By Promote ShetlandJuly 27th 2021

If you’re looking for travel inspiration in Shetland this summer, why not consider Fetlar? Local lass and influencer Leah gave us her take on the places to go and things to see on the island.

Leah runs the popular blog and social media account Shetland Islands With Leah. She regularly shares her Shetland adventures with her many followers, showcasing the best of what the islands have to offer, often with her beloved pup Pippa in tow.

This summer, we asked Leah if she’d share her experiences of visiting some of Shetland’s islands with smaller populations. First up, she went to Fetlar, one of the North Isles and known as the ‘garden of Shetland’. Here, are her top tips if you’re planning a visit…

1. Make a holiday of it

In theory, you could visit Fetlar for a day, but if you live in Shetland and have the time, I recommend going for a few days. This is a place where you can really take your time to soak up the beauty of the coastline and what the island has to offer. There are self-catering, bed and breakfast and camping options available. The joy of a place like Fetlar is that you can go slow and switch off from the stresses of day-to-day life. Make the most of it!

2. Explore the beaches

Fetlar has 32 miles of really interesting coastline. Sandy beaches include: Tresta, Sand of Sand, Hubie Beach, Gruting and Litla Sand, Sand of Paradise. Interesting shingle beaches include: Beach of Aith, Funzie, Urie, and more remote Moo Wick, near the point of Lambhoga. For the more adventurous, head by boat or kayak to the spectacular Heoganeap, which can be approached through a sea cave through a headland.

Use Google Maps to suss out where the beaches are. If you’re willing to go off the beaten track, you can enjoy complete isolation and your own deserted sandy beach.

Facts about Fetlar
  • Approximately 2 hours from Lerwick, with 2 ferry crossings
  • Population approximately 65
  • There's a school, shop, village hall and Fetlar Interpretive Centre
  • Hook-up points at hall for motorhomes and caravans
  • Electric car charging point
  • 32 miles of coastline to explore
  • 5 sandy beaches
  • Da Vord Hill is a marilyn
  • Fetlar is a RSPB nature reserve

3. Hike and dine

One of my favourite things to do across Shetland is to pack up my portable kettle and cooker and go for a big walk. When I reach my destination I rustle up a spot of lunch or supper and, believe me, it tastes so good after a walk and when eaten outdoors. Shetland has so much amazing local produce, so head to a fishmonger or butcher and stock up on a few bits. The local shops on islands like Fetlar are also always well stocked. Nothing beats a fried sausage or sassermaet roll with a cup of tea, or some fresh scallops enjoyed by the sea.

4. Visit Fetlar Interpretive Centre

A good starting point if you’re new to Fetlar is the Fetlar Interpretive Centre. It’s full of useful information, including maps and brochures for things to see and do in Fetlar. There’s also free wifi and a café at the shop along the road. For those interested in flora, fauna and the history of the island, there’s also brilliant displays and exhibits.

5. Enjoy the ‘garden of Shetland’

Fetlar is known as the ‘garden of Shetland’ because it’s so green. It’s celebrated for its flora, fauna and wildlife. There’s an RSPB hide at the Mires of Funzie where, if you’re lucky, you might spot a red necked phalarope during the summer months. The RSPB rangers on the island keep an up-to-date board of the latest sightings at the interpretive centre, or, better still, book a tour with a local wildlife guide.

See more of Leah’s adventures in Fetlar on our Instagram page. Simply click on Leah: Fetlar in our highlights.

Discover more about Fetlar