Fly to Fair Isle

Birdwatching paradise, fresh island air – and knitwear

It’s a small island – three miles by one and a half – but Fair Isle is big on birdwatching, breath-taking coastal walks and highly patterned knitwear.

Set midway between Shetland and Orkney, this jewel of a place, with its crofts, cliffs and constantly changing ocean views, is home to just 65 or so people, who comprise the UK’s most remote community. Humans are vastly outnumbered by birds, attracting ornithologists from far and wide*. Over 345 species of bird have been recorded, many of them rare – watch out for the tiny Fair Isle Wren, unique to the island.

Nature lovers can seek out...

... 240 species of flowering plant across the island, from the northern moorland and cliffs to the more cultivated grazing lands of the south. There are plenty of sheep on Fair Isle, and if you are keen you may end up helping with herding and clipping – it’s a team effort on this island.

Fair Isle’s history goes back thousands of years and you can see Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age traces. The two lighthouses were built by the redoubtable Stevenson family - seas here can be wild and over 100 wrecks lie offshore, most notably the Gran Grifon of the Spanish Armada, sunk in 1588. You’ll find more history in the Waterson Museum, but check opening days.

It’s not just birds that go flying to Fair Isle: you can too, with Loganair. We connect Fair Isle with Kirkwall in Orkney.

*PLEASE NOTE: The famous Bird Observatory was devastated by fire in March 2019: check ahead for updates.

3 get-away-from-it-all reasons to fly to Fair Isle

  • Awesome birdwatching

  • Coastal walks and scenery

  • Legendary knitwear

You might also like