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The Islands Waiting to be Discovered

Aug 31, 2007
The Shetland Isles, situated in the North Sea, between Scotland and the west coast of Norway, are remote, beautiful, and waiting to be discovered. The Shetland Islands, more than half-way between London and the Arctic circle. There have 1,697 miles of coastline and out of the approximately 100 islands, only fifteen are inhabited.

The original Norse name for Shetland was Hjaltland. Hjalt in Old Norse meaning the hilt or crossguard of a sword.

The only Shetland Shopping Centre, is situated near to Lerwick Town Centre. The Toll Clock Shopping Centre is the name of theof the shopping area.

In the early 1970s, oil and gas was found off Shetland. The Sullom Voe Terminal opened in 1978 and at its peak was pumping over 55 million tonnes of oil annually. It is still Britain's biggest oil exporting port.

The fish landed in Shetland is herring and mackerel and around 67,000 tonnes a year are landed. Fish farming started in Shetland in the early 1980s and at first was a small-scale, part-time and locally-owned business. It soon grew into a multi-million pound enterprise.

The town in the Shetland is Lerwick. There are two nightclubs in the town and they are open on different nights.

Music is very much alive in Shetland, particularly with regard to the rich tradition of fiddle playing. There are Scandinavian Scottish and Irish influences, Shetland has developed its own distinctive style and there exists a wealth of Shetland compositions.

The Shetland's world-famous miniature ponies can be seen throughout the islands. These creatures stand anywhere between 28 and 42 inches high. Shetland ponies are often a focal point at major competitions including the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley in October and the Shetland Pony Grand National, which forms part of the International Horse Show, at Olympia in December.

The islands are a birdwatcher's paradise one of the major seabird breeding and feeding areas of the North Atlantic.

The most northerly castle in the British Isles is Muness, which was built for Lawrence Bruce in 1598. It takes form of a tower house with circular towers and it has retained a number of fine architectural details.

The Jarlshof settlement is located in the south mainland of Shetland, and is one of Shetland's most popular historical attractions. The oldest part of Jarlshof is thought to date from 4000 years ago. The settlement's fascinating history spans the Bronze Age, Iron Age, the Norse era and onwards to the Middle Ages.
About the Author
Douglas Scott writes and works for The Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Shetland Rental Site
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