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Zetland is a small traditional county that covers the Shetland Islands. It lies to the north of the Orkney Islands, and is closer to Norway than London. There is a strong Norse heritage in the islands, dating back to the medieval 'ownership' of Shetland by Norway. The County is now covered by the Shetland Islands Council.

Geography & Economy

The Bluemell Sound Ferry on Yell

Unlike Orkney to the south, The Shetland Isles are mostly a rugged and barren collection of islands. The landscape has a wild beauty more familiar to the West Highlands, with steep hillsides plunging to sea cliffs or freshwater lochs. This makes farming difficult, and much of the land is uncultivated. Nevertheless, the islands have sustained a population for centuries, and with the North Sea Oil boom, that population has increased and become more prosperous in recent decades.

Despite the scenery, tourism in this far northern part of the British Isles is somewhat limited. The long ferry ride, or difficult air transfers put many people off, but for those who make it there is a lot to see across half a dozen or so main islands, and many smaller ones. Out to the west and south towards Orkney, Fair Isle and Foula are tiny rocky outcrops with tiny populations that somehow survive the worst of the winter weather at this inhospitable latitude.


The A970 near Sumburgh in the south

The Mainland and larger of the isles are well served by a network of A and B roads, even if there is a tendency to give all of the spurs and branches one number rather than identifying them individually. The A970 is a long north-south route on the mainland, with the A971 heading west, whilst the A968 serves the northern isles of Unst and Yell, via ferries.

The Shetlands are reached via ferry from Aberdeen, although some services go via Kirkwall on Orkney. It is a 12-14 hour crossing, which can be very rough in winter weather. Several of the smaller isles are now reached by bridges and causeways, the oil money being spent to better access facilities and connect the residents to their workplaces. Other islands still rely on ferries, with numerous small ports in use depending on where the shortest and easiest crossing can be found. There are no Trunk Roads in the county, with all roads being maintained by Shetland Islands Council.

Route From To Length


A968 Hillside, Mainland Haroldswick, Unst 41.9 miles View
A968 Lerwick Sumburgh 24.4 miles View
A969 Garthspool Clickimin 1.6 miles View
A970 Grutness Isbister 71.4 miles View
A971 Tingwall Melby and Walls 26.0 miles View    
B9071 Culswick Vidlin 26.5 miles View
B9071 Channerwick Sumburgh 8.5 miles View
B9072 Commercial Street King Harald Street 0.2 miles View
B9073 Wick Scalloway 1.4 miles View
B9074 Veensgarth Hamnavoe 7.9 miles View
B9075 Weisdale Laxo 13.8 miles View
B9076 Brae Firth 7.2 miles View
B9076 Bridge of Walls Sandness 6.8 miles View
B9077 Hillside Mossbank 9.6 miles View
B9078 Hillswick Stenness 5.9 miles View
B9078 Brae Hillswick 11.0 miles View
B9079 Eela Water Ollaberry 2.5 miles View
B9079 Orbister Burra Voe 10.1 miles View
B9080 Bay of Ulsta Cullivoe 21.9 miles View
B9081 Ulsta Camb 12.7 miles View
B9082 Gutcher Cullivoe 2.4 miles View
B9083 Cullivoe Haa of Houlland 1.7 miles View
B9084 Uyeasound turn Uyeasound pier 0.6 miles View
B9085 Belmont Uyeasound Turn 1.9 miles View
B9086 Haroldswick Stackhoull 2.2 miles View
B9087 Haroldswick Kirkaton 2.1 miles View
B9088 Brough Lodge Funzie 5.9 miles View
B9122 Channerwick Boddam 5.3 miles View      


Primary Route
Non Primary Route
Former Motorway
Defunct Route
E Road
Future Motorway
Future Primary
Future Non Primary
Historical Route
Tourist Route
Roman Road
Unbuilt Motorway
Unbuilt Primary
Unbuilt Non Primary
National Cycle Network
Cycle Route
Eurovelo Cycle Route


Main Article: Junctions in Zetland

Bridges, Tunnels, and other Crossings

Main Article: Crossings in Zetland


Related Pictures
View gallery (3)
Commercial Street, Lerwick - Geograph - 1463869.jpgShetland Flag.pngNorth Mouth and South Mouth, Out Skerries - Geograph - 3928185.jpg
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WalesAnglesey • Brecknockshire • Caernarfonshire • Cardiganshire • Carmarthenshire • Denbighshire • Flintshire • Glamorgan • Merionethshire • Monmouthshire • Montgomeryshire • Pembrokeshire • Radnorshire
ScotlandAberdeenshire • Angus • Argyll • Ayrshire • Banffshire • Berwickshire • Buteshire • Caithness • Clackmannanshire • Cromartyshire • Dumfriesshire • Dunbartonshire • East Lothian • Fife • Inverness-shire • Kincardineshire • Kinross-shire • Kirkcudbrightshire • Lanarkshire • Midlothian • Moray • Nairnshire • Orkney • Peeblesshire • Perthshire • Renfrewshire • Ross-shire • Roxburghshire • Selkirkshire • Stirlingshire • Sutherland • West Lothian • Wigtownshire • Zetland
IrelandAntrim • Armagh • Carlow • Cavan • Clare • Cork • Donegal • Down • Dublin • Fermanagh • Galway • Kerry • Kildare • Kilkenny • Laois • Leitrim • Limerick • Londonderry • Longford • Louth • Mayo • Meath • Monaghan • Offaly • Roscommon • Sligo • Tipperary • Tyrone • Waterford • Westmeath • Wexford • Wicklow

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