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Fair Isle


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Lying mid-way between the Orkney and Shetland islands, famous for birds, knitwear and historic shipwrecks. Fair Isle supports around 25,000 pairs of Puffins nesting on the steep grassy slopes and in cracks in the cliffs virtually all round the island. This is one of the best places in Shetland to get very close to Puffins as there are several colonies on the easily accessible grassy banks around the island.

Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, itís one of Britain's most successful small communities, pioneering projects in wildlife tourism, wind power and sustainable management of the environment. It lies about 40 km south-west of Sumburgh Head and is just 5km long and 3 km wide, itís mostly surrounded by impressive cliffs, rising to over 100 metres at the spectacular Sheep Rock and almost 200 metres along the heavily indented west coast and has a population of 70 or so islanders who live in traditional crofts. Today, the islandís craftspeople are busy with boat-building, spinning and weaving, and the manufacture of furniture and stained-glass windows.

It also has two lighthouses, Fair Isle North Lighthouse,  located at the north east tip of the island, and Fair Isle South Lighthouse at the south west tip of the island.

A ferry service leaves Fair Isle for Grutness at Sumburgh twice a week and also from Lerwick once a week in the summer, and British Airways Express operate at least 5 flights a week to the isle from Tingwall airstrip near Lerwick. As with Foula the Island can also be day-tripped by flying.

Location: Fair Isles, Shetland

Grid Reference: HZ204705 Ceremonial County: Shetland Isles

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo:

Getting there: Ferry service from Lerwick and Sumburgh. Also fly from Tingwall, Shetland.

Website: www.fairisle.org.uk and National Trust for Scotland

Other Useful Websites: Fair Isle Bird Observatory     Visit Shetland


Address: Fair Isle, Northern Islands
Postcode: ZE2 9JU Telephone: 0844 4932237
Opening Times: All year. The Bird Observatory is open 1st May to 31st October.


Nearby Locations: Fair Isle North Lighthouse, Shetland

Fair Isle South Lighthouse, Shetland

Other Location Pages:
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By: Keith Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: fair_isle Topic: Coastal Cliffs  Last Updated: 06/2010


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