Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom

Perhaps best known to most of the world for their shaggy ponies, the Shetland Islands offer magnificent seascapes, good trout fishing and prime bird watching. Local handicraft specialties such as polished stones, traditional silver craft, seal skin furs and distinctive hand knitted sweaters are displayed temptingly in local shops. Of the approximately 100 islands in the group, twelve are developed with permanent residents, and the largest is named Mainland. In this remote area of the North Sea, the lilting speech of the islanders may prove a bit difficult to understand at first, but their warm-hearted hospitality is easily grasped.