So where are the Shetlands? Most maps of Scotland show the Shetland Islands as an inset, making it difficult to appreciate their geographic proximity to Scotland or other countries. Let's just say, Shetland is located between the mainland of Scotland and the mainland of Norway. Following is a direct quote from the website http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/. A good map of the Shetland Islands is located there at
Because most maps of Scotland include Shetland in a box near the top right hand corner, not many people have a strong sense of where this archipelago of 100 islands and islets lies. It comes as a surprise to many to discover it is nearer Bergen than Aberdeen; that it is further north than Moscow or southern Greenland; and that Lerwick is as far as Milan from London. The population of Shetland is around 23,000.
Shetland was Norse until 8 September 1468, when the islands were mortgaged to Scotland for 8,000 florins as part of the marriage agreement between the future James III and Princess Margrethe of Denmark. In 1472 the Scots annexed both Shetland and Orkney.
Shetland measures about 70 miles from Sumburgh Head in the south to Muckle Flugga off the coast of Unst in the north. With a land area of 567 square miles enclosed by a coastline of 900 miles, nowhere is more than three miles from the sea, and very few places are out of sight of it.