A stroll round Lerwick

We spent our first few nights on Shetland in Lerwick, its main town. Our hotel (Kveldsro – pronounced Keldro, meaning “evening peace” in Old Norse) was very centrally placed, so let me take you on a clock-wise tour of the town from there.

A shortcut takes us down onto Commercial Street. Turning right, we first pass The Knowe, with an upturned boat for a garage roof, and continue along a coastal path to a rocky out crop known as the Knab.

From there, we head towards the edge of town to visit Clickimin Broch. Last time I mentioned a broch (c 2000 year old tower home) I got some questions, so I’ve included the information board for this one.

From Clickimin, we head for Hay’s Dock, site of the Shetland Museum. This has relocated since our last trip to Shetland, and is one of the best museums I have visited for a long time. It also has an excellent café – we enjoyed our meal so much we booked to go back for dinner the following night.

Heading back into town, I can’t resist visiting the Library. Any library-lovers amongst you can find out more about it and its beautiful banners on my other blog, Adventures of a Retired Librarian, but a couple of photos will do here.

Across the road from the library is the Town Hall. Dating from 1883, it has some rather unwelcoming fish at the entrance and some beautiful stained glass inside.

Heading downhill, we come to Fort Charlotte, built in the 1660s for Charles II.

Fort Charlotte
Fort Charlotte

Below that, we are back on Commercial Street and its associated Lanes. Coffee and Keetchin is a lovely stop for lunch.

From there, it’s a quick hop down to the harbour. What an assortment of crafts! A Viking boat, static ocean-liners housing the workers at a massive gas plant being built at Sullom Voe, and tourist boats.

Shall we take a trip on the Galathea with Underwater Shetland? Why not? Alan and Robbi are fabulous hosts and introduce you to wildlife both above and below the water with their underwater video camera. Here’s Charlie, a veteran seal, and a bonxie (Great Skua) which flies in to take a biscuit from Robbi’s hand.

Back on dry land, head along Commercial Street again past the lodberries (jetties) and Bain’s Beach where (allegedly) smugglers’ tunnels run under the street, then return to the Kveldsro.

Coming next: a lighthouse, puffins and an archaeological site spanning 3000 years of settlement.