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The Orkney & Shetland Islands

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The Shetland Islands are the most northerly point of Scotland. For thousands of years the Shetlands and there neighbours, the OrkneyNeolithic.jpg (9703 bytes) Islands, have been welcoming friendly visitors, and all too often repelling the not so friendly. Before 4000BC, people had begun to grow wheat and barley in Britain. Farmers reached the islands before 3500BC and over the next 1000 years built many tombs and settlements. In the winter of 1850 a wild storm stripped the grass from the high dune known as Skara Brae and what came to light proved to be the best preserved prehistoric village in Northern Europe.From about 500 BC the inhabitants of Shetland and Orkney began to build strong circular builds as there main dwellings. These Brochs are imposing dry-stone structures, standing from 5m to 13m high were erected for defence by the Iron Age tribes of northern Britain. Boat trips are available to the Island of Mousa to visit thebeach.jpg (6928 bytes) famous Pictish Broch and see the wildlife. From 827 AD, a Viking earldom was established in Orkney. Not only warriors but farmers and their families came and stayed, bringing with them a new and enduring culture. Today tourists can enjoy the culture and history of these magnificent islands and explore the miles of beautiful sandy beaches. The isolation of Shetland and Orkney have led to a a strong self-reliance and independence. This can be seen in the naming of the largest islands in both groups "Mainland".
The people are Shetlanders or Orcadians first and Scots second. Both this independence and pride are happily reflected in their music.


Orkney & Shetland Links

Shetland Islands Council Ferry Service Information.

Megalithic stones on Isle of Orkney.

Bronze Age, stone circles in Orkneys & Lewis.

Neolithic farmers burial chambers &stone circles.

Iron Age tribes stone towers, the Brochs.

Web site of Shetland Islands Council .

Official Shetland Islands Tourism Pages.

The Shetland Times, The Shetland Islands leading newspaper.

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