Favorite thing: It is interesting when visiting Shetland to see how much the people value the Viking heritage. It can almost seem as if the Vikings are more celebrated here than in Norway!
I was told that many feel a strong bond to Norway and there are even a few that would like to see Orkney and Shetland returned (maybe a little tongue in cheek here hahaha)
They might be able to use a little historical fact to accomplish this:
In 1468, the Orkney and Shetland islands were pawned to the Scottish king to provide a dowry for a King's daughter, and they were never reclaimed.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Fondest memory: In Lerwick, there is a fish and chips shop just below the castle. On the roof of the shop lives a king in the form of a seagull. He is very careful to chase away any other seagulls. We decided to eat our fish and chips up at the castle and started walking. The king also came to the same conclusion, because he also started walking. He walked behind us all the way up. After following us all this way we felt obliged to share our lunch with him and he resumed his position on top of the fish and chips shop. This time he flew down there. We were told he was at least eighty years old.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Daytrip 1, Lerwick to Mousa Broch, inc. seabirds
Favorite thing: Normally you‘ll see the trip to Mousa Broch offered as a guided tour, and rarely they will tell you that you can visit it independently. They might even tell you that you‘ll see more if you take the guided tour, but the truth is that you‘ll cross over to the island where the Broch stands with the same boat as the people of the guided tour. To go to the departure point is best to catch the 12 o‘clock bus from Lerwick‘s Viking station and ask the driver to let you off at the Setter Junction for Sandsayre. Sandsayre is where the boat departs, and it‘s an easy mainly flat mile walk from where the bus lets you. Boats depart at 12.30 and 14.00 – if the weather‘s nice you should not hurry to get the first boat but just take your time and find a scenic spot to sit down and eat your packed lunch. From Sandsayre a boat take you to a little islands 15 minutes away, where you can see the famous Mousa Broch, the best preserved of all the Brochs in the United Kingdom. The 13 metres high construction was built in the iron age, and you can still see all its chambers and galleries. The staircase is also intact, so you can walk up to the parapet to have a view of the entire island. As for the remain time walk around the island and see the seabirds that inhabit the cliffs. There‘s puffind, gannets, and many more types of birds, which unfortunately I could not give a name to. Seals are often spotted too, and occasioanlly even the odd whale. The boat back is at 17.00, and connects with the 17.45 bus either from Sandwick central or from Setter Junction at Sandayre again – arriving in Lerwick at 18.05.
Fondest memory: the broch is an amazing example of architecture.
Daytrip 4, Lerwick to the Island of Noss
Favorite thing: This trip takes you first to the island of Bressay and then to the natural nature reserve on the Island of Noss. It‘s only suitable for active people, since it involves a fair amount of walking, although mainly on flat surfaces. You start by taking the 8.40 ferry from Lerwick to the island of Bressay just in front of you, 5 minutes away. From this feery terminal you have to walk across the island to the other terminal at Noss Sound. It‘s a 3 and a half miles, and it should take about an hour and a half. Alternatively you can try to hitch a ride or see if there are taxis on the island. The boat from Noss Sound to the island of Noss leaves at around 10.30 and the crossing should not take longer than 20 minutes. Check before going there though, in case of rough seas all departures are cancelled. When you arrive in Noss you have plenty of time to walk around the reserve. There is an important seabird colony there (skuas I think), and the sandstone cliffs are the breeding ground for gannets, kittiwakes and auks. Bring binoculars and scan the surrounding waters for marina wildlife, too: there are several porpoises and seals in the area. It takes 3 to 4 hours to visit the entire reserve, and then you board the inflatable boat again at 14.30 to return to bressay. Once again you have to walk across the island to catch a ferry back to Lerwick: there‘s a convenient one at 16.00, but don‘t panick if you miss it – the next one is 1 hour later
Fondest memory: the noisy colonies of birds, the cute seals and the interesting cliffs
the shetland islands
Favorite thing: Well, what can I say about the Shetlands? Most of the time there was a thick fog so I could not see much, but I did manage to take a bus to the northern island and go to all the places i has planned. They are really gorgeous, and cursed by the foulest weather on Earth. The capital, Lerwik, is small and charming... the surrounding areas nice even if difficult to reach. I remember particularly a nice shell and sand tombolo somewhere in the south and gorgeous brochs and ruins. In fact I spent all my time archeologically, being the weather far to nasty to hike. The islands of Yell and Unst seemed interesting too, although the fog was at times thicker than thick. I had planned to stay 10 days but the already bad weather eventually turned to worse and my flight to Fair Isle ended up being cancelled, so I had my ticket to the Orkneys changed and managed to leave Shetlands earlier than planned.
Fondest memory: The wonderful tiny capital, Lerwick, with its quaint lanes. Scalloway, the ancient capital, with its tiny museums and bizarre castle. The islands of Yell and Unst, so different yet both interesting and rugged, and the wonderful areas of Lumna and Eshaness on the main island
Favorite thing: http://www.visitshetland.com/
There is no way I would take a tent to the Shetland Isles! the weather is unpredictable and you really do not want to spend the night in cold wet conditions, that is what sitting in front of a fire drinking whisky is for!
If you get calm clear days, however, it is truly empty and spectacular, the wildlife is amazing and it is unspoilt. If you plan to go for long rambling walks, take a compass and a map, just as back up so you don't get lost. The more technologically minded of us might carry our sat nav gadget and set it to *walking*.
The above site gives you a comprehensive overview of what is going on in Shetland with a downloadable 2008 Guide or one you can browse online.
Hope this helps.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
- Budget Travel
Daytrip 2, Lerwick to Croft Museum and Jarlshof
Favorite thing: It‘s a day trip to two different sights located in the southern portion of the Shetlands mainland. The day starts at 9.30 from Lerwick‘s Viking Bus Station, where you take your bus to the village of Robins Brae. From there you walk 1 flat mile along the road to the hamlet of Dunrossness where you can visit the interesting Croft House Museum. A croft is a traditional Shetland farm – here you cansee an old well-preserved thatched croft house and out-buildings. The original furniture has been preserved – and you can see all sorts of utensils that were used for farming in the old days. There‘s also a corn mill and a working watermill to see, and some Shetland ponies (actually miniature horses) to pet. At 12.45 the bus picks you up again from Robins Brae and fifteen minutes later it lets you off at the Sumburgh hotel gate: have a cup of coffee and a sandwich and then explore Jarlshof Ancient Monument, which is just nextdoor. Jarlshof is one of the United Kingdom‘s most important archaeological sites. In this "field" you can witness 3000 years of history in one go: from bronze age dwellings, to an iron age broch (a broch is a defensive tower) and wheelhouse, to norse longhouses, and finally to a medieval farm and a 16th century Lairdis house. You have ample time to visit it: the bus back is at 16.42, again from the hotel gate, arrving in Lerwick at 17.17.
Fondest memory: Jahrlshof ruins are quite interesting , even more if someone can explain them to you.
Daytrip 3, Lerwick to St Ninian Isle and Scalloway
Favorite thing: This is a trip that takes you both to the southern and the the western mainland. It provides you a sort but intense day trip. In the morning, at 9 o‘ clock you can take a bus to Scalloway, which is only 15 minutes away. Scalloway is now a sleepy village but in the past it used to be much more important, as it was the ancient capital of the Shetland Islands. There is a small castle there, which was built in 1600 by Earl Patrick Steward, and an interestingcrafts museum: the Scalloway Museum – mainly focusing on local life (famring and fishing) and on the important role played by the islands in support of Norway when it was occupied by the German forces in WWII. If you have some spare time you can even take a quick look at the Shetland Woollen Company, a factory that produces and sells traditional shetlander woollen products, in particular nice heavy jumpers. The bus back to Lerwick is at 11, arriving at 11.15, which gives you the time to buy a few snacks and drinks before getting onto the 12 o‘clock to go to St Ninians Isle. This bus trip takes about 40 minutes, and you should get off at Bigton; sometimes you have to transfer to another bus at Channerwick Junction, so ask the driver. Bigton is a small village near St Ninians Isle – it takes about 10 minutes to walk there. The island is actually not a real island: in fact it‘s attached to the mainland by a perfect shell-sand tombolo: this sight alone is worth your trip here. There‘s also some ruins of a 12th century church on the island, but it‘s the tombolo that attracts most people… Once you are walking along its fine sand you‘ll never really want to go any further to the ruins of the church. The bus back to Lerwick, the only one of the day, leaves from Bigton at 13.50, so it‘s imperative that you don‘t miss it. You should be back in Lerwick at 14.30, which leaves you enough time to explore the present capital of the islands.
Fondest memory: the shell tombolo is unreal - a real perfect natural creation
Favorite thing: There are several puffin colonies on Shetland, perhaps the most accessible is the one on Sumburgh Head. There is an RSPB centre in the lighthouse there.Related to:
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