Living in the landscape

We’ve just driven to the supermarket and back, a twenty mile round trip, on a gloriously sunny afternoon, light clouds in the sky and a strong gusty wind ruffling the waters and grasses. We are now about two thirds of the way through our three month stay here and just beginning to realise that sometime we will be leaving here to return to Droitwich. I think it will be the experience of ‘living in the landscape’ that we will miss the most.

The photo above was taken from the road leading out of Hillswick to Eshaness. Our cottage is beside the white house on the neck of land between the two inlets of water.

Shetland has about 900 miles of coastline! This means that you are never more than 2 or 3 miles from the sea, in fact you are more often than not within 100 yards of the sea or one of the many freshwater lakes. Look at the map of Shetland and you will see how all this coast is fitted into an island about 80 miles long.


This means that wherever you look there are layers of hills, often with a voe between one range of hills and the next. A view can include four or five layers, behind each other and stretching into the distance.




These are not places you have to walk a long way to find, nor are they local beauty spots to visit on a day out  – they are just where Shetlanders live and whether they are in small communities like Hillswick, living in an isolated spot on a hillside or by a voe, or even in the centre of Lerwick, such wide and deep landscapes will be part of everyday life.

And then, of course, there is the changing weather, the clarity of the light, the seasonal plants colouring the hillsides, the assorted rocks, the deep blues, greens and greys of the sea, the waters and grasses shimmering in the gentle (and not so gentle!) winds and the clouds which engulf the hills, hiding them from view.

Here are just a few more of the many landscape photos taken so far….










2 thoughts on “Living in the landscape

  1. Michelle said you were going to Shetland for 3 months. Nice to read about it and live the photos. Hopefully you’ll remember me. Rohini – one of Michelle’s friends from King Edwards. We ( myself and hubby Darren) visited you once in Droitwich. We moved from Sutton Coldfield to The coast if North Wales last Autumn and love it.


    1. Yes of course we remember your visit and Michele has told us about your move to Wales. We are loving spending time here – almost living here for a while.


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