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Scotland - Shetland Isles

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Top 100 places to visit in Scotland

9. Unst

Top 10 ten places to visit in Scotland - The Shetland Isles

Unst

 
Unst is the most northerly populated island in the British Isles and is unique in terms of its scenic beauty and mystical charm. It is one of the most spectacular, varied and interesting islands in Europe with ultramarine sea, beautiful sunbleached beaches of pure sand, majestic cliffs and hills, outstanding flora and fauna and national nature reserves of international significance. Sited on a 12 by 5 mile area and with a population of approximately 500, the land remains unspoilt and visitors are always welcome.

With its unique location Unst is able to provide ideal opportunities for visitors to experience the mystique and splendour of the most northerly point in the UK. The two National nature Reserves in Unst, Hermaness and the Keen of Hamar, contain some of Europe's most stunning landscapes and are the habitat for some 25,000 pairs of puffins each summer.

With cliffs reaching 170m high that house over 100,000 breeding sea-birds, Unst is truly a spectacular island. Shetland pony breeding is one of Unst's proudest traditions. Many of the ponies are coloured and local studs are accustomed to winning prizes throughout Shetland.

At the far north of the island (60o51'N, 0o53'W) lies Muckle Flugga. The Muckle Flugga Lighthouse was built in 1858 during the Crimean War by David and Thomas Stevenson. It is said that their nephew, Robert Louis penned Treasure Island following a visit to Unst and indeed if you look closely you will see more than a passing resemblance between the two maps!

Unst is rich, not only in wildlife, but geologically and traditionally as well. The Unst Heritage Centre provides the link to Unst's engrossing past and the Unst Boat Haven is the only museum in Shetland dedicated to the island's unique wooden boats, their history and the fishermen who plied their trade with them.

Perhaps the most welcome surprise on a cold, wet day is the heated swimming pool in the modern Unst Leisure Centre, where visitors are always welcome to use the pool and other facilities.

Unst Heritage Centre Address:
Unst Heritage Centre
Haroldswick
Unst, Shetland
ZE2 9ED 
Scotland, UK

Unst Heritage Centre Opening Times:
Daily, May to September, 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm
 
Unst Heritage Centre Admission:
Adults £2.00
OAP's £1.00
Under 16's Free

T  +44 (0)8701 999 440

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