Small but full of character, Fair Isle has crofts on the fertile south and is mostly covered in heather and maritime heath to the North.
It is a great place to see birds and lovely during the summer (as it is covered with wildflowers), Fair Isle also has its own sub-species of wren and fieldmouse. However, Fair Isle is most famous for its intricate knitwear.
- The North Haven – Fair Isle’s pier is in a very exposed situation. Except in very fair weather, the Good Shepherd IV (the ferry from Shetland) is hauled out of the water onto a slipway between trips.
- The George Waterson Centre – based in the Old School, the George Waterson Centre is a heritage centre and museum and is well worth a visit. George Waterson was the former Scottish Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who co-founded the Fair Isle Bird Observatory.
- The South Light – the last lighthouse in Scotland to be automated (in 1998), the South lighthouse has an eventful wartime history. In wartime, lighthouses were a target, and during raids in 1941 and 1942, one lighthouse keeper’s wife and another’s wife and daughter (as well as a soldier operating an AA gun), were killed.
- The crew of the ferry ‘The Good Shepherd’ regularly report White-beaked Dolphins, Atlantic White-sided Dolphins, Orcas and Minke Whales, so keep your eyes peeled on the journey from Grutness to North Haven.
- Expect changeable weather – Fair Isle’s climate can change rapidly in the summer, so take clothes for all weathers. Also, be careful of the dramatic (but dangerous) cliffs