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Shetland's Geology
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Shetland's Geology

From the highest sheer cliffs in Britain to the best ‘hands on’ exposure of the Great Glen Fault, Shetland is packed with an incredibly varied geology spanning almost 3 billion years.

Where else can you walk on an ancient ocean floor, explore an extinct volcano and stroll across shifting sands all in the space of a day? Along the way you will discover some of the most stunning scenery in the UK and find out how our geology has influenced every part of life in Shetland.

Shetland’s rocks range from almost 3000 million to just over 300 million years old and their variety has influenced the diverse natural and cultural heritage of the islands. The rocks tell an amazing story, not just about Shetland, but about how the world has formed and changed.  

This section of the website covers over 60 sites of geological and heritage interest throughout the archipelago. The sites covered range from short roadside stops to walks of varying length and difficulty.

Shetland is covered by OS Explorer maps 466 – 470.

You may wish to refer to BGS 1:50000 Geological maps of Scotland sheets 129 – 131 and 1:63360 Geological maps of Scotland sheets 123 – 128.