Mainland (Shetland)

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Mainland as seen from East Burra
Mainland of East Burra seen from
Waters North Sea
Archipelago Shetland Islands
Geographical location 60 ° 19 ′  N , 1 ° 16 ′  W Coordinates: 60 ° 19 ′  N , 1 ° 16 ′  W
Location of Mainland
length 76 km
width 28 km
surface 968.79 km²
Highest elevation Ronas Hill
449  m
Residents 18,765 (2011)
19 inhabitants / km²
main place Lerwick

Mainland is the main island of the Shetland Islands in Scotland . On this island is the only burgh (free town) in the Shetlands: Lerwick . Mainland, with its ferry links and Sumburgh airport, is the Shetland's transport hub.

The island is about 76 × 28 km in size with an area of ​​970 km²; it reaches a height of 449 meters in the north and 293 meters in the south and had a total of 18,765 inhabitants in the 2011 census, in 2001 there were only 17,550 inhabitants. This means that the island has an above-average population growth.

Mainland is broadly divided into four parts. The elongated southern peninsula (south of Lerwick) consists of moorland and farmland . There are many important archaeological sites there. The center of the island consists of arable land and some forest areas. The west of the island and the north of the center of the island - especially the Northmavine Peninsula - are quite wild and consist of moors and coastal cliffs.


Due to its location, the island is of great importance in supplying Great Britain with fossil fuels. Europe's largest oil terminal is located in the Sullom Voe Bay in the north of Mainland . The terminal is connected to North Sea oil wells via an underwater pipeline. The pipeline was originally built for Brent crude oil . However, since Great Britain reached its peak in oil production in 1999, oil is now also imported from other British and Norwegian North Sea oil fields. The export, however, is carried out entirely by tankers .

The petrochemical industry and the oil terminal are the island's main private employers. The retail sector is therefore heavily dependent on the people employed there.


The island is rich in prehistoric evidence: Stanydale Temple , Duns and Promontory Forts , but above all Brochs , among which the Broch of Mousa , Clickhimin and the Jarlshof stand out. Near the steatite quarries of Cunningsburgh there are ogham stones , rune stones and a Pictish symbol stone .

Administrative division

Settlements on the mainland are:

The Brae settlement was only built in the 1970s in the direct vicinity of the oil terminal for the respective workers. The Vidlin settlement has become very popular with oil workers for the same reason.

Web links

Commons : Mainland  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 2011 Scottish Census Files (English)