Shetland only became part of Scotland in 1469 when King Christian of Denmark
pledged the islands as a dowry for his daughter on her marriage to King James
III of Scotland.
The islands still retain some of the centuries of Norwegian influence, particularly in place names, cultural links and business trade. The most northerly outpost of the UK, Shetland has been described as the best way for British holidaymakers to go 'abroad' without a passport.
Related to the Viking heritage of Shetland is the spectacular Up Helly A' fire festival, held every January, which is well worth making a special trip to Shetland. See our special pages about Up Helly A' here.
Other events have also shaped Shetland's history, such as what became known as 'The Shetland Bus', a Shetland based boat operation to and from Norway, that took place during the Second World War (1939 - 1945).
Many gave of their lives in the extremely hazardous boat trips between Shetland and Norway, to assist the Norwegian resistance movement. The conditions under which they operated, the difficulties of crossing the North Sea at night, with no lights and far from any possible help, can scarcely be imagined today.
Always present in the minds of those on board would have been the threat of discovery and the risk of being shot at by German planes or boats, and possibly captured when they finally reached the Norwegian coast.
Consider the following possibilities:-