October 2010 Visit Shetland Newsletter
Welcome to the Visit.Shetland.org newsletter for October 2010, which we hope will inspire you to come up and visit us.
Shetland is to feature on the new series of Autumnwatch which starts on Thursday 7th October at 8.30pm-9.30pm on BBC TWO. Don't miss Charlie Hamilton James, photographer/cameraman and guest presenter of Autumnwatch 2010, who will be in Shetland filming otters and their cubs.
We all lead such busy lives, it's often difficult to find the time to enjoy our natural environment. In Shetland we have the perfect place to escape to. A romantic hideaway, or a family adventure - Eshaness Lighthouse offers warm and welcoming accommodation for all. Snuggle up by the Rayburn, listen to the wind outside whirl like a dervish, and waves crash across jagged volcanic rocks. Wrap up warmly for a gentle walk - be dazzled by the dramatic coastal scenery, and the mighty sea stacks rising from a frothing ocean. With a glow in your cheeks - return - close the heavy wooden shutters, and just be. An idyllic retreat in a hectic world. Perfect.
Shetland is renowned for its fresh local produce - much of it organic, and steeped in history and culture. Join us for the Shetland Food Festival (6th - 14th November) - a celebration of the islands' rich bounty, and outstanding natural harvest. Attend Shetland's farmers' markets, cookery demonstrations and workshops. Taste pure organic Shetland lamb - reared on crofts. Dine out on a variety of organic smoked salmon: Hawthorn, Juniper and Beech. Devour the plump juicy meat of rope grown mussels - harvested in the pristine tidal waters of the voes and sounds. Nibble Oceanic Oatcakes, made with pure Shetland seawater. Indulge in the lightest of bannocks, and the richest of cakes, from Sheltand's small craft bakers. November is guaranteed to be a Bacchanalian celebration of both scenery and food.
Learn about Shetland's heritage, and the tyrannical - Earl Patrick Stewart. He built Scalloway Castle in 1599, as a symbol of his power and prestige. The ruin dominates the picturesque village of Scalloway - once Shetland's capital. Step inside the castle walls; weathered by salt winds and dripping with memories of his oppressive rule. Learn of Shetland's dark history at the hands of a malevolent dictator. Come the evening - retire to a local watering hole - enjoy a wee dram, a fine meal and Scalloway hospitality. Make sure you drop by Burra Hall (11th -13th November), for a musical celebration of a great man - the late Thomas Fraser - an acclaimed Country and Western and Rhythm and Blues musician. Local and international acts will be performing every evening. A popular festival - make sure you book early!
Celebrate the glorious shades of autumn with a magical ramble. Wind your way across a stunning landscape, bursting with colour: blazing oranges, plum purples, emerald greens and citrus yellows - a jewelled mosaic embedded in ancient peat - the colour of rich dark chocolate and soft underfoot. Breath in the freshest of air, stroll across faded Sea Pinks, and listen to sea birds, calling to each other over swirling oceans. Watch lithe shadows dance across golden hills, and silvery light filter through scudding clouds. Discover the magical Ness of Burgi, an Iron Age fort, standing proud on the peninsula - a site, it is whispered, once used for rituals. Marvel at the majestic views, and immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere. A wonderful season to enjoy, and contemplate, Shetland's striking countryside.
As nights draw in, there's no better place to be than curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea, and a good book, by a crackling fire. Lose yourself in a riveting Shetland murder mystery - 'Raven Black' - an atmospheric and intriguing story, penned by Ann Cleeves. Perhaps you're interested in poetry, and Shetland dialect? Laureen Johnson's 'Treeds', is superb - her poem, 'Mak a Cradle String' is sure to bring a tear to your eye. For old romantics - cuddle up and delight in 'Shetland, A Love Story'. A tale of 19th century courtship, conducted by letters, over several years, resulting in a happy marriage. Breathtaking 21st century photographs accompany the text. A visual and heart warming delight. A few Shetland book suggestions to while away the wintry nights, or perhaps gifts to fill those Christmas stockings?!
This is the last month to post entries to the 2010 photo competition. Find out more.
If you're planning a trip to Shetland, or have already visited our shores - we'd love to hear from you. You can have a chat, download photographs, ask questions, give us feedback - all you need to do is join our Facebook page, and get in touch! The team, post regular news, events, and dates for your diary. They are on hand to answer any queries, offer advice, and can't wait to admire your holiday snaps! Join our page, and send us an FB postcard. No stamp required!
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 www.SHETLAND.org
Stanes of Stofast