September 2011 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby - the author of www.shetlandmylove.com 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.
Since we last spoke…
I have taken a day trip to the rugged Out Skerries, watched marshmallow clouds erupt atop heathery hills, collected seashore riffraff on deserted golden beaches, often under the watchful eye of a seal or two!
Whilst birds migrate and autumn approaches, there have been intrepid adventurers on the move too! An incredible journey planned from Sumburgh Head to Shetland's most northerly point, Muckle Flugga - by folding bike and inflatable raft! Did the adventurists make it? Watch '60° North - A British Adventure' and find out!
Shetland inspires people to explore our natural wonders by land and by sea, and the highlight of my summer - a wildlife cruise and a secret Shetland revealed. Welcome aboard the Dunter III…
A walk across Noss National Nature Reserve is memorable, but the cliffs of Noss, viewed from the sea with Seabirds-and-Seals - spectacular!
At Noss we dropped anchor, close to the honeycomb of nesting ledges in sandstone cliffs - rising before us to dizzying heights - alive with the chorus of tens of thousands of seabirds. Incredible. We explored the fascinating coastline of Bressay, marveled at the magnificent rock arches and moored in the psychedelic Orkneyman's cave - here we viewed the secret world of Shetland. The skipper, using remotely-operated submarine cameras to feed live colour video to display screens onboard, mesmerized us with extraordinary images of ancient kelp forests, sea anemones, starfish, soft corals, tiny hydroids and galloping seahorses…Shetland's teeming underwater kingdom revealed and no diving involved!
This trip exceeded all expectations - I'm booking again for sure!
The Museum's collection is now housed in a converted former knitwear factory, adjoining ScallowayCastle. Discover a fascinating temporary exhibition with a maritime theme, including the museum centrepiece: two Walter Duncan-built Shetland Models, both of which served as lifeboats for Shetland Bus vessels. The Shetland Bus history collection - a tribute to the resistance movement operating between Norway and Shetland during the Second World War, is a must view. I ended this fascinating tour with a cup of tea in the chill out zone - the building's glass façade showcasing spectacular panoramic views. ScallowayMuseum will be closed from the end of September. The official opening, with the full and final display, is set for March 2012. Call 01595 880734 for further information.
I recently visited the whimsical Burra Bears studio, featured on the Craft Trail. Groups of bears, made from recycled jumpers and Fair Isle knitwear, showed me their fan mail and postcards sent from globetrotting cousins, and Wendy, creator of Burra Bears, shared a lovely story with me too!
"We made three bears for a family - their grandad had recently passed away and they sent me one of his jumpers to make the bears. They wanted one bear for their granny. A few weeks after granny had received her bear, she told her family the bear's head wasn't straight - it sat to one side. When they offered to send it back, to get it straightened, she said 'no!' It reminded her of her husband - he also sat with his head to the same side!"
The perfect keepsake - a gift made with love.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Simpson, winner of July's prize - a Phatsheep coastal cushion.
This month we're offering you the chance to win a bang on trend jewel-coloured shawl - inspired by a trip to Barcelona and created by textile designer, Emma Blain of Aamos Designs. Emma is based in the picturesque fishing village of Scalloway, where she runs a vibrant and busy weaving studio. Her luxurious hand-woven fabrics honour traditional techniques and her range, sold online and in retail outlets across the mainland, is coveted by a loyal and ever growing clientele. The new autumn/winter collection may tempt you with polka dots and pearls, minis and midis, but every fashion maven is sure to have a key A/W11 staple - the heritage accessory.
There are two eagerly awaited events happening in October: Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival (6th -10th October) followed by Shetland Wool Week (10th - 16th October) October - a week dedicated to celebrating the wool of our native Shetland sheep, along with Shetland's textile heritage and culture. A superb programme of events is currently being finalized and will soon be available for yarn addicts to swoon at.
In the meantime, follow Shetland Wool Week updates on their dedicated Facebook site and don't forget the Real Shetland Stories Competition - get those woolly memories in by 15 th September. The prize? A Vi-Spring bed worth £11,000!
Finally, Jamieson & Smith are delighted to be a part of the LoveWoolUK campaign and they've especially commissioned two patterns for free download. Sign up here and get knitting happy!
See you soon!
PS next month I'll tell you about my day trip to Out Skerries - a favourite destination of British TV bird-watcher, Bill Oddie.
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The team at www.SHETLAND.org
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