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April 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.

Please also feel free to get in touch with questions and comments via Twitter or Facebook – we would love to hear from you.

April welcomes many of our summer regulars back to Shetland and birdsong fills the air. Puffins return to favoured burrows and begin to rebuild their homes. Wheatears announce their arrival, performing the merriest of dances and making a distinctive noise - like two stones being struck together, hence their Shetland name - Stenshakker. Primroses meander along burns and decorate banks, leaves burst forth from furled buds and pale blue spring squill powders cliff tops. April is a month of renewal, a time to explore and view the unfolding story of nature as it awakens from its winter slumber, and it's the perfect month to book that special holiday - to Shetland!

A Wilderness Retreat

The freedom to roam, view abundant wildlife and hike across breathtaking scenery, is a chance to escape your usual routine. So, why not book a bed in a Böd? Eight atmospheric and historically significant böds are situated in remote localities across the islands. Originally used as a building to house fishermen and their gear, each böd tells an intriguing story. Venture to Northmavine and learn of Johnnie Notions and his miraculous cure for smallpox. Travel south and be inspired by Betty Mouat's tale of survival, or board the ferry to the island of Whalsay and stay in Grieve House, where Scotland's great poet - Hugh McDiarmid penned some of his best work. Wherever you may wander you will find an idyllic wilderness retreat.

Wildlife Whisperer

Simon King, world-renowned wildlife cameraman, TV presenter and author, is a huge fan of Shetland. He made a 3-part documentary - 'Simon King's Shetland Diaries' and continues to visit Shetland on a regular basis. Simon has recently co-created a fabulous website - 'Wildlife Whisperer', with a dedicated team of 'Wildlife Whisperers'. This site is a fantastic resource for all those interested in the natural world, and we're very pleased to announce that two members of Simon's small team are from Shetland - Brydon Thomason and John Campbell. Both Brydon and John run successful wildlife tours and have been chosen for their unparalleled knowledge and expertise - further evidence that leaders of Shetland wildlife trips are valued both locally and nationally. Make sure you book your Shetland wildlife excursions well in advance!

Shetland wild: 2011 Photo competition

Would you like to win a 7-day Shetland photography holiday, worth over £1000, and be accompanied by one of our most prolific and published wildlife photographers - Hugh Harrop? Or maybe indulge in yummy Shetland produce, courtesy of Shetland Fudge Company, or perhaps receive a signed copy of Simon King's 'Shetland Nature Diaries'? Well, you better get snapping - because photos win prizes. Promote Shetland is pleased to announce, in association with Shetland Wildlife - Shetland Photographic Competition 2011. Open to resident and visiting amateurs - this is an ideal opportunity to inspire us with your unique Shetland image, tell us your wildlife story and highlight the great wealth and diversity of Shetland's natural history.

A Spanging Spree: Shetland Folk Festival 2011

Are you ready for a spanging spree?! Shetland is preparing for one of its biggest musical events - the 31st Shetland Folk Festival. Winner of 'The Event of the Year' at the Scot Trad Music Awards 2010, this is a prestigious occasion for performers, locals and visitors alike. From 28th April - 1st May over 50 local and 18 international visiting acts will play concerts across the islands. Choose from high octane Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag, festival favourite - Hom Bru, dynamic Genticorum and the flirtatiously funky The Shee, to name but a few! Join the 4-day carnival, dance your socks off and welcome the Spring with a Shetland fling! Key date for your diary: April 1st - ticket booking becomes available. In the meantime, listen to song samples online and peruse the website for festival updates and further information.

A fashionista's dream gift: Shetland lace

Can you guess what the fashion houses of Ungaro, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana have in common with Shetland? Lace! Lace is on-trend for Spring/Summer 2011 and a key feature in the wardrobe of every fashion maven. Shetland has long been famed for the most intricate lacework and ethereal patterns. Knitting extremely fine woollen thread into openwork garments began back in the 1830s and became associated with Shetland's most northerly island - Unst. Shetland Lace continues to thrill to this day, and a certificate of authentication ensures you're purchasing a very special keepsake. Visit the online shops of Shetland Museum and Archives and Jamieson & Smith and discover the perfect lace scarf - an exquisite and elegant accessory - exuding a quiet confidence. Let the lace do the talking, not the label!

Celebrate Shetland Wool Week with Jamieson & Smith

March's newsletter included an item about Jamieson and Smith's Shetland Wool Holiday - an event that coincides with Shetland Wool Week 2011. You can view the itinerary online. What a fabulous celebration of real wool awaits from 11th-14th October. Here's a sample of activities to whet your woolly appetite: knitting master classes in Fair Isle and Shetland fine lace, workshops in hand-spinning and weaving, and an exclusive launch of Jamieson and Smith's anniversary book, attended by the featured hand-knit designers. This is your chance to join in the campaign to support real wool, the textile industries and farming communities alike, across the globe. Guaranteed to be an unforgettable Shetland experience. Only 14 places available - book now!

Happy Easter and see you soon



We would welcome any comments you have about this newsletter, or about the 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

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