Shetland – 100 scattered islands lying at the crossroads of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean – one of the remotest parts of Britain, yet easily accessible. Travelling around the islands is easy too, with inter-island flight and ferry services to the smaller isles, good vehicle hire and public transport services, and a first-class road network to help you make the most of your visit and sample as much as you can of what Shetland has to offer.
Leaving Lerwick harbour. Photo: Yolande Bruce Getting to Shetland is easy from the British mainland. The NorthLink ferries Hjaltland and Hrossey sail overnight, every night, from Aberdeen to Lerwick with some trips going via Kirkwall in Orkney. The ferry terminal at Holmsgarth, in the north part of Lerwick’s busy harbour, is a 15-minute walk from the town centre. The harbour, managed by Lerwick Port Authority, is Britain's ‘top’ port and the hub of shipping links between the UK, northern Europe and Scandinavia.
Sumburgh Airport, the main arrival point for flights into Shetland from the Scottish mainland, sits at the southern tip of the islands, 25 miles from Lerwick. Flights from Scottish airports, with connections further afield, are operated frequently by Loganair. During the summer, some direct flights to and from Bergen in Norway are also available.
Self-drive vehicles and taxis are available from the airport terminal. A service bus goes via the airport but doesn’t meet specific flights, so check times beforehand.
Getting around in the islands is easy too. Take your own transport and explore about 640 miles of good roads at your leisure, or, if you need to hire a vehicle, good car rental facilities (and cycle hire) are available.
Inter-island ro-ro ferries connect the smaller isles to the Shetland mainland, allowing you to take your vehicle wherever you go.
Islander 'inter-island' aircraft. Photo: courtesy SIC. The smaller outer isles are also served by an 8-seat Islander plane from Tingwall airport.
A 24-hour taxi rank is situated at Victoria Pier in the town centre.
Comprehensive travel information, timetables and contact details can be found at travel.shetland.org.
Serco NorthLink Ferries
0845 6000 449
0344 800 2855
Airtask Group (Directflight)
Timetables and general information:
Unst: 01595 745804
Yell: 01595 745804
Fetlar: 01595 745804
Whalsay: 01595 745804
Skerries: 01595 745804
Papa Stour: 01595 745804
Fair Isle: 01595 760363
Foula: 01595 840208 (operated by BK Marine: www.bkmarine.co.uk)
Bressay: booking not required
Timetables and general information online at travel.shetland.org