Enjoy Up Helly Aa


We wish our readers a riotous and joyful Up Helly Aa

Head to the Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe. For 24 hours, on the last Tuesday of January, the town of Lerwick goes more than a little mad. This amazing adventure departs Edinburgh as we take the hassle out of getting to the remote, wild and stunning Shetland Islands.

“There will be no postponement for weather”. That’s a defiant boast by Shetland’s biggest fire festival, considering it’s held in mid-winter on the same latitude as southern Greenland. The weather has have never yet stopped them from burning their Viking galley – and then dancing the dawn away.

Up Helly Aa is a lot more than a sub-arctic bonfire and booze-up. It’s a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland history, and a triumphant demonstration of the islanders’ skills and spirit. 800 Vikings, a burning Norse galley and even a chance of viewing the Northern Lights – simply amazing!

FIRE Project Team

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