Things to do
Up Helly Aa
Europe's biggest fire festival which is a major tourist and local attraction, takes place on the last Tuesday in January each year. The festival which dates back over 130 years, begins with hundreds of guizers marching through the darkened main streets carrying flaming torches. This culminates with the squads circling the specially built wooden galley ship and setting it ablaze. The festivities continue around the 12 local halls as 45 squads of guizers put on a dance or humorous act, with the dancing continuing until around 8am the next morning.
The award winning Shetland Museum and archives
Located at Hays dock in Lerwick, the museum has recently scooped a 2013 certificate of excellence from Trip advisor which recognises outstanding hospitality. Admission is free and there is a broad range of exhibits and displays, furthermore make sure to visit the excellent Hay's Dock Café Restaurant which is open 7 days a week including Friday and Saturday evening meals
Sumburgh Head, Lighthouse, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve
The newly restored £5.4 million visitor centre provides a fun afternoon for the whole family. Sumburgh Head is an RSPB nature reserve and one of the best places to view the many bird colonies in Britain including Puffins. Indoor attractions include a marine life centre and areas describing what life was like living and working at the lighthouse before it was a automated.
Mareel Cinema and Music venue
Located near the Shetland Museum and archives the building which has been nominated for a Scottish design award, houses a two screen cinema and music auditorium, reservations and information can be found by visiting their website at Mareel.org
The Garrison Theatre
Located in market street, Lerwick, The small theatre offers a varied programme from visiting artists and local shows. Information regarding current programmes can be found at shetlandarts.org
Clickimin Leisure Complex
Located close to our Goodlad crescent property, Clickimin centre offers a wide range of sports and leisure facilities including a Health suite complete with Sauna, steam room and tone and trim chairs. Moreover there is a main multi use hall, Apex gym, swimmingpool, squash courts,outdoor running track, loch bar and Da Muckle Cafe.
This fascinating 3000 year old tower located in Lerwick is very easy to visit , close to our Goodlad crescent property and originally thought to have been over 12 metres tall. Undiscovered Scotland have a good article on the broch.
More for more historic monuments and buildings in Shetland please visit Historic Scotland's website.
Located on the un-inhabited island of Mousa, the broch which is considered to have been built 100 BC, is one of the finest examples of prehistoric building in Europe. Furthermore the best preserved broch in Shetland, standing over 13 metres high. The island can be reached by booking the Mousa Boat.
Music is deeply rooted in Shetland's heritage with fiddle, guitar, accordion and piano being the prominent instruments of choice. There are several big music events in the yearly calendar such as the relatively new Shetland Jazz Festival which takes place in February, more information is available from the Shetland Jazz Club website
The world respected Shetland Folk festival which takes place in May attracts musicians and audience guests from all over the world, and provides a wide variety of music to suit most tastes, for more information please visit: shetlandfolkfestival.com
The Shetland accordion and fiddle festival takes place in October and showcases the best of Shetland traditional music, in addition to holding other events through the year.