It is infamous for drinking and drug taking.
It was named Whalsay because when sailors would see it from afar it was the shape of a whale comming out of the water.
Most people like to think of it as a thriving fishing community but lately the number of fishing boats has decreased due to new regulations.
It is an excellent place for teenagers because there is only one policeman and lots of secluded areas for drinking, taking drugs and underage driving.
Just five miles long and two miles wide, Whalsay has easy coastal walking. From the highest point, the Ward of Clett (393 feet), there's a panorama of the east coast of Shetland.
Whalsay also has Britain's most northerly golf course, a leisure centre with heated swimming pool, and Shetland's museum to the German merchants of the Hansa. Accommodation on Whalsay is limited so it's best to book ahead. There's a small, family-run restaurant and pub, the Oot Ower Lounge at Livister. The Whalsay Boating Club bar at Symbister also welcomes visitors.
The tidal sounds and offlying rocks around Whalsay are among the best places in Shetland to see porpoises and occasional dolphins, Minke Whales and Orcas. So keep a lookout during the ferry crossing and you may see why the Vikings called it "Hvals-oy" - the island of whales.
The ferry terminal for Whalsay is at Laxo, a 20-mile drive north of Lerwick. The crossing to Symbister takes 25 minutes and the service is frequent, although booking is advised in the peak season.
The harbour at Symbister is the hub of this fishing community of around 1,000 people. - and a constant source of interest to islanders and visitors alike.
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