Shetland no Gamble !!
I was asked recently whether going to Shetland to live was a gamble, and the answer was a definite NO. We don't consider this is a gamble because we have spent time, over the past two years, reducing our risk. We have been to Shetland many times since 1987, know where we would like to live, know some people, know the terrain, know about the forthcoming changes imposed by the council cuts and know something about the weather.
Now most people don't even know where Shetland is located, it is not in a box situated off the west coast of Scotland. It is the furthest north you can go in the British Isles. It is closer to Norway than Aberdeen, it is made up of over 100 islands, of which only 15 are inhabited. Most of the place names are Norwegian and it has a feeling of being abroad. The weather is possibly the biggest influence of the islands, with days of gales, rough seas but also less snow than on mainland Britain and less frost.
For us it's the draw of the sea, the superb wildlife and scenery, the dark nights are an attraction rather than a hindrance as the stars are clearer with less light pollution and off cause we would love to see the Aurora , a thing that most people would like to see. As a photographer its the endless photo opportunities during all the seasons and a chance to see bird migration in full swing.
The community in Shetland is second to none, a thing that seems to have been lost in other parts. No crime to talk about, a newspaper( Shetland Times) that is worth reading and reflects what is happening around the islands, the music bellowing from the halls and bars and Up Helly Ha during the winter months.
So unlike a lot of people that seem to move to Shetland without even going to check it out at least we have done a lot of spade work. We do have a tricky period from selling our house , to renting somewhere in Shetland until a house comes up for sale in the area we want. But it is worth doing, people always say you regret the things you don't do , so we have made the decision and are looking forward to it.
Our only problem is when it will happen, we are trying to speed things up and today reduced the price of our house so we hope that will encourage people to come an view and also put a bid in. The housing market seems to be picking up with new houses going on sale all the time, several new ones in our area in recent weeks.
We have a good number of scenic places close by in Sheffield, with Peak District the obvious choice when we are going out, however it is considered the busiest National Park in Europe so it will be good to get back to Shetland to find some peace.