THINGS TO DO
What does the South Mainland have to offer its visitors?
Firstly Hayhoull looks out on St Ninian’s Isle made famous for the treasure found buried there in 1958. The treasure, consisting of beautiful silver bowls and trinkets, is thought to date back to 800 AD. The actual treasure is stored in Edinburgh, but very accurate replicas are on display in the Lerwick Museum. The island is connected to the mainland by the largest active sand tombolo in the UK. It is accessible by foot for most of the year except when the tides are very high or with rough seas in the winter time, and the circular walk around the island will take you approximately 2 – 3 hours. Visit shetland.org.
The Quendale Mill is a delightfully restored water mill dating back to 1867. There is also a souvenir shop and a refreshment area on site.
The Croft House Museum at South Voe gives visitors a fascinating insight into how crofting families lived when living facilities were at a bare minimum.
The archaeological dig at Old Scatness is an extraordinary site. Run by the local Amenity Trust, it details the history of settlements from Early Iron Age until the 20th century, a period of over 2,500 years.
Jarlshof is the best known prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland. It has been described as “one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles”. The oldest remains date back to the bronze age and early iron age period.
Visiting Sumburgh Head is a MUST! The RSPB reserve is Shetland’s most accessible seabird colony. Puffins grace the cliffs from May until mid-August joined by Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Razorbills during May, June and July. Shags and Fulmars can be seen throughout the year. Sumburgh Head is also recognised as the best place in Shetland to spot Killer Whales and other cetaceans during the summer months.
Mousa, home to the famous 2,000 year-old broch, is accessible by a short ferry ride from the mainland. The island is rich in plant and bird life, and home to over 200 common seals during August. Thousands of storm petrels breed on and around the broch during the summer, returning to roost at nightfall giving spectators a wonderfully unique experience.
Hoswick Visitors’ Centre: the centre hosts a tourist information centre and a lovely café, as well as displaying details the history of the local area and an interesting collection of historic items.
As well as these attractions there are so many beautiful and varied walks around the area for all abilities. We have a number of books you can borrow when you are with us, but for great ideas of walks throughout Shetland, visit shetland.org.
For a good way of keeping in touch with the latest wildlife sightings on the island, visit nature-shetland.co.uk
Anyone wishing to do some fishing while in Shetland should visit the Shetland Anglers’ Association site.
Should you prefer to have a guide to take you around Shetland, you are spoilt for choice. We have some very knowledgeable guides for you to choose from.
Shetland is of course famous for its beautiful Fair Isle knitting and the soft wool from the Shetland sheep. It is also home to Hazel Tindall, the world’s fastest knitter! You can find out more about her on her website.
Lastly, if you just want to follow your nose & take things as they come, we have plenty of books and maps for you to help you enjoy your holiday to the full!