Closer to the Faroe Islands than to Edinburgh, Scotland’s northernmost isles are home to fascinating ancient sites and a spirit of proud self-sufficiency
It takes a certain confidence for a remote community of farmers and fishermen to push for independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, but the hardy inhabitants of the wind-scoured Shetland Islands have never been short of self-belief. These are, after all, the people with the highest levels of Viking DNA found anywhere in the British Isles.
Pull up a barstool in the Douglas Arms in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, and locals will tell you they feel as distant from Holyrood as they do from Westminster. There’s no malice intended; self-sufficiency just comes with the territory when you spend 365 days a year being lashed by the wild waves of the North Atlantic.