The Shetlanders

The natives and newcomers who call Shetland home

What’s it actually like to live in Shetland? We asked a group of locals, both new and old, from a music producer to a physiotherapist, a pipeline welder and a locavore chef from Mumbai. Together, they paint a picture of a diverse society, with plentiful jobs, modern facilities and great public services—where kids can play safely, and the beautiful commutes sometimes involve orca and otter sightings. Above all, they talk up the strong sense of the community on the islands, and the fact that Shetland is a place that warmly welcomes newcomers.

The boat builder

Ryan Stevenson

Read Ryan's story

The rural headteacher

The seaside crofters

Emma Perring, Ewen Thomson and Martha Thomson

Read Emma, Ewen & Martha's story

The fisherman's agent

James Aitken

Read James' story

The running jeweller

Sophie Whitehead

Read Sophie's story

The cultured crofters

Tim Matthew, Floortje Robertson and Tove

Read Tim and Floortje's story

The locavore champion

Akshay Borges

Read Akshay's story

The naturalist family

Brydon and Vaila Thomason, Casey, Corey and Nula

Read the Thomasons' story

The star welder

The modern Shetland knitter

Joanna Hunter-Coe and Family

Read Joanna's story

The mussel man

Christopher Thomason

Read Christopher's story

The award-winning farmer

Kirsty Budge and Family

Read Kirsty's story

When we had a family and it came to choosing between whether we wanted to live in London or Shetland, it was really a no-brainer.
Joanna Hunter-Coe 

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