The Shetland Project | Phil Le Gal

60 Degrees North


Shetland Islands are home to many geographical singularities. Fair Isle is the most geographically remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. The island of Unst is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles. The archipelago's position where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean is also of significant geo-strategic importance.

The 60th parallel cuts through the southern section of the mainland island as well as the island of Mousa. Shetland writer Malachy Tallack describes the 60th parallel as “a kind of border, where the almost-North and the North come together”. On his quest to go “from Home to Home” Tallack walks the width of the islands from the Atlantic coast across to the North Sea coast before circumnavigating the world following the 60th Parallel to finally return to his home the Shetland Islands. 6o degrees North resonates within the Shetland culture & psyche. Visitors a re told the Shetlands are on the same latitude as St Petersburg, Greenland, Siberia, Scandinavia and Alaska. The parallel gives its name to a local radio, magazine and a beer too. The presence of the parallel is a connecting factor which makes the Islanders feel they belong to“ something else, something bigger. At sixty degrees, Shetland is as central as anywhere and everywhere else” writes Tallack. 

60 Degrees North :Between the Lands & the Waters. follows on the footstep of Shetlands writer Malachy Tallack alongside the 60th latitudinal parallel as it slices through the islands, from Maywick to Sandwick on the mainland and then across to the small island of Musa. The series explores life along the 60th parallel and its possible encounters.