Our islands - yours to discover!
Take a gentle stroll around the historic, old town of Lerwick.
Starting at Victoria Pier, in the heart of the town, the tour guide will walk you along the harbour to the old Tollbooth, then along narrow, flag-stoned streets with its Lodberries – merchants’ houses built out into the water to allow them to land their goods - legal and illegal. Fans of the "Shetland" TV series will notice a particular house, the home of a certain TV detective. By the way, your tour guide has been an extra in that series!
We walk up to the highest point of the old town before exploring the maze of steep, narrow lanes clinging to the hillside. Once housing many families in over-crowded conditions, these are now some of the most picturesque parts of Lerwick.
Then it is on to the sandstone edifice of Lerwick's Victorian town hall with its magnificent stained glass windows reflecting Shetland's Nordic heritage. If possible, your tour guide will take you inside the seat of island government to explain these windows to you.
Close by is Fort Charlotte, originally built in the 17th century to protect Lerwick from the Dutch and later rebuilt as a defence against the Americans during the American War of Independence. From here we also get magnificent views out over the harbour.
We then visit the fascinating Lerwick Museum - a 5-star attraction right down on the waterfront. The museum illustrates the long story of Shetland - from the formation of primeval rocks right up to modern times. Downstairs there is also a shop selling various items. Upstairs you will find an excellent cafe/restaurant.
Finally, back to the centre of Lerwick for some shopping! Your tour guide will be happy to point you in the right direction for any shops for which you are looking.
The "Swan" and the Lodberries, Lerwick.
Copyright, Les Sinclair, Tour Guide