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Living in Shetland....Tips, advice, things to do?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Sam G

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 11:11 AM



Where do I start? I have so many questions? I'm sure you've answered all these things before but I'd be grateful for any advice. For many years I've toyed with the idea of moving to Shetland. I have visited mainland twice before, just for a few days at a time. I've always liked the idea of a slightly slower pace of life, the fresh air, peace and quiet and when I've visited always found people to be really friendly and welcoming. That said, I currently live in Edinburgh and absolutely love it here too. Especially the fact that there is always something going on and I wouldn't want to suddenly close the door on everything I enjoy; I'm a 29 tear old guy so not ready to slow down completely yet! I'd still plan to live in or near Lerwick as I'm not looking for for sheer remoteness and isolation, just something different from city life. 


So now for all the things I'd like some help with....

I've experienced the friendliness as a tourist but just wondered if you think this would be extended if I were to move permanently as some smaller communities in my experience aren't t always open to new residents?


Is there enough to do? I'm not looking for heavy nightlife and I think I can say for certain that the outdoorsy stuff I enjoy is well catered for but is there enough of everything else? Do you feel satisfied with your social life? Do you have many clubs or groups to join or other good ways to meet people? From what I've read and seen on my short trips you seem to have more than enough swimming pools and also seem to enjoy your music. I'm a big fan of folk and country music so I look forward to that, not that I can play any, although I do enjoy the odd sing song so maybe I could join a choir - if you have one - not that I've ever been in a choir in my life! 


I'm also big into my food. Most of my socialising revolves around food whether that be meals out or inviting friends over for dinner so I'm hoping theres a good offering cafes/restaurants/pubs. Although this is the bit where I get slated as I'm vegetarian, please don't hold that against me!! 


What about dating? I imagine the amount of other singletons available being very limited and maybe even difficult to find someone? You tell me. And even harder for me since I'm a gay guy I expect there are probably only 3 others gays in Lerwick so I'll prob be single forever!


And lastly I thought about holidays. Not that I go on many holidays abroad but I'd love to hear about your experiences of foreign travel from Shetland, especially with regards to price and any difficulty. I enjoy the odd trip to France or Greece so would like to keep that up.


Anyway, thats enough of me rambling on. I'd just be grateful to hear from anyone on Shetland about any of the above or anything else you think I should here








#2 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:35 PM

Hi Sam,

There's plenty to do here in the summer outdoors and i guess you will find clubs etc to go to on the winter.

Its a long winter and the weather can be quite volatile to say the least, my advice would be to take your foreign sunshine trips during the winter.

There quite a lot of eateries but you wont find any chains, lots of fresh produce to cook with particulary seafood.

Regarding relationships dating im sure thats here as well.

Give the move a go, if it doesnt work out at least you have tried it.

#3 John Allan

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:42 PM



Tourists are easy to deal with, they come and go. Relationships in a closer quarter are always different. So this will be as much up to you as it is the other person. There are usually local opportunities to join in. Local dance nights, teas, home bakes (there are a lot of home bakes on Shetland).


>>Is there enough to do? 


There are a number of choirs and singer nights. You do need something to do in the Winter, as mentioned choirs or an evening class. Summers are easy, fairs, events, dog shows, boat galas etc....etc...


>>I'm also big into my food. 


We have many places to eat, which also include Vegetarian options. Shetland is culturally broad in many respects, so a number of differing options.


>>What about dating? 


You will not be the "only gay in the village" so to speak. Though I can't tell you what the scene is like, maybe you should try contacting the Shetland LGBT community @ShetlandLGBT on this.


>>And lastly I thought about holidays. 


Always budget for around £150-£250 more than you would normally pay.


Shetland is a great place to live, it has issues here of course, but not on the level you will find in the smoke.

#4 Guest_Fetlar Writer_*

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 10:39 AM

Sam G


Well, if you're heading for Lerwick then you'll have more choice for everything than the North Isles, but that's pretty obvious! North Isles and other outer islands are a must to explore, each are diverse in their own ways. I myself live on the remote island of Fetlar with only 52 peeps.


Seems to be various places to eat out in the Lerwick metropolis...


Winter blues - this is a must to talk about - I think everyone suffers from the long winters in some way, lack of light can cause depression, so depending where you're coming from, you might want to buy a SAD light - or at least think about it. The knock-on effect of loss of Vitamin D in these sub-tundra climates can be problematic, so you might need to supplement with extra Vitamin D (don't forget to twin it with magnesium and zinc, or it'll just be flushed from the system).


There are lots of outlets for creativity and socialising, I guess you just have to 'get out there'. Perhaps take up something new. Have broad shoulders (very important). I'm presuming you will have a car.


You don't need to go on holiday!  ;-)  So much to explore here! But seriously, when I came here in 2009 (with a view to staying) me and hubby drove down every road on Shetland, I was surprised that every area was so different. Much to explore.


Dating. Less people, less choice. Simple.


My last word, Shetland can sort things out, if you are 'searcher' then you might have more time for contemplation of your life journey etc. The quiet and remoteness leads you to a certain soul searching; perhaps more in the remote areas, but even in Lerwick it can be quiet. Be prepared to fall back on yourself and be self reliant, and then I think you'll have a grand time.


Good fortune in your decision.  :-)

#5 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:57 AM

Interested about the SAD lamp does it make any difference to your mood and health ?

Edited by PJS1979, 26 July 2018 - 11:58 AM.

#6 Sam G

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 12:01 PM

Thanks everyone for your help so far, It's really nice to hear from locals. I actually randomly saw something on TV just last night about SAD lamps and even SAD glasses. Seem to be a good idea to help combat the winter blues. 

#7 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 12:23 PM

There are some lovely days in the winter also, its not all wind and rain but there is a lack of day light, personally its never affected me apart from the fact i get bored stuck inside. Netflix might be an idea lol

#8 Sam G

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 03:33 PM

I think I'll be ok with the lack of daylight in winter because I spent a winter in Denmark and they have similar winters - although much colder there. They have a think called Hygge which is basically stay home in the warm and enjoy being with friends or family, chill out, read books, watch TV, eat food, just generally relax at home until the weather changes. And they love candles although not sure I'll go that far. And yes Netflix will be put to good use in winter I'm sure!

Edited by Sam G, 26 July 2018 - 03:34 PM.

#9 Guest_Fetlar Writer_*

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:33 PM

Interested about the SAD lamp does it make any difference to your mood and health ?

Yes, so some folks tell me. I haven't used one, but I have a desk-lamp that I put on next to my computer screen and that seems to help, it's a more orange light. I take supplements as well.

#10 Suffererof1crankymofo



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Posted 28 July 2018 - 12:12 PM

Shetland LGBTQ have a new website:  http://shetlandlgbtq.org.uk/ which you might be interested in if you're not already aware of it.

Edited by Suffererof1crankymofo, 28 July 2018 - 12:13 PM.