Tag: Unst

Summer bonanza! July issue OUT NOW

Welcome to this month’s issue of Shetland Life! Not only is this the day that your favourite monthly magazine is released, but it’s also the first day of the summer break for schools across Shetland, and all the children (and their parents and carers) will be gearing up for a summer of fun, adventure, and hopefully the odd ray of sunshine to boot. Shetland Life wants to help get your holidays off to a flying start, so the July issue contains an action-packed summer holiday bucket list for all the family. This cut-out checklist can be folded away in a jacket pocket, pinned to a fridge or snapped on a smartphone for quick reference. We want to thank all of you who got in touch with your suggestions – they have all been included in the list. Simply tick them off as you go, and remember to tag #myshetlandlife in your photos so we can see where your adventures take you.

Elsewhere we find out more about the sea-eagle in Shetland’s history with Eileen Brooke-Freeman as part of a new exhibition at Shetland Museum & Archives that traces the history and persecution of this impressive bird, now absent from our landscape.

Ali Grundon Robertson challenges the reader to go plastic-free for July, and our own editor gets challenged and put through her paces with the Tingwall barbarians as part of the Challenge the Editor series.

We have a fantastic sporting feature as Dougie Grant takes a look back over 90 years of hockey in Shetland, and Alex Garrick-Wright goes inter-galactic as he takes a look at the Shetland Space Station in Unst.

All this and more in the July issue of Shetland Life – OUT NOW!

Remember to send any comments or suggestions you may have to sleditor@shetlandtimes.co.uk. And, whatever you’re up to, we love to hear about it, use our hashtag for the chance to be featured online or in the magazine #myshetlandlife.

Even if you’re not in Shetland, you can still keep up-to-date with all the latest. Remember you can subscribe to Shetland life online at https://shop.shetlandtimes.co.uk/pages/subscriptions#shetland-life and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions at sleditor@shetlandtimes.co.uk.

As ever, have a great month and enjoy Shetland Life – OUT NOW!

Splendid Isolation

This month we have not one but three favourite walks for you.

Yell-based writer Alastair Christie-Johnston marks our special North Isles themed issue by sharing his top three hikes in Unst, Yell and Fetlar.

Alastair’s Unst walk takes in the splendid Easting beach. To find out his choices for Yell and Fetlar, you’ll need to buy July’s magazine!

July’s Shetland Life: out Friday the 7th!

Are you heading to UnstFest this month? If so, get set for a jam-packed few days. The programme looks incredible: with everything from Flamenco classes to guided walks, to clothes swaps and mystery tours there’s surely something for even the most jaded of festival goers. A copy of the Shetland Life makes for essential festival reading: in this issue you can find out about the island which (quite possibly) inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel, go behind the scenes at the UK’s most northerly tearoom and enjoy some nostalgic photographs of Unst (courtesy of Dennis Coutts).

There’s plenty of reasons to visit Yell this summer too. Apart from the obvious attractions such as West Sandwick and Breckon Beaches, Yell boats numerous cultural distractions such as The Shetland Gallery and The Old Haa museum and Heritage Centre. Now that recently opened diner L J’s is getting rave reviews, you’ll be able to factor a delicious meal into your trip too.

Although we could have found enough North Isles content to fill a year’s worth of magazines, you’ll find that other parts of Shetland are also well represented within our July issue. Look out for South Mainland legend Leonard Christie sharing the tracks of his life with Jeff Merrifield. We’re also hanging out in the Lerwick lanes with local artist Avril Thomson, spending time in the seas around Shetland (admiring jellyfish) with Richard Shucksmith and at the Hillswick Wildlife sanctuary with Katrina Williamson.

Wishing all of our readers a warm and wonderful July. Next month, we’ll be going full steam ahead for our special nautical issue.

Don’t miss it!

Capturing Unst’s Spirit

The long-running BBC television series An Island Parish follows the lives of island communities and the local parish. In the past the programme has visited the Isles of Scilly, Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Sark in the Channel Islands and gone further afield to the Falkland Islands. For the eleventh series, producers headed to Unst, following the Rev. David Cooper and other island residents. The programme is a gentle observational documentary rooted in the community of the islands featured, with a particular focus on the church and the role it plays in island life. Production coordinator Rosie Patchett is one of the team who worked on the project and told Shetland Life how she found the experience on the ‘island above all others’.

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Shetland Life: When was the production team in Unst and how long were you based there?

Rosie Patchett: The production team were in Unst from mid-June until December last year for anywhere between two weeks and a month at a time. We tried to be there for as many key events in Unst as possible, as well as giving ourselves time to get to know the island and the local community.

SL: Which parts of the community did you get access to?

RP: We spoke to people from all parts of the community and everyone was incredibly helpful by putting us in touch with people when we wanted to explore an event or idea further. Being based in Unst over such a long period meant we had the opportunity to get to know people from local businesses like the Final Checkout and Baltasound Hotel, as well as the organisers of events, such as the brilliant UnstFest and the Norik Eela.

SL: Shetlanders are famed for their welcoming attitude, did you find that was the case in Unst?

RP: Absolutely. We were lucky enough to be able to take time off from filming to get to know people and found everyone eager to help. Alongside much-appreciated dinner invitations we received advice on anything we needed. Whether it was better ways to travel to Unst, local fishing spots or how to avoid being dive-bombed by disgruntled skuas, there was always someone more than willing to help out.

SL: What was the highlight of the time spent in the island?

RP: Stumbling across Victoria’s Vintage Tea Rooms after our first rather long journey to Unst and sitting down to afternoon tea is certainly one of the highlights. The Norik Eela was a really enjoyable event that stands out as a great example of how everyone in Unst gets into the spirit of things and pulls together to put an event on.

SL: Did you find any challenges that were particular to filming in Unst, or do other island communities face similar difficulties?

RP: We’re usually prepared for some unpredictable weather when filming on islands and Unst was no different. We drank a lot of tea so the biggest challenge was probably running out of milk on a Sunday and knowing you’d have to ask a friendly neighbour if you wanted another cup of tea before the ferries came in on Monday.

SL: The first Shetland Reel Festival was held during your time filming in the island. Were you surprised to see so many visiting and local musicians coming together in such a way?

RP: We’d actually been fortunate enough to see some of the local talent before the festival so we knew it was going to be a great event, but to see various musicians from Shetland and America playing some of the sessions together, having never met each other before, really highlighted just how good the musical talent in Shetland is.

SL: Did you have time to enjoy the fantastic sights and attractions that Unst has to offer?

RP: Both when filming and in our time off we had the chance to explore the island. We managed to take time for walks to Hermaness to see the puffins and to explore the Viking ruins dotted all over the island, not to mention sampling the local food and drink.

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