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Take a boat-trip
If you haven't arrived in your own boat a boat-trip will show you a side of Shetland which is otherwise inaccessible.
There are several trips operating out of Lerwick, including the 'Seabirds-and-seals' trip which I took (see the Lerwick page for the review). Well worth the money.
Or you could take the Mousa ferry from Aithsvoe (see my Mousa page), probably seeing porpoises on the way and certainly giving you 3 hours or so on the island to explore its wonderful birdlife and its magnificent Iron Age broch, the best-preserved example in existence.
Or you could take the regular ferry from Lerwick to Bressay and/or perhaps drive across that island to take the ferry (an inflatable boat) to the Noss National Nature Reserve.
Or you could drive up to Toft and take the ferry to Yell, and perhaps onwards to Unst.
Ferry options and timetables can be found on the link below.
Lots and lots of options, whether you have a car or not. But, definitely, take some sort of boat trip whilst you are visiting!
- Family Travel
This is one of the highlights of Shetland. Mousa is a tiny island (about a mile long and 3/4 long). The main draw is its iron age broch. First things first: phone to check the ferry is running - we did every day and some days the water was too choppy so it wasn't. There are only two sailings most days in the summer and it would be a shame to miss it.
Be careful when climbing the broch (I banged my head!). Once you've seen it head towards the pools to the north of the island to see the seals and birds. Take a packed lunch as the island is only inhabited by mainly by sheep (who have no plans to open a cafè :) And watch where you tread...
Just walking round the island, admiring the broch and wildlife was great. Don't forget waterproofs and I would also advise plenty of camera battery (mine went so had to borrow my mate's camera).
Don't miss it.
The island of Mousa lies just of the coast of Mainland, a few miles south of Lerwick.
It is home to the best preserved Broch anywhere in the world, and at over 13m tall it's quite a sight.
Broch's were built partly as status symbols, and partly for defensive purposes, and used to be found all over Northern Scotland and the Northern Isles.
The island can be reached by a boat service ran by Tom Jamieson.
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Mousa is an uninhabited island with one of the best preserved iron age brochs in all of Britain. You get to the island by ferry and then hike to the broch. I was there on the summer solstice at midnight. We went specifically at this time because we could see the Storm Petrals coming in from sea and going to their nests which were built in the walls of the broch. It was a very clear night so we were lucky they came in - they prefer the cover of bad weather because they are pretty far down the food chain and get picked off pretty easy. The broch is double walled with a staircase between the walls. You can climb all the way to the top and get a wonderful view. This is an absolute must see. The picture at left was taken at midnight on the solstice. The shiny points are tags marking items being studied on the broch. Take a flashlight and warm clothing. We were lucky with clear weather and were able to hike by moon-light.
- Hiking and Walking
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Shetland Travel Guide
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