Shetland

A great way to immerse yourself in this remote Scottish Isle is to rent a Shetland holiday cottage. Shetland is the main island in this archipelago stretching northwards from the British Isles, and offers long, long light 19-hour summer days in which to explore the beaches and the massive cliffs, and indulge in mountain-biking, fishing, scuba-diving, golf, wind- and sea-surfing, whale watching and canoeing. Be there for the fabulous Northern Lights, the Simmer Dim (twilight) and the glorious sunsets which seem to completely cover the wide sky The Shetland Isles consist of five islands, the most northerly of which is Unst.

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Being very remote, the island is rarely visited, but the dramatic coastline, from colossal cliffs and sea-stacks to rocky and sandy beaches is worth a boat-trip, if only to view the Out Stack, most northerly point of the British Isles. Yell a 15-minute ferry trip to bird-watching heaven - nesting seabirds on Neapoback Cliffs and Da Horse o' Burravue, and the summer moorlands, home to wading birds, skuas and divers. Fetlar the Garden of Shetland, with its prolific green agricultural meadows. As with all the Shetland Islands, the coast has its northern rocky profile to the sandy beaches in the south. The Shetland Island of Whalsay boasts a multi-million pound fishing industry, run from the harbour, Symbister, where fishing-smacks and pleasure craft ride high, cheek by jowl on the water.