Launch of new Tour Guide Company - Unseen Shetland

by Misa Hay -

Unseen Shetland is a new local tour company, with experienced guides, who specialise in taking visitors on guided tours in their minibus to parts of Shetland that are off the beaten track and often relatively unexplored. Their interests include archaeology, textiles, local history and culture, folklore, food and drink, traditional Shetland music and the amazing and diverse natural history of these Islands. The new venture will be run by Tom Deyell, a native of Shetland who having been brought up in a large crofting family on the West Side of Shetland, has a wealth of Shetland cultural knowledge to share with visitors to the islands. Tom, a musician himself, is the eldest of ten children, all of whom play or sing. As well as music, Tom is interested in all things Shetland and is a prolific reader of Shetland and Scandinavian history and folk-lore. As well as playing music and reading, Tom enjoys nothing better than walking and exploring the coastline of Shetland.

Michele Fogg works within Shetland's cultural history sector, whilst studying for a post-graduate MSc in Archaeology. Her main interest is the archaeology of Shetland and Orkney, and how the islands fit into the wider context of pre-historic Europe. Michele has been working at the Old Scatness (Iron Age Village) as a guide and at the Shetland museum, interpreting the museum's collections to visitors through guided tours. She has also been doing post-excavation work for the Viking Unst project. Recently Michele began working as a volunteer researcher at the Textile Museum in Lerwick, and as a knitter and spinner she has an active interest in Shetland's textile history.

It was whilst working as a guide at the Croft House museum at Boddam this summer that Michele had the opportunity to speak to visitors about the types of tours that they would enjoy. The main theme that came across was that visitors to Shetland want very much to experience the culture, food, music, textiles and community of the island, as well as the history and archaeology. Tom and Michele decided to get together and pull their resources to design tours that would provide the down to earth, homely style of Tom's storytelling, crofting knowledge and experiences, with Michele's academic knowledge and professional experience within Shetland's Cultural Heritage sector, to offer tours that give visitors a real taste of Shetland. They would like to combine their knowledge and enthusiasm for Shetland and share it with visitors to the islands to make their holiday truly memorable.

As well as offering a range of tours, including archaeology, textile, music, history and Viking tours, Michele and Tom would be delighted to design tours for visitors that are specific to their interests and time constraints. All tours will naturally involve meeting Shetlanders and experiencing some of Shetland life in addition to its landscape and history.

This new venture will begin 1 January 2013. If you would like to learn more about Unseen Shetland, or would like to book a tour with them, you can do it through their website and their telephone number is 01595 859000 or 07554344914 or email them.