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Most common questions about the Shetland Islands, according to Google.

Since I am extremely new to writing blog posts, I thought I would do a bit of investigating and find some relevant prompts to write about! I ended up discovering many questions that were commonly googled about Shetland, where I come from. These may seem like very easy questions to anyone from the islands, but there is a reason they're being searched! So do not fear, I am here to answer these most common questions about Shetland.




How many islands does Shetland have?

Shetland has roughly 100 islands. I am saying roughly as some are literal just rocks in the sea. The largest one being The Mainland which is where the capitol, Lerwick, is.


How many of those islands are inhabited?

Only 15 are inhabited! These include The Mainland, Unst, Yell, Whalsay, Fetlar, Bressay, East and West Burra, Muckle Roe, Papa Stour, Trondra, Vaila, Foula, Fair Isle and the Outer Skerries.


Is it called Shetland or the Shetlands?

If you say 'The Shetlands' to a Shetlander, be prepared for a disgusted look! For some reason we just hate the islands being called that. So call it either Shetland, or the Shetland Islands.


When is the best time to visit Shetland?

Definitely the summer, roughly June time, to get the best weather. Wildlife is most abundant, orcas are likely to be visible and the sun hardly sets. But if you're not fussed on the weather, I would highly suggest going at the end of January when the fire festivals are taking place. Particularly Up Helly Aa with it being the largest fire festival in Europe, it's quite the party! That time of year also has amazing sunsets and, if you're lucky, could catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Or as we call them, the Mirrie Dancers.




How do you get to Shetland?

Plane or ferry! The ferry leaves from Aberdeen, sometimes stopping off at Orkney on the way, and takes a minimum of 12 hours. I definitely prefer taking a flight though which you can jump on from either Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh from Mainland Scotland. Shetland also has flight links to Orkney and Bergen in Norway!


Are Shetland ponies mean?

They definitely have a bad rep! My family has owned Shetland ponies since well before I was born so I've constantly been around them. This question is the same as saying 'Are dogs mean?'. It completely depends on the owner and treatment of the pony! Our ones are the most loveable, cuddly balls of fluff you could imagine. They can be very sassy though...




Why are there no trees on Shetland?

There is the odd area where people have managed to grow trees. But for the majority of the islands, trees can't quite fight with the gale force winds we see regularly. It is also said that the sheep of the islands would eat the saplings before they had the chance to grow!


Where was the TV show 'Shetland' filmed?

Most of the show was filmed across Shetland! Even a lot of the extras are Shetlanders. The landscapes and buildings are authentically Shetland and they do make a stunning backdrop don't they?



Hope this is a good peerie insight into Shetland and answers those common questions! There were plenty queries based around Shetland Ponies so I may have to revisit them...


For more information I would highly recommend the Shetland with Laurie podcast or the Shetland.org website!

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