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Mainland 1 07.jpg
South Mainland looking north from Fitful Head.
Shetland Islands
OS Name: Mainland
Shetland Name: Mainland
UK Grid Reference: HU400500
Area (ha): 96,879hectare
Population: 17,550 (2001 census)
Community Council:
Ferry Services: Served by Northlink from Aberdeen. Inter island ferries to Bressay, Fair Isle, Foula, Papa Stour, Whalsay, and Yell.

The Mainland is the largest of the Shetland islands, and the 3rd largest island in Scotland. The island is often referred to in 4 geographical areas:

The North Mainland, including Northmavine, Voe, Vidlin, and Brae
The South Mainland, including Dunrossness, Sandwick, Cunningsburgh, and Quarff
The West Mainland, including, Walls, Sandness, Aith, Bixter, and Skeld
The Central Mainland, including, Weisdale, Whiteness, Tingwall, Nesting, Scalloway, and Lerwick.

The highest density of population (approx. 7000), is in Lerwick from where daily ro-ro passenger and freight ferries link Shetland to Aberdeen. Inter island car ferries link Mainland to Bressay from Lerwick, Papa Stour from West Burrafirth, Out Skerries from Vidlin and Lerwick, Whalsay from Laxo and Vidlin, and Yell from Toft. With the Yell service providing onward links to Fetlar and Unst from Gutcher. Passenger and freight ferries connect Fair Isle from Grutness and Lerwick, and Foula from Walls and Scalloway.

Scheduled air services from Sumburgh Airport, at the southern tip of the island, fly to Aberdeen, Inverness, Kirkwall, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London. Inter island air services also operate, from Tingwall Airport, to Fair Isle, Foula, and Papa Stour.

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