are greeted with 'shall I put the kettle on?' Welcome to The Cabin Museum, Vidlin! Established by the late Andy Robertson, this family-run museum houses a vast collection of military memorabilia. A selection of the uniforms and pieces from previous wars have been set aside for visitors to touch, feel and wear - offering a true hands-on experience and insight into times past. The welcome is not only warm but also filled with enthusiasm - a friendly and informative yarn always accompanies a cuppa. This museum is an absolute gem and not to be missed. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.
'…Shetland is the best sea kayaking destination in the UK'
A big thumbs up from kayak enthusiasts Heather and Mark Rainsley. They spent five weeks exploring Shetland's 900-mile coastline, earlier this year. Heather's article , accompanied by fantastic photos, was published February 2011 in the magazine, Canoe & Kayak. Here's a few excerpts to whet your kayak appetite: '…Sea birds wheeled around; fulmars gliding stiff winged across wave tops and gannets plunging with sudden dashes…The squeaky baby otters who swam around our boats were a standout moment!...Paddling back over glassy seas from the Out Skerries to Whalsay one morning, we were surrounded by hundreds of porpoises…Suddenly, a much larger 'porpoise' emerged…but kept on surfacing. We were looking at a minke whale!' Visit Sea Kayak Shetland and discover a paddler's paradise.
July's prize: a funky coastal cushion
July's competition offers you the chance to win a cotton/linen cushion, created by Suzanne Shearer of Phatsheep Textiles , featuring a funky new nautical design - 'boats and galleys' - inspired by Lerwick Harbour and the many boats cruising on a summer's day. Suzanne works from a rural home-based studio and creates unique contemporary products - strongly influenced by her Shetland heritage and surrounding environment. Suzanne is also co-owner of North Rock Gallery - a shop and gallery combined; embracing utterly irresistible retail gorgeousness and showcasing local and international artists and makers (visit the superb Coast Exhibition, on until 13th September). Prices to suit all purses and an online shop that's guaranteed to delight - this is a corner of the Internet where desirable design hangs out. Competition opens 1st July and closes 31st July 2011, online shop - always open!
Janette Kerr - Extreme Wave Theory
'I've been out on the sea - in the voes with a Scalloway creel fisherman, travelled with the pilot boat from Sullom Voe oil terminal to meet a tanker from India. I've clung to the sides of a tiny ferry on route to the Outer Skerries, waves washing over the deck as we pitched and rolled in force 8 while I attempted to draw. I've sat in snow, painting and drawing until my fingers froze, have been blown by gusts of wind, drenched by spray and sleet, returning home with salt-encrusted skin.' Janette Kerr's wild and monumental seascapes, largely based on her time in Shetland, are currently being shown at Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale. View Extreme Wave Theory from Saturday 25th June - Sunday 14th August.
Shetland Fiddle Frenzy
If you're planning to pop over and see us in August - you may be interested in Shetland Fiddle Frenzy (7th-14th August). In addition to fiddle and guitar workshops, try your hand at contemporary knitting, creative writing, drawing and painting. Fledgling or experienced - workshops are tailored for those who want to have fun, explore and develop creative talents in beautiful surroundings and experience Shetland's vibrant and unique cultural scene. Book the full week or just individual days - it's your holiday, you set the pace.
See you soon!
We would welcome any comments you have about this newsletter, or about the www.SHETLAND.org site.
Also, if you have any enquiries at all about Shetland we would be more than happy to assist you. Please contact us using any of the methods listed on our contact page.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this newsletter and please feel free to forward it to anyone else who may be interested in Shetland.
The team at Promote Shetland