Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Introduction to Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Sturdy little Lerwick is the friendly capital of the 100 islands and islets of the Shetland Islands.

Until the 1600s there was little here apart from a few huts around a “leir vik” – Norse for a muddy bay. But around the middle of the century, conflict between the British and Dutch (whose fishing fleet fished for herrings off the islands) led to the building of a permanent settlement. This included Fort Charlotte, which once overlooked the harbour but has now been enclosed by the town following land reclamation.

Despite the wealth created by North Sea oil, modern Lerwick retains many fascinating small shops and delightful historic buildings. Near the port is the Böd of Gremista, a “fishing booth” built in 1780 and now a museum. The ground floor has the salt store and the kitchen, where herrings were hung to dry. Outside the town are the well preserved remains of the Broch of Clickimin, a small Bronze-Age settlement excavated in the last century.

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Scenic Shetlands & Jarlshof, Lerwick, Shetland

Scenic Shetland & Jarlshof

  • Savour the splendour of the scenic Shetland Islands
  • Learn about Shetland life and the art of weaving at Hoswick
  • Discover one of Europe’s most impressive archaeological sites – the Jarlshof settlement
Price£55.00-£65.00
DurationApproximately 3 3/4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Combine the opportunity to enjoy the unique, picturesque landscape of the Shetland Isles with visits to Jarlshof and Hoswick whilst learning about the history and traditions of the Islands.

Begin with a short coach tour of Lerwick – the capital of the Shetland Islands and the most northerly town in the British Isles. Founded on the fishing industry and with strong Viking connections, little now remains of the old village of Lerwick - although in the centre, and particularly near the harbour, there is still evidence of the stout origins of the town, which began to rise in the 17th century. The town is built of stone, with narrow paved streets to give the inhabitants some protection from the fierce winter gales. It Lerwick has a very unique character not found anywhere else in the world.

Travelling south along the coastal road, with the sea on one side and the hills of the south mainland on the other, pass through several small settlements before pausing for a fine view of the island of Mousa, and Mousa Broch - the tallest and best preserved of all Brochs, or Iron Age drystone hollow walled structures, in Britain. Continuing on a short way, you come to Hoswick and the Hoswick Visitor Centre, home to a museum about Shetland life.

From Hoswick, you will have a short drive to the archaeological site of the Jarlshof settlement at Sumburgh, on the southern tip of the mainland. Jarlshof presents one of the most interesting remains of early human habitation, not only in Shetland, but the whole of Scotland. Jarlshof displays an insight into the lives of many different people and periods, through its monuments and ancient dwellings. Enjoy a walk through time, as the archaeological remains extend over a time span of more than 3,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

After your time here, keep your eyes peeled for Shetland’s famous ponies on the return drive to your ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over some uneven and grassy surfaces. Approximately one and a half hours of walking and standing in total can be expected. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops. 

 


Jarlshof Settlement

SCENIC SHETLAND & JARLSHOF

  • Savour the splendour of the scenic Shetland Islands
  • Learn about Shetland life and the art of weaving at Hoswick
  • Discover one of Europe’s most impressive archaeological sites – the Jarlshof settlement
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox 3.5 hrs
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Combine the opportunity to enjoy the unique, picturesque landscape of the Shetland Isles with visits to Jarlshof and Hoswick whilst learning about the history and traditions of the Islands.

Begin with a short coach tour of Lerwick – the capital of the Shetland Islands and the most northerly town in the British Isles. Founded on the fishing industry and with strong Viking connections, little now remains of the old village of Lerwick - although in the centre, and particularly near the harbour, there is still evidence of the stout origins of the town, which began to rise in the 17th century. The town is built of stone, with narrow paved streets to give the inhabitants some protection from the fierce winter gales. Lerwick has a very unique character not found anywhere else in the world.

Travelling south along the coastal road, with the sea on one side and the hills of the south mainland on the other, pass through several small settlements before pausing for a fine view of the island of Mousa, and Mousa Broch - the tallest and best preserved of all Brochs, or Iron Age drystone hollow walled structures, in Britain. Continuing on a short way, you come to Hoswick and the Hoswick Visitor Centre, home to a museum about Shetland life.

From Hoswick, you will have a short drive to the archaeological site of the Jarlshof settlement at Sumburgh, on the southern tip of the mainland. Jarlshof presents one of the most interesting remains of early human habitation, not only in Shetland, but the whole of Scotland. Jarlshof displays an insight into the lives of many different people and periods, through its monuments and ancient dwellings. Enjoy a walk through time, as the archaeological remains extend over a time span of more than 3,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

After your time here, keep your eyes peeled for Shetland’s famous ponies on the return drive to your ship.



TOUR DESCRIPTIONS CORRECT FOR 2016 CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over some uneven and grassy surfaces. Approximately one and a half hours of walking and standing in total can be expected. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops. 

 


St Ninians Isle, Shetlands

SCENIC ST NINIAN’S ISLE

  • Visit the impressive Clickimin Broch
  • Discover the rugged cliffs and romantic coastline of St Ninian’s –  home to some of the most photographed sites in Shetland
Activity Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApprox. 4 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

This tour offers a great opportunity to view some of the most beautiful locations on the Shetland Isles.

You begin with a panoramic tour of Lerwick which will showcase the highlights of the town, before briefly stopping at Clickimin Broch. The Broch is an ancient centre of power in the Shetlands; here you can choose to either enter the impressive monument or marvel at the loch where a variety of waterfowl such as mallard and teal ducks may be spotted.

Continuing, you will travel through some of Shetland’s most picturesque scenery to Bigton. From here, it is a short walk down to a beautiful tombolo of shell sand—one of the best examples of its kind in Europe. The tomoblo leads to St Ninian’s Isle, once tidal and populated until 1700. Today, the only inhabitants are a flock of sheep, rabbits and seabirds. A guided walking tour across the sand leads to the remnants of a church, which is believed to be Norse, but is built on an even older structure. The views of stacks and the coast are truly spectacular, and the island of Foula can be seen in the distance, as well as the uninhabited island of Havra. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? We do not recommend this tour to wheelchair guests or guests with limited mobility as you will be expected to walk for approximately two and half kilometres (one and a half miles) across very uneven terrain, including steep sandy slopes, uneven paths and rough ground. A certain level of fitness is required to participate in this tour. What wildlife might be seen cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets.

 

 


Sumburgh Head, Lerwick, Shetland

Seabirds at Sumburgh Head

  • Discover the beautiful scenery of the Shetland Islands
  • Keep your eyes peeled for breeding seabirds 
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

This unique tour will take you close to nature as you marvel at the spectacular cliffs, eerie marshlands and stunning scenery of Shetland. Visit some of the best spots in the world to try and spot birds such as delightful puffins, fulmars, guillemots and even marine mammals.

From the bustling little port of Lerwick you will make your way south, never far from the sea. Shetland’s mainland has been shaped by glaciers, rivers, and pounding sea waves into a wonderful landscape – sometimes gentle, sometimes rough, and you will explore some of its most scenic spots.

The island hosts an exceptional abundance of birdlife in this setting of rugged seascapes and rolling hills. 21 species of seabirds breed on Shetland and a million seabirds nest in spectacular colonies on the island’s rugged sea cliffs. Your local guide will tell you about the landscape and fauna and point out the various species you may see.

Stop at the southernmost tip of mainland Shetland - the dramatic cliffs of Sumburgh Head,and is one of the best places in the world to view seabird colonies up close. Every year thousands of puffins and other seabirds put on a spectacular show, and deep down in the water we may even glimpse some dolphins, orcas or minke whales.

You will also have a stop at the archaeological site of the Jarlshof settlement at Sumburgh. Jarlshof presents one of the most interesting remains of early human habitation, not only in Shetland, but the whole of Scotland. Jarlshof displays an insight into the lives of many different people and periods, through its monuments and ancient dwellings. Enjoy a walk through time, as the archaeological remains extend over a time span of more than 3,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

Following your visit, you then return to the ship in Lerwick.

 

Is this tour right for you?

 

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? The walking at Sumburgh and Jarlshof will encounter some uneven ground and steps. We cannot guarantee sightings of any wildlife. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets. The tour may operate in reverse order.  Entrance to the Lighthouse and visitors center is not included.

 


Scalloway Castle, Shetland Islands

SHETLAND SIGHTSEEING

  • Discover 5,000 years of history, steeped in myths and legends
  • Capture the fascinating character of the fishing town of Lerwick
  • Explore the ancient Scalloway Castle and Museum
  • Admire the photogenic Shetland ponies
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApprox 3.5 hrs
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Uncover the pretty landscapes of Shetland and discover more about the ancient castle of Scalloway.

Your tour starts in the fishing port of Lerwick, founded in the 17th century. The centre is full of character, especially by the water’s edge where the older buildings are situated. Moving through the town you will see the Town Hall and the museum before turning west to the old town of Scalloway – the original main town, and second largest settlement on the island. En route you will stop at the Clickimin Broch – a good example of a broch tower with surrounding structures dating from the Iron Age.

Arriving in Scalloway, you will stop to discover the ancient castle built around 1600 by Earl Patrick Stewart. This cruel and powerful man used forced labour from the surrounding area to build his residence, and was executed in Edinburgh, in 1615.

Turning north, you skirt the pretty Loch of Tingwall with its Norse heritage, before stopping at Carol’s Ponies, where you have a chance to photograph the Shetland ponies in a field beside the road. The local stud owner will tell you about these beautiful animals during your brief stop here. You then drive through Shetland’s largest tree plantation on your way to Shetland Jewellery, where traditional jewellery is still handcrafted in Celtic and Norse-inspired designs.

During your return journey, the coach will climb Wormadale Hill for panoramic views across the water of Whiteness Voe and Stromfirth.


TOUR DESCRIPTIONS CORRECT FOR 2016 CRUISES

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Walking on this tour is considered easy, and is mainly at guests’ own discretion. Uneven terrain and grassy slopes will be encountered. Scalloway Castle is not suitable for wheelchair users, but guests may explore the adjoining museum instead. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. 


Shetland sightseeing, Lerwick. Shetland

Shetland Sightseeing

  • Capture the fascinating character of the fishing town of Lerwick
  • Explore the ancient Scalloway Castle
  • Admire the photogenic Shetland ponies
Price£45.00-£55.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Uncover the pretty landscapes of Shetland and discover more about the ancient castle of Scalloway.

Your tour starts in the fishing port of Lerwick, founded in the 17th century. The centre is full of character, especially by the water’s edge where the older buildings are situated. Moving through the town you will see the Town Hall and the museum before turning west to the old town of Scalloway – the original main town, and second largest settlement on the island. En route you will stop at the Clickimin Broch – a good example of a broch tower with surrounding structures dating from the Iron Age.

Arriving in Scalloway, you will stop to discover the ancient castle built around 1600 by Earl Patrick Stewart. This cruel and powerful man used forced labour from the surrounding area to build his residence, and was executed in Edinburgh, in 1615.

Turning north, you skirt the pretty Loch of Tingwall with its Norse heritage, before stopping at Carol’s Ponies, where you have a chance to photograph the Shetland ponies in a field beside the road.

During your return journey, the coach will climb Wormadale Hill for panoramic views across the water of Whiteness Voe and Stromfirth.

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Walking on this tour is considered easy, and is mainly at guests’ own discretion. Uneven terrain and grassy slopes will be encountered. Scalloway Castle is not suitable for wheelchair users, but guests may explore the adjoining museum instead. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. 

 


Spectacular Northmavine, Lerwick, Shetland

Spectacular Northmavine

  • A spectacular tour exposing the dramatic and rugged side of Shetland
  • A fusion of picturesque villages, unforgettable landscapes and breathtaking coastline
  • Witness some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK
Price£60.00-£70.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Travel to the northernmost part of the Shetland mainland – Northmavine - with its dramatic views and unique outlook to the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Departing Lerwick, commence your journey towards Northmavine and cross the Mavis Grind. Little more than 32 metres (104 feet) wide at its narrowest point, it is significant not only because it is the gateway to Northmavine but also because it is said to be the only place in the UK where you can toss a stone across land from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.You then arrive at the Tangwick Haa Museum - a 17th century laird’s house, built for the Cheyne family. It houses a fascinating collection of artefacts, which offer an insight into the harsh lifestyle of people living in the remote areas at that time. Stop for refreshments at the Braewick Café and enjoy its unique views of the well-known sea stacks, the Drongs.

Continue to Eshaness Lighthouse - built in 1929 by David and Charles Stevenson, uncles of Robert Louis Stevenson, it is the last of the Stevenson lighthouses to be built in Shetland. Here you can take part in a short optional walk along the cliff top. For scenery and geological forms, few places in Shetland or perhaps even Britain rival Eshaness. The ferocity of the Atlantic has contributed to the spectacular geological formations found here which include sea stacks, natural arches and caves to name but a few, and the cliffs are also home to a number of seabirds. 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Apart from the visit to Tangwick Haa and the refreshment stop, walking is optional. For those wishing to take part - the short cliff walk will be over uneven, grassy and stony terrain. The scenic drive will take approximately one and a quarter hours each way. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. We cannot guarantee sightings of any seabirds. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops.

 


Eshaness in the Shetland Islands stunning cliffs and sea

SPECTACULAR NORTHMAVINE

  •  A spectacular tour exposing the dramatic and rugged side of Shetland
  •  A fusion of picturesque villages, unforgettable landscapes and breathtaking coastline
  •  Witness some of the most spectacular coastal scenery anywhere in the UK
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox 4 hrs
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Travel to the northernmost part of the Shetland mainland – Northmavine - with its dramatic views and unique outlook to the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Departing Lerwick, commence your journey towards Northmavine and cross the Mavis Grind. Little more than 32 metres (104 feet) wide at its narrowest point, it is significant not only because it is the gateway to Northmavine but also because it is said to be the only place in the UK where you can toss a stone across land from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

You then arrive at the Tangwick Haa Museum - a 17th century laird’s house, built for the Cheyne family. It houses a fascinating collection of artefacts, which offer an insight into the harsh lifestyle of people living in the remote areas at that time. Stop for refreshments at the Braewick Café and enjoy its unique views of the well-known sea stacks, the Drongs.

Continue to Eshaness Lighthouse - built in 1929 by David and Charles Stevenson, uncles of Robert Louis Stevenson, it is the last of the Stevenson lighthouses to be built in Shetland. Here you can take part in a short optional walk along the cliff top. For scenery and geological forms, few places in Shetland or perhaps even Britain rival Eshaness. The ferocity of the Atlantic has contributed to the spectacular geological formations found here which include sea stacks, natural arches and caves to name but a few, and the cliffs are also home to a number of seabirds. 


TOUR DESCRIPTIONS CORRECT FOR 2016 CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Apart from the visit to Tangwick Haa and the refreshment stop, walking is optional. For those wishing to take part - the short cliff walk will be over uneven, grassy and stony terrain. The scenic drive will take approximately one and a quarter hours each way. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. We cannot guarantee sightings of any seabirds. Please note that the buses used may not have air conditioning or toilets, and the itinerary may operate in a different order to avoid congestion at the stops.


Island of Mousa, Shetlands

The Island of Mousa

  • Admire the natural beauty of the Island of Mousa
  • Discover the dramatic Mousa Broch
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant of wildlife
Price£86.00-£96.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/2 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Depart through Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, to begin your trip to the Island of Mousa.  En-route, you pass through the rural townships of Fladdabister before catching your first glimpse of the magnificent Mousa Broch, the tallest and best preserved broch in the world.

At the small ferry port you will transfer to the Solan IV boat for a short crossing to the Island of Mousa.

Mousa is an uninhabited island one and a half miles long and one mile wide.  Here you will enjoy a guided circular walk around this island to admire beautiful scenery and wildlife including seal and bird colonies. Spot Common and Grey Seals as well as Arctic Terns and Great Skuas.

In addition to the abundant wildlife, Mousa is also home to Mousa Broch – an impressive Iron Age fortress tower which stands 13m in height and is the best preserved of its type.

After a bracing circular walk you will then return to the boat for your sail back to the mainland for your journey back to your ship in Lerwick.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? The walk on the Island is approximately three miles over uneven ground. We do not recommend this tour to guests in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

 


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