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March 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.

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

Spring has sprung! Snowdrops have appeared in my garden, the song of the curlew has been heard and I'm planning a trip to beautiful Foula. The Foula Heritage quarterly newsletter has been keeping me up-to-speed with island events and is packed with fascinating information - did you know Foula bonxies (Great Skua), fitted with geolocation data-loggers in 2010, have been found to winter off NW Africa, Iberia and the Bay of Biscay? Subscribe here and find out more about this wonderful island.

When rainy days arrive I can often be found seeking vintage treasures at Magpies Nest and Shetland Scrapstore Marrying old and new in Shetland is a time-honoured tradition as is supporting local artisans. One of my favourite Shetland shops, selling locally made knitwear, has to be Spiders Web - I just can't resist the Fair Isle ponchos…!

Poncho perfect

Michael Kors, Haute Hippie, J. Crew and Spiders Web all have something in common - the perfect poncho! Spring/Summer 2012 essentials - super wedges, skinny jeans and the festival essential - a poncho - for those boho cool nights in front of the campfire. From Fuji Rocks to Shetland's Folk Festival (3rd-6 th May), a Fair Isle poncho shouts 'power to the print!' and is this season's must-have. Take a trip around the world as fashion goes global and be sure to stop off at Spiders Web in Lerwick. Have a look at Shetland's festival calendar here and get poncho purchasing!

A fascinating ramble - Gutter Lasses Walk

History and heavenly views - what a great way to spend an afternoon on the most northerly inhabited island in Britain - Unst! Equipped with a new guide: 'Gutter Lasses Walk' (available to purchase at Unst Boat Haven and local stores) I set off on a fascinating ramble. I marveled at the unlimited horizon stretching before me, my imagination fired by the booklet's description of the cramped gutter lasses accommodation (the foundations can still be seen) and their demanding daily routine - with their fingers bound in cotton they would gut and pack thousands of 'silver darlings' into barrels at Baltasound - one of the largest herring ports in Europe in the first years of the 20 th century and home, during the summer, to about 16,000 workers! Read more about this fascinating time in Shetland's history in the autumn issue (out in August) of 60 North - Promote Shetland's new online magazine, and discover why Balta Isle was known as Alcatraz!

Send in your Shetland suggestions!

You may recall we asked readers to send in their top Shetland visitor suggestions. This month Billy Long got in touch and recommended the following activities: 'take a wildlife marine cruise around Shetland and see orcas, dolphins, otters and puffins. Sail up to Muckle Flugga , Britain's most northerly point and lighthouse. Enjoy and relax in the peace and quiet and enjoy the folk music in the bars.' Thanks Billy and hope to see you back here very soon! Please keep those holiday tips coming. The PS crew love to hear about your favourite Shetland experiences and each month a chosen suggestion will feature in the newsletter. Email stories to:

Jeems John 'o' Waas is looking for a home!

Congratulations to February's prizewinner Miss Natalie Goatley from Cornwall - a stunning ceramic vase, from Vidlin Pottery, is on its way to you! This month's prize is a cuddly collectable! Jeems John 'o' Waas is looking for a home - he likes milky tea, home bakes and long scenic walks. If Jeems does come to live with you - please return the attached card to his good friend Wendy, c/o of Burra Bears, East Burra, Shetland. Wendy likes to know all her bears are happy and settled in their new homes. Jeems will arrive in a very attractive hessian bag (with window), however, he has requested a comfy bed upon arrival, nothing fancy, just somewhere he can get a good night's sleep and recover from jet lag.

And all that jazz….

Fireworks, Champagne and a wee jig! Shetland's first ever Jazz Festival is happening from 8th- 10th June 2012 at various venues across the Isles, including Busta House, Clickimin, the Garrison Theatre and Tingwall Hall. Visit Shetland for three days of world class music with a headline performance from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and a dazzling diverse set of musical distractions. Savour the deliciously sensational cocktail - Becc Sanderson Trio, the sweet and hot quartet Nova Scotia Jazz Band and the fresh n' funky Aestaewast and much much more! Whether you're a jazz aficionado or a newbie to the scene - Shetland Jazz Festival offers something for everyone and a chance to hear some of the most talented musicians from across the globe.

Get moving!

Don't forget to subscribe to our Move to Shetland newsletter - an information portal that provides down-to-earth practical advice about relocating to Shetland, in addition to interesting local news. It seems like yesterday that Move Shetland answered my many queries. I was living in New Zealand at the time and their assistance, and window on Shetland life, via the newsletter, made the relocation from across the pond, without doubt, so much easier and definitely less stressful. I still have the email with all my queries promptly and succinctly answered and, in the true spirit of Shetland, the email was signed off warmly: 'Any more questions, just fire them in! Am happy to help.' Go on, get moving and subscribe now!

Go wild snapping!

Send in a unique and inspiring Shetland wildlife photograph taken between February 1st 2011 and 31st March 2012, accompanied by a brief description or short story about the photograph. Subjects may include anything that is wild: birds, wild flowers, whales, dolphins, otters, seals…This competition is open to resident and visiting amateur photographers and the deadline is 5th April 2012. Don't delay - a 7-day photography holiday worth over £1000.00, donated by world-renowned Shetland Wildlife, could be yours! One of Shetland's most prolific and published wildlife photographers, Hugh Harrop, will judge all entries. We hope to see you in photographer's paradise very soon!


PS If you'd like to visit Shetland Museum and Archives Photographic Library - a unique online archive of over 60,000 images showing all aspects of Shetland life, dating from the 1880s to modern times - click here. Photographs can be ordered online too!


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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