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Shetland Islands

A sprawling archipelago of more than 100 islands located at the northernmost point of Britain, the far-flung Shetland Islands are one of Scotland’s most off-the-beaten-track destinations, with just 15 inhabited isles and only one town – Lerwick. The islands’ unspoiled wilderness is its main draw, with 2,702 km of rugged coastline sheltering a sizable population of puffins, gannets and Minke Whales; vast glens and lochs offering a striking backdrop for hiking or cycling; and heather-blanketed plains dotted with free-roaming herds of sheep and native Shetland ponies. Thanks to the islands’ proximity to Scandinavia, the Shetlands also boast a rich Viking heritage and their Norse background is the focal-point of the annual Up Helly Aa fire festival, held each January in Lerwick and renowned as the world’s largest Viking festival.

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