The Shetland Islands are the most northerly part of the United Kingdom, located approximately 200 miles north of Aberdeen and 200 miles west of Bergen, Norway. There are over 100 islands, of which 12 are inhabited.
Whilst the weather is very changeable, the Gulf Stream keeps the temperature comparatively mild for the latitude. Snow is fairly uncommon and annual rainfall is less than the west coast of the UK mainland.
Shetland is home to 22,000 people, renowned for their friendliness and hospitality.
The lifestyle is often informal and laidback. There is though a strong work ethic and Shetland entrepreneurs have had continued success in the oil, fishing, salmon farming and tourism industries. Shetland also has a first-class education system.
At play, Shetlanders are world-famous for their musical talent, particularly with the fiddle and accordion.
Shetland has a rich cultural heritage, embodied in the spectacular annual 'Up-Helly-Aa' Viking fire festival. Shetland retains many Nordic features, despite becoming part of Scotland 500 years ago.
A vibrant and safe community, dramatic and unspoilt scenery, and an abundance of wildlife make Shetland a highly desirable place to live.
The several wildlife reserves in Shetland are testament to the islands' pristine environment. Puffins and seals are readily seen around Shetland's coastline, whilst Shetland ponies can be found roaming the hills.
Shetland is the perfect place to escape city life, and is especially attractive as a family home.
To find out more about Shetland check out the official visitors website - http://www.shetland.org/
Harper Macleod has become an official Proud Supporter of Team Shetland ahead of its bid for glory at the NatWest Island Games XVII in Gotland, Sweden.
The Shetland Island Games Association (SIGA) is sending a team of 129 competitors and officials for this year’s Games, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on 24 June.
The Island Games are held every two years, with 2015 Games in Jersey one of the largest Games ever, with around 3,000 participants involved from 24 competing islands including Bermuda, the Falklands, Rhodes and St Helena.