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a VirtualTourist member from South Plainfield asked on Apr 26, 2011


Arriving by Cruise ship beginning of September, 2011

Hi, I am hoping that you will be able to help me plan our day in Lerwick. Is there enough to do in the town to spend the whole day? Are there van tours that a group of 3 could pick up in town? Is it a distance from the cruise pier to town? I have difficulty walking distances, so I would like to know. Any particular sights not to miss? What about shopping? I like to buy items that represent the culture and the country I am visiting, especially Christmas ornaments and decorations - any suggestions? What should we expect the weather to be like at the beginning of September? I am sure there are other questions I would like to ask, so I might log in at a later date. Thank-you for taking the time to answer my questions. LC

7 Answers

answered on 4/26/11 by
a VT member from New Jersey

Hi - for very specific cruise details and tour/guide recommendations, check out You can check the boards for particular cruise lines/ship and ports of call as well. Have a great cruise!

answered on 4/26/11 by
Mary Smith from Leicester

No-one can predict the weather so far in advance. Your day may be warm and sunny, or may be grey, chilly and damp, or it may pour with rain.

Or it may well be all three. Weather changes quickly in the UK and even more so in the Shetland Isles. All 4 seasons in one day is not unusual.

will give you a rough idea of what you might expect, but bring clothes you can layer and waterproof outerwear.

I have not yet been to Lerwick (I shall be there this August) but I think you might like to explore the island a little too; Lerwick is really quite small (only about 7500 residents).

You should definitely visit the Shetland Museum in central Lerwick, to help you understand life in the islands past and present:

and the official tourist information guide will tell you what you can see and do:

For exploring further (Shetland is known for its wild beauty, its archaeology and its birdlife) this page lists local guides:

and also


I imagine your ship will also have organised shore excursions.

The one thing most strongly associated with the Shetlands is the wonderful knitwear, some with the complex and colourful Fair Isle patterns. Here's a list of craft shops:

and this site will give you an idea about other arts and crafts in the island, most of which you will almost certainly find on sale in Lerwick:

answered on 4/26/11 by
a VT member from Evesham

I had no trouble spending several days around Lerwick, although we were mostly on a walking holiday. The town isn't big, but it's welcoming to tourists. Shetland's main attraction is it's scenery - there's a lot of scenery, just a few minutes walk away. If you have access to transport, then I'd go to Eshaness. It's probably the most spectaular bit of the coast.

If you fancy a walk, take the ferry to Bressay. It's mostly road and track walking but if you see more that 2 cars an hour I'd be surprised! There seems to be a heritage centre there these days (isn't there always!).

There are buses from Lerwick to Sumburgh. Some of the best neolithic sites are at that end of the island if your schedule allows.

Can't comment on shopping, I think I just bought food and copious quantities of drink :-)

Weather is a very unpredicatble thing on Shetland. If you were there for a week I'd say you'd get every form of weather there is. It's a fair bet it will be windy. If it rains, it will make a really good effort to soak you. In a little over a week in May we had sleet (I recall crouching behind a wall on Bressay for half an hour waiting for that part of the weather to go away), wind, rain and I came home sun burnt.

answered on 4/27/11 by
a VT member from South Plainfield

Thank-you for your answer.

answered on 4/27/11 by
a VT member from South Plainfield

Thank-you so much for all of the information.

answered on 4/27/11 by
a VT member from South Plainfield

Thank-you for the information for Lerwick. We will be doing a lot of walking, and hoping to be able to take a tour.

answered on 4/28/11 by
daarth (VT refugee) from Bergen

Yes, Lerwick is just a small but charming town. Bad weather is not uncommon, but in fact part of the charm. Just be prepared with the right type of clothes.
A nice walk is t0 follow the road from the harbour south passing the yacht club and past the cemetery. Take the cliff path back on the outside of the cemetery with wonderful views.
The town hall is worth a visit with it's glass paintings of Viking kings. There is the Fort Charlotte right above Commercial Street. Most shopping is on Commercial Street, and it's not long. The (new) museum is also rather good, and actually large for a small town as Lerwick.
A short bus ride to Scalloway with it's castle and other sites is about as much you could hope to manage in only one day.

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