Explore Nature

Shetland has a fascinating and unique natural environment. The location of the islands has contributed to the evolution of a truly 'Shetlandic' collection of scenery and geology, bird life, sea mammals, wild flowers and wonderful beaches.


SceneryShetland's scenery is surprisingly varied for such a small area - and often spectacular. The islands offer everything from rocky crags and heather hills to fertile farmland, from sand dunes and pebble beaches to stupendous cliffs.


BeachesShetland has almost 1,700 miles of coastline, carved from a geology that’s astonishingly complex. You can find boulder-strewn storm beaches as well as many stretches of white or golden sand.

Bird Watching

Bird WatchingEver since bird watching became a popular British leisure pursuit in the late 19th century, Shetland's been famous, among those in the know, as the place to enjoy sensational seabird colonies and amazing rarities.

Shetland Ponies

Shetland PoniesShetland's world-famous small ponies can be seen throughout the islands - grazing by the roadside, on the beaches or on the heathery hills. Appearing to roam wild, the ponies are, in fact, all owned and tended to by local crofters.

Sea Mammals

Sea MammalsShetland is a brilliant place, all year round, to watch sea mammals. The species you're most likely to see are: Common Seal (Phoca vitulina); Grey Seal (Halichoerus gryphus); Otter (Lutra lutra); and Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).


FloraInland, moorland and meadow offer a huge range of wild flowers, heathers and grasses. In early summer especially, dazzling displays of colour are visible throughout the islands: red campion, yellow primroses, delicate orchids, and frothy sea pinks. S…

Northern Lights

Northern LightsBecause Shetland lies closer to the north pole than any other part of the British Isles, it’s the best place to see the ‘Northern Lights’. Over a typical winter, a keen observer checking the skies on every clear night could certainly expect to …


Eco-Tourism'Eco-tourism' is growing rapidly in Shetland as more and more travellers discover the natural wonders on Britain's northern doorstep.