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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

If you’ve never discovered Scotland’s islands, shame on you. It’s true that some are quite far away, but the effort it takes to reach a place like the Shetland Islands is well worth the reward once you arrive. Bird lovers, trekkers, pony lovers, this is the place for you.

Almost everyone has heard about the Sheltand Islands. If not in Geography Class then at least you’re familiar with their famous wool and their ridiculous cute (and small) ponies. Birdwatchers will have had this place on their radar since their ornithological careers started. But you don’t need a pair of fancy hikers, a pair of binocular (although highly recommended) or a thousand-pound Nikon to go to the Shetland Isles. All you need is a raincoat and some maps.

From old Viking ruins to glistening white sand beaches, from frolicking new lambs to the most curious of puffins, the Shetland Isles will definitely enchant. Plus, it’s a great place to unwind and forget the stresses on London life. Check these out.

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Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands

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ponies
Hey, dude!
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Esha Ness cliffs

puffins

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Scalloway Castle
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Herman Ness Nature Reserve

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How to get there?

There Shetland Islands are a bit out there so give yourself at least an extra 3 days to get there and back again. From London, cheap flights to Aberdeen will take you to the northern part of Scotland where the ferry to Lerwick departs. Booked in advance, these will only set you back around £50. From Aberdeen it’s a 12 hour ferry trip overnight, 14 hours if the ferry stops in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands along the way.

For budget travellers, a sleeping pod is well worth the £36 return. It gives you a leather recliner in a private (quiet and dark) lounge room, sleep mask, blanket, pillow and a free shower token. What more could you want?

Imgs: author’s own

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