April 2012 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby and I'm here again with the latest 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.
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Since we last spoke...
The other day I went for a walk on the beach at Sand – it's one of my favourites. There are many breathtaking beaches to choose from (over 130!) - some are award winning, all are unusual – because, unlike many coastal areas, Shetland does not have over-priced restaurants, hotels and apartments nudging each other for the best ocean view. Shetland's beaches are simply just beaches – a place to escape to and gaze at uninterrupted views. I spent an idle afternoon beachcombing and listening to the hypnotic rhythm of the waves and finally returned home with a collection of seashore riffraff and the clarity of mind that only a wide horizon and a big sky can bring. I have since discovered there's a fellow beachcomber in Northmavine and she's turning sand into silver...
Made by Shetland: creating the new, cherishing the old…
Congratulations to March's prizewinner Mr Andrew Whittles from East Yorkshire! A Burra Bear - Jeems John "o" Waas is packing his bags and looking forward to meeting you very soon! This month's prize is a silver starfish necklace - cast using local sand and created using traditional silversmithing tools and techniques. Esme Wilcock creates her Made by Shetland range of jewellery from a workshop situated in stunning Hillswick and weaves accessory magic using items found – sea glass, pottery, shells…Her mission: "…to repurpose!" This gorgeous accessory is a statement piece of fashion hardware - bang on trend with the swell of shell jewellery that has washed up in the SS12 runway collections and guaranteed to make waves in your wardrobe!
An 18th Century retreat – Belmont House, Unst
Last year I had a fascinating tour of Belmont House – a beautifully restored Georgian Mansion (built in 1775 by Thomas Mouat) which has become, after many years of restoration, a wonderfully cosy retreat – a coastal bolt hole for those who want to get away from it all or celebrate a special occasion amid splendid surroundings. Book online and be prepared for a visual feast: the furnishings are a mix of Georgian antiques from the collection of the National Trust for Scotland, the art collection showcases both local and Faroese artists and the woven wool curtains, in subtle checks, are from Johnstons of Elgin. My favourite room has to be the Venetian Writing Room – picture windows look out to the magnificent garden (croquet set provided!) and soul-replenishing views across Bluemull Sound dazzle. Top tip: If you're seeking the ultimate retreat - spend a bubblicious time in the quirky bath in a cupboard!
Go 60N crazy at the Shetland Folk Festival (3rd-6th May)!
Are you feeling the FF-factor? Have you packed enough Red Bull?! It's time to prepare for the music festival - showcasing some of the best international and local acts in the world, renowned across the globe as a spanging spree and voted Event of the Year at the 2010 Scottish Trad Music Awards. It's...*wild jumping up and down and frenzied arm waving*…THE SHETLAND FOLK FESTIVAL!! Let's talk featured artistes: the hotly tipped Admiral Fallow - fresh from supporting the über cool Snow Patrol will wow along with the much lauded duo - Tim Edey & Brendan Power, the dynamic Vair, the musical tour-de-force Sheila Henderson…and… Oooh enough of the list! Go have a sneaky beaky at the prestigious line-up, listen to samples – "cos words really can't describe what an amazing festival this is and going 60N crazy for a few days is definitely good for the soul.
Send in your Shetland holiday suggestions!
This month's chosen top tip is from Mergullador Garcia: "I have visited Shetland with a friend last June (2011) for one week - for the puffins at Sumburgh, the gannets at Hermaness, the phalaropes at Fetlar... A beautiful place, no doubt. We discovered the islands in the most adventurous way: sleeping in a bag, cooking with a little stove... Stunning landscapes and sunsets." Many thanks Mergullador for your suggestion – sounds like you had great fun and experienced a wildlife extravaganza! There's nothing like the freedom to roam and the camping options in Shetland are many and the facilities excellent. I met a visitor from America who loved böd-hopping so much she stayed for 3 months, instead of the planned 1-week! Keep your suggestions coming - email your top tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org The PS team would love to hear from you.
Happy Easter and see you soon!
PS Great news! Shetland will feature on the Channel 5 travel programme - Holiday: Heaven on Earth, make sure you tune in on April 5th at 7.00pm. In the meantime, Shetland Life – a superb magazine published monthly and The Shetland Times (published every Friday) can now be viewed digitally. A little piece of heaven on earth can now be sent to your inbox! There are various subscription offers and samples of both publications can be viewed online for free. An easy way to keep up-to-date with news and views and wonderful gifts for Shetland enthusiasts!
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