Agriculture on Shetland is driven by crofting with each crofter working a few acres of arable land and neighbouring crofts grazing livestock on common pieces of land (known locally as the “scattald,”). The Shetland breed of sheep produces fine wool, spun and knitted to make the distinctive Shetland and Fair Isle.
Farmland on Orkney is high quality and fertile making Orkney beef and lamb much sought after. A good standard of grassland helps support a large number of dairy herds. North Ronaldsay, the furthest north of the Orkney islands, is home to a unique breed of seaweed-eating sheep. Orkney also has an abundance of marine and avian wildlife.
The Outer Hebrides is an area of outstanding natural beauty with world class tourism, set apart by crofting heritage and culture and the Island’s crofting people play a huge part in its hospitality. The Outer Hebrides has a unique product offering, being small in size, it packs a big punch for things to do and offers world class beaches, food and drink and scenery.
You'll find an abundance of agritourism accommodation on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides from B&Bs to cottages, to glamping pods and campsites.
There are also tours and experiences that will give you an insight into the life of crofter both from a modern perspective and from days gone by and some that focus on a specific aspect of island agriculture such as sheep dogs and Shetland ponies.
As you tour the islands, keep your eyes peeled for farm shops and cafes on real working farms, there are quite a few!