Shetland Islands Travel Guide

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Shetland Islands Overview

For over 600 years after the Viking invasions in the late 8th and early 9th centuries AD, the islands' trade, language and social life were thoroughly Norwegian.

The Norse
Shetland became the northern third of the great earldom based on Orkney during the golden age of the Vikings, chronicled in the Orkneyinga Saga - which contains numerous references to the islands.

In 1263 King Harald of Norway's fleet rendezvoused at 'Breideyarsund' (probably Bressay Sound, the 'broad islands' in the place-name being Bressay and Noss, then joined by a shallow beach at low tide) en route to the Battle of Largs, which marked the end of Norwegian domination on the west coast of Scotland.