The UK's most remote inhabited island, famed for its seabirds and fabulous knitwear
Watch the island’s highly skilled craftspeople at work – spinning, weaving and, of course, knitting Fair Isle jumpers.
Fair Isle is a birdwatcher’s paradise – it’s a vital stopping off point for migrating birds and more than 350 species have been recorded here.
See signs of the island’s fascinating past everywhere, from remnants of Iron Age settlements to places named after Viking invaders and the wreck of a World War II German plane.
Walk the length of the 3 mile island – there’s a Stevenson lighthouse at each end.
Truly get away from it all with a visit to Fair Isle.
Immortalised in the shipping news, and famous for its distinctive knitwear, Fair Isle is the most remote thriving community in the UK. It lies almost exactly halfway between Shetland and Orkney and can be reached by boat or small plane.
Ashore is a warm, welcoming community, consisting mainly of craftspeople, conservationists, boat-builders and crofters. Renowned as a place to see birds, there’s much else to discover – from archaeological remains to the famous Stevenson lighthouses.
Fair Isle can be visited all year round, although getting there can be weather-dependent.
Your first port of call should be Fair Isle Bird Observatory and Lodge, which is home to the island’s visitor centre, as well as offering accommodation, meals and other facilities. It is open from mid-April until the end of October and you can pick up factsheets, leaflets and maps of the island here. Or find out more about the island’s history at the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum, which is housed in Fair Isle’s former school.
The local community is very welcoming and visitors are often invited to take part in island life, perhaps by helping with sheep shearing, baling silage or joining in a ceilidh. The island’s craftspeople will happily demonstrate their work, and workshops are sometimes available during the summer season.
Fair Isle Bird Observatory offers a free ranger service from May to the end of October, including guided tours of the island.
There are regular summer sailings of the mail boat, Good Shepherd IV, from Grutness in Shetland. Telephone Florrie Stout (01595) 760222.
There are direct flights from the mainland.
Ordnance Survey ref: HZ210720