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Living in Unst, Shetland Islands

Living in Unst, Shetland Islands

Living in Unst, Shetland Islands: A Hidden Gem in the North Atlantic

Unst, a picturesque town located in the Shetland Islands, is a truly remarkable place to call home. Situated in the northernmost part of Scotland, Unst offers an idyllic setting surrounded by stunning landscapes, rich history, and a vibrant community. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventurous escape, living in Unst promises a unique and fulfilling experience.

A Brief Overview of Unst

Unst is the northernmost inhabited island in the Shetland archipelago, boasting a population of around 600 residents. Despite its small size, Unst is brimming with natural beauty and charm. From its rugged coastline and pristine white sandy beaches to its rolling hills and dramatic cliffs, Unst is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Historical and Cultural Background

Unst has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The island is home to several archaeological sites, including the Viking longhouse at Underhoull and the ancient standing stones at Clibberswick. Additionally, Unst is steeped in Norse heritage, evident in its place names and local traditions.

The island also has a vibrant cultural scene, with a strong emphasis on traditional music, dance, and storytelling. The annual UnstFest, a lively celebration of local talent, attracts visitors from far and wide.

Popularity Among Renters

Despite its remote location, Unst has become increasingly popular among renters seeking a tranquil escape or a unique experience. The island offers a range of rental properties, from traditional crofts to modern cottages, catering to different budgets and preferences.

Living in Unst provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in a close-knit community, where neighbours become friends and a sense of belonging is fostered. The peaceful surroundings and the slower pace of life are highly appealing, making Unst a sought-after destination for those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Types of Properties Available in Unst, Shetland Islands

When it comes to housing options in Unst, there is a variety of properties available to suit different preferences and budgets.

Flats: Flats are a popular choice for individuals or small families looking for a compact and low-maintenance living space. They offer a range of sizes and amenities, including one or two bedrooms, open-plan living areas, and sometimes even access to communal gardens or leisure facilities.

Houses: For those who prefer more space and privacy, there are also houses available in Unst. These can range from cosy cottages to larger family homes with multiple bedrooms, gardens, and parking spaces. Many houses in Unst offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside or coastline.

Average Rent Prices in Unst

The average rent prices in Unst vary depending on the type and size of the property. As of 2021, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat in Unst is around £400-£500. Larger flats or houses with multiple bedrooms can range from £600-£800 per month. It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and may fluctuate based on location and property condition.

Popular Neighbourhoods for Renters in Unst

Unst offers a range of charming neighbourhoods that are popular among renters. One such neighbourhood is Baltasound, the largest settlement in Unst, which provides easy access to amenities such as shops, schools, and healthcare facilities. Another popular area is Haroldswick, known for its picturesque coastal location and proximity to historic sites.

For those seeking a more rural setting, areas like Norwick and Uyeasound offer a tranquil lifestyle surrounded by nature. These areas are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the beautiful Shetland landscape.

To find out more about transportation and connectivity in Unst, Shetland Islands, continue reading our next blog post.

Public Transport Options

Living in Unst, Shetland Islands, provides residents with several public transport options for commuting to nearby areas. The main mode of public transportation is the bus system. The Shetland Islands Council operates regular bus services that connect Unst to other islands and towns within the Shetland archipelago.

Additionally, the council also operates a ferry service that connects Unst to the mainland of Shetland. The ferry provides a convenient transportation option for those who need to travel further afield.

Accessibility to Nearby Cities and Towns

While Unst is a remote island, it is still accessible to nearby cities and towns. The ferry service mentioned earlier allows residents to easily reach the mainland of Shetland, where they can access larger towns such as Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. From Lerwick, there are further transportation options available, including flights to mainland Scotland.

Average Commute Times

In Unst, the average commute times can vary depending on the destination. For commuting within the island, such as traveling from one end of Unst to the other, it generally takes around 30 minutes by car or bus. However, for those commuting to the mainland of Shetland, the ferry journey can take around 25 minutes, and additional travel time is required to reach other towns or cities.

Living in Unst provides access to public transport options, ensuring that residents can easily commute to nearby areas. Whether it’s traveling within Unst or accessing the mainland, the transportation services available make commuting convenient. To learn more about the local amenities in Unst, Shetland Islands, keep reading.

Shopping centres and High Streets

Living in Unst, Shetland Islands offers a unique shopping experience. While there may not be large shopping centres, there are charming local shops and high streets that cater to residents’ daily needs. From grocery stores to clothing boutiques, you’ll find everything you need within a short distance.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Unst is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The island is home to several parks and recreational areas where you can enjoy nature at its finest. Whether you want to go for a leisurely stroll or embark on a challenging hike, there are trails to suit all skill levels. The stunning landscapes, including dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches, make Unst the perfect destination for those who love the great outdoors.

Healthcare Facilities

When it comes to healthcare facilities, Unst provides reliable services to its residents. The island has a well-equipped hospital that offers a range of medical services. Additionally, there are clinics and healthcare centres where you can access primary care and specialized treatments. The healthcare professionals in Unst are dedicated to providing top-notch care to the local community.

Educational Institutions

Unst offers excellent educational opportunities for residents of all ages. The island has primary and secondary schools that provide a high standard of education. The teachers are experienced and committed to helping students reach their full potential. For those pursuing higher education, there are colleges and vocational schools on the nearby mainland that offer a variety of courses and programs.

If you’re interested in leisure and entertainment options in Unst, Shetland Islands, continue reading to discover the array of activities and attractions that await you!

Pubs, Restaurants, and Cafes

Unst offers a variety of options for dining out or grabbing a quick bite. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Scottish cuisine or international flavors, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds. The local pubs are perfect for enjoying a pint of local ale or a dram of whisky while mingling with friendly locals.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Unst is rich in history and culture, with several attractions to explore. Visit the Unst Heritage Centre to learn about the island’s fascinating past, including its Viking heritage. The Boat Haven Museum showcases the traditional Shetland boats that were used for fishing and transportation. Don’t miss the famous Muness Castle, the northernmost castle in the UK.

Sports and Fitness Facilities

Living in Unst means having access to a range of sports and fitness facilities. The Saxa Vord Resort offers a gym, swimming pool, and sauna for those looking to stay active. You can also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and fishing in the beautiful surroundings of Unst.

Local Events and Festivals

Unst hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing the island’s vibrant community spirit. The UnstFest is a popular summer festival featuring live music, traditional dancing, and local food stalls. The Up Helly Aa is an annual fire festival held in January, where you can witness the dramatic torchlight procession and the burning of a Viking longship.

Living in Unst offers a wide range of leisure and entertainment opportunities. From cozy pubs to historical attractions, there’s something for everyone. Stay tuned to learn more about the close-knit community and unique lifestyle in Unst, Shetland Islands.

A. Demographics and Diversity

Unst, located in the Shetland Islands, is a small and close-knit community with a population of approximately 600 people. Despite its size, Unst boasts a diverse population, with residents from various backgrounds and walks of life. Whether you are a young professional, a retiree, or a family with children, you will find a welcoming community in Unst.

B. Safety and Crime Rates

Living in Unst offers a safe and secure environment for residents. With its small population and tight-knit community, crime rates in Unst are exceptionally low. Residents can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are part of a safe and friendly community.

C. Social Clubs and Networking Opportunities

Unst offers a range of social clubs and networking opportunities, ensuring that residents have ample opportunities to connect with others and engage in community activities. From sports clubs to arts and crafts groups, there is something for everyone in Unst. These clubs provide a great way to meet like-minded individuals and build lasting friendships.

Living in Unst, Shetland Islands, offers a unique community and lifestyle experience. The diverse demographics, low crime rates, and numerous social clubs and networking opportunities make Unst an attractive place to call home.

To learn more about the pros and cons of living in Unst, Shetland Islands, continue reading!

Advantages of Renting in Unst, Shetland Islands

Living in Unst, the northernmost inhabited island in the Shetland Islands, offers a unique and tranquil experience. Here are some advantages of renting in Unst:

1. Serene and Beautiful Environment

Unst boasts breathtaking landscapes with rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and rolling hills. The peaceful surroundings provide a calming and stress-free lifestyle, perfect for those seeking tranquility.

2. Close-knit Community

The small population of Unst creates a strong sense of community. Neighbors are friendly and supportive, ensuring a welcoming environment for newcomers. This close-knit community can provide a sense of belonging and support.

3. Outdoor Activities

Unst offers an abundance of outdoor activities. From hiking along scenic trails to birdwatching at the Hermaness Nature Reserve, there is something for everyone. Residents can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, and exploring ancient ruins.

Potential Drawbacks or Challenges

While living in Unst has its advantages, there are some potential drawbacks and challenges:

1. Limited Amenities

Unst is a remote location, and as such, it has limited amenities compared to larger towns. Residents may need to travel to the mainland or larger islands for specialized services or a wider range of shopping options.

2. Harsh Weather Conditions

As with any island location, Unst experiences unpredictable weather patterns. Residents must be prepared for strong winds, rain, and long, dark winters. This may not suit everyone, particularly those who prefer milder climates.

3. Limited Job Opportunities

Unst’s remote location means job opportunities can be limited, especially in certain industries. Residents may need to commute or consider remote work options to sustain their livelihoods.

Comparison with Other Towns in the UK

When comparing Unst to other towns in the UK, it is essential to consider the unique lifestyle and challenges it offers. Unlike bustling urban centers, Unst provides a slower pace of life, pristine natural beauty, and a close-knit community. However, it may lack the conveniences and opportunities found in larger towns or cities.

Ultimately, choosing to live in Unst depends on personal preferences and priorities. For those seeking a peaceful and remote lifestyle surrounded by natural wonders, Unst is a perfect choice.


Living in Unst, Shetland Islands, offers a unique and enriching experience for renters. With stunning natural beauty, a close-knit community, and a range of recreational activities, Unst is an ideal place to call home. In this blog, we explored the key points to consider when renting in Unst.

Recap of Key Points

We discussed the breathtaking landscapes of Unst, including its rugged coastline, rolling hills, and picturesque beaches. We also highlighted the strong sense of community in Unst, with its friendly residents and vibrant local events. Additionally, we mentioned the various recreational activities available on the island, such as birdwatching, hiking, and fishing.

Personal Recommendation

As a renting expert, I highly recommend considering Unst as your next home. The island offers a peaceful and idyllic lifestyle, surrounded by natural beauty and a welcoming community. Whether you’re looking for a quiet retreat or an active outdoor lifestyle, Unst has something to offer everyone.

Explore Right Rent’s Property Listings

If you’re ready to start your journey of living in Unst, I encourage you to explore Right Rent’s property listings. We have a wide range of rental options available, from cosy cottages to modern apartments. Our user-friendly website makes it easy to find a home you’ll love in Unst. Start your search today and embark on the adventure of living in Unst, Shetland Islands.

Amelia Townsend

Amelia regularly contributes to the Right Rent blog; sharing all the latest news, crafting informative articles and sourcing the very best rental content for our readers.

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