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27 Feb 2017

Northern Islands

A white lighthouse stands at the edge of green cliffs on a headland. The sky overhead is heavy and grey, with occasional shafts of sunlight shining through.
Fair Isle Lighthouse
Right at the very top of Scotland, the northern islands of Fair Isle, Unst and Yell are well worth a visit.

People flock to Fair Isle to see the marvellous bird life, to perhaps catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins on their journey to the island and to watch the island’s craftspeople using their skills and expertise to make boats, grow crops, tend sheep, spin wool and knit the famous Fair Isle jumpers that have been made here for generations.

And people also visit Fair Isle to get away from it all.

Three puffins stand on the edge of a cliff, looking out to sea.
Puffins

The glorious islands of Yell and Unst are as far north as you can go in Scotland.

Both islands can be reached by the regular vehicle ferries that sail between the Shetland Isles and both have good visitor facilities and accommodation. You could even stay at one of our fabulous holiday homes – Belmont House is a Georgian mansion on Unst overlooking the Bluemull Sound across to Yell.

The wildlife on these islands is outstanding, and Yell is the best place in Europe to spot otters.

The memorably named Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, at the northernmost tip of Unst, was built by David and Thomas Stevenson. Thomas’s son, Robert Louis Stevenson, visited in 1869 and it is said he returned home with the inspiration for his next book – Treasure Island.

We can’t promise pirates or buried treasure, but there is a wealth of natural geological wonders, wildlife, botanical discoveries and a warm welcome awaiting you in Scotland’s northern isles.

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