Out and About
There is a huge amount to do when, out and about, in Shetland. Take time to discover the South Mainlands from the Sumburgh light house, croft museum, Old Scatness, Jarlshoff, Quendale Mills, St Ninians Isle, Mousa and much much more. And these places are only the very southern end of the island.
Heading north of Levenwick, venture through all the areas of Sandwick, Cunningsburgh, Quarff and Gulberwick before heading west. These also offer fantastic coastal and hill walks of which I've explored many.
How accessible are coastal walks?
With the Right to Roam in Scotland many areas are accessible to walkers obviously with some caveats, please see the link. There are lots of core paths to explore in Shetland however if you're a little bit of a free spirit then pick your spot, hop a fence and walk.
Amongst the 1697 miles of coastline to pick from, one of my favourite walks is the cliffs below, Walking the Southpunds. It's a hop, skip and jump over the fields to a playground of cliffs, rocks, geos, puffins, shags, fulmar and more...
For further photo's of areas I've covered please take a look at our Facebook or Instagram, @voortrekkershetland.
Out and about notes...
May I highlight, taking care of field animals, especially during lambing season whilst out walking. It is best to steer clear of smaller fields with pregnant ewes and especially during the first month after birth. If you have a dog then please steer clear of all pre and post lambing fields. Generally, making a wide berth, making no eye contact, and walking past a flock slowly does the trick. If you open a gate, please close it behind you.
We love our sheep in Shetland!
Is there enough to do whilst out and about?
So, the question should be, will I have enough time to cover Shetland in one trip! It can more than a couple of days to fully experience each wonderful area of Shetland and then one may only be scratching the surface. The vast rugged coastline can absorb one for hours with it's beauty.
How many days should I spend in Shetland?
Many tourists spend anything from 5 days to 3 weeks some even more. During our first trip to Shetland we spent 5 days driving every inch possible. That gave us a good flavour but barely enough to experience anything properly. We recommend at least a week to enjoy the main sightseeing places on the island. Hopefully this will tempt another trip back.
How can I plan my trip?
To help Plan Your Trip see this handy little tool at Shetland.org which includes area guides. We provide in each apartment, maps, pamphlets of all the areas of Shetland plus, The Shetland Guide Book by Charles Tait. The book covers the north the south with a snapshot of every area.
What about eating out and drinks?
Shetland offers many fine restaurants and local foods to tempt one. Head over to Taste of Shetland and Food and Drink to find out more. We speak to many locals and can highlight some of the popular cafes and restaurants frequented.
Where do I shop for food?
In Lerwick you will find a large Tesco plus a Co-op supermarket. However, dotted around the island there many local well stocked shops. Heading 5 minutes south from us is Mainlands grocery shop. Here you find local produce amongst many other conveniences including soft serve in the summer. There is also a fuel station located opposite Mainlands.
What about the Music scene in Shetland?
Music is very much is the heart beat of Shetland. The island is filled with many talented musicians from peerie ones to professionals. Shetland music attracts people from across the globe with it's annual events such as the Folk Festival and Fiddle and Accordion Festival. Check out What's on under the entertainment section on The Shetland Times.
Also take a look at the overall festivals that happen annually in Shetland.
When can I see the Northern Lights?
These spectacular events start to appear in the skies as the nights draw in. Usually from some time in August the Merrie Dancers start to grace the skies of Shetland.
Taking home a little bit of Shetland...
Yet another of the many talents of the locals is their arts and crafts. The Shetland Arts and Crafts trail will take you to artists local workshops. And in Lerwick there are a fair few shops stocking local knitwear amongst other things to take home with you.
Then there is the renown annual Wool Week, where knitting enthusiasts come from across the global, gathering, to learn Shetland knitting techniques.
Around the corner from Levenwick, in the quaint area of Hoswick is the Hoswick Visitor Centre, Nielanell and Jamieson knitwear. Not forgetting Karlin Anderson bespoke jewellery maker, worth a visit to see her stunning work.
This page could go on forever detailing the wonders of this island but I'll stop here and hope these little insights inspire the would be traveller.