A new tour company has been set up with the aim of taking visitors off the beaten track.
Unseen Shetland has experienced guides who specialise in taking visitors on minibus tours to parts of the isles which are relatively unexplored.
Their interests include archaeology, textiles, local history and culture, folklore, food and drink, traditional Shetland music and the diverse natural history of the isles.
This venture will be run by Tom Deyell, who having been brought up in a large crofting family on the West Side, has a wealth of Shetland cultural knowledge to share with visitors. A musician himself, he is the eldest of 10 children, all of whom play or sing.
As well as music, Mr Deyell is interested in all things Shetland and is a prolific reader of Shetland and Scandinavian history and folklore. As well as playing music and reading he enjoys walking and exploring the coastline of Shetland.
Michele Fogg works within Shetland’s cultural history sector while studying for a post-graduate MSc in archaeology. Her main interest is the archaeology of Shetland and Orkney, and how the islands fit into the wider context of prehistoric Europe.
She has been working at Old Scatness (Iron Age Village) as a guide and at the Shetland Museum, interpreting the collections to visitors through guided tours. She has also been doing post-excavation work for the Viking Unst project.
Ms Fogg also works as a volunteer researcher at the textile museum in Lerwick, and as a knitter and spinner she has an active interest in Shetland’s textile history.
It was while working as a guide at the Croft House Museum at Boddam this summer that Ms Fogg had the opportunity to speak to visitors about the types of tours that they would enjoy. The main theme that came across was that visitors to Shetland want to experience the culture, food, music, textiles and community, as well as the history and archaeology.
The pair decided to get together and design tours that would provide the down-to-earth, homely style of Mr Deyell’s storytelling, crofting knowledge and experiences, with Ms Fogg’s academic knowledge and professional experience.