Fair Isle - North Haven

Fair Isle – North Haven

“I took the flight from Tingwall, on mainland Shetland, to Fair Isle and was met by Hollie from the Bird Observatory.  She showed me to her car and we were off back to the Bird Observatory, where Hollie gave me a brief run down of the island and it’s facilities.
The next day was one of the most beautiful days on any of the islands I have visited.  There was a gentle breeze and bright sunshine that made walking a real pleasure.  I walked from the Bird Observatory to the South Lighthouse and then returned back past the Bird Observatory to the North Lighthouse.  Because of the scenery and the weather, this was one of the nicest walks I have ever undertaken.  It is a stunning island to visit.
Although it is difficult to get to (I’d definitely recommend the small 8-seater plane), Fair Isle is an island that will stay long in the memory. It certainly has in mine!”


How do I get to Fair Isle?Loganair (part of the Flybe group) fly from Aberdeen, Belfast, Benbecula, Birmingham, Campbeltown, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, Kirkwall, London (Gatwick), Manchester, Manston (Kent), Newquay, Norwich, Southampton and Stornoway to Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of mainland Shetland.  Or, you could travel by Northlink ferry from the ferry terminal in Aberdeen.  You can fly with Direct Flight to the island from both Tingwall Airport in Lerwick and, on Saturdays, Sumburgh Airport.  Alternatively, you could travel to the island on an inter-island ferry from either Sumburgh or from Lerwick.


How do I get around Fair Isle?    The easiest and best way to get around the island is on foot.  The island is about 3 miles long and about 1 and a half miles wide.  On a nice, clear day, there are not many other places you would rather be.  You can easily walk from the North Lighthouse to the South Lighthouse, or vice versa.


What’s worth visiting on Fair Isle?  The island is a Birdwatchers paradise.  The hub of the island (for tourists anyway) is the Bird Observatory in the north of the island.  There are guided walks and talks available from the Bird Observatory Ranger Service.  The George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum contains information on the island from pre-historic to modern times.  Hand made straw-backed chairs are on display and available to buy from Fair Isle Straw Crafts. Knitwear is available at Fair Isle Crafts and Fair Isle Silver Company is located within the grounds of the South Lighthouse.


Where can I stay on Fair Isle?  The Fair Isle Bird Observatory has accommodation for single travellers, couples and families on a full board basis.  Also, there is the Auld Haa Guest House and Upper Leogh.  Self catering is available at Springfield and for a truly remote experience, the South Lighthouse offers full board accommodation.


Any other information on Fair Isle?  Fair Isle is the only island between Orkney and Shetland.  It is Britain’s most isolated inhabited island and there is resident community of about 70.  Also, the island was recently used for episodes 5 and 6 of Season 2 of the crime series ‘Shetland’. For more information on the island please read my article 10 questions … with South Lighthouse.


Other islands in Shetland: See the pages for Mainland Shetland, Bressay, Burra Isles, Fetlar, Foula, Mousa, Noss, Out Skerries, Papa StourUnst, Whalsay and Yell.

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