Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksNature & Wildlife AreasLighthouses
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve opened in June 2014 following restoration of the Grade A listed Lighthouse buildings at the southermost tip of mainland Shetland. The area is an RSPB nature reserve, with the indoor spaces providing an interactive and stimulating way to learn about the social, military and maritime history, and the bird and marine life at Sumburgh Head. Rated a Five Star Visitor Attraction by Visit Scotland.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
See what travellers are saying
  • SusieLips
    102 contributions
    Worth a visit
    You get all the way to the car park, then discover it's still quite an uphill walk to the lighthouse. Worth stopping at the viewpoints on the way up (then do the other side coming down) for the stunning views and to see the birds all over the cliffs. Interesting exhibits at the lighthouse and you can try sounding the foghorn! Most of the building was in scaffolding when we were there,so not great for photos.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 8 June 2023
  • Jude Parsons
    24 contributions
    Nice morning out
    Important to note that this is close on Mondays and Tuesdays. We went on a Tuesday and it was closed so came back on the Friday. Great views from the lighthouse. Plenty of seabirds and the view out to sea is magnificent. Cafe very small but they were doing their best to accomodate people. Had nice cake and coffee. Toilets available and clean. It's a bit of a hike from the carpark to the top, not far but very steep. There is, however, a dropping off point near the top for those less able to be dropped off before parking lower down.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 3 July 2023
  • Roger F
    48 contributions
    Just go.
    Some complain that this is an expensive venue. We'll...even though I got a concession I would have been happy to pay the £6 ticket. The site is modest, but with excellent graphics interpreting its history. Including time spent 'puffin spotting' I spent 3 hours here. Could have been more had I visited the cafe.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 14 July 2023
  • John S
    14 contributions
    Stunning Sumburgh Head
    Excellent place - stunning views, interesting lighthouse and surround, history visitor centre. And walks around.Very kind staff. No cafe but visitor centre do drinks ice cream etc Children (large and small) get to try the warning foghorn! Camera needed as picnic as plenty of benches to dwell eat drink and watch for orca whales. Good but limited car parking so get there early and mind the light controlled airport runway crossing!! Ooo - and Jarlshof Neolithic village is a mile away and a cracking place to visit
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 August 2023
  • empathology
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands505 contributions
    Stunning views and sea birds a-plenty
    This is the very southern tip of mainland Shetland with seabirds nesting in cliffs (it's an RSPB location) and a large lighthouse complex to explore. Great views (but that's true for most of Shetland!). Worth a few hours on your way to or from the airport (which is just a few miles away). Free parking.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 August 2023
  • Debbie G
    Guiseley, United Kingdom164 contributions
    Southern Tip of Shetland
    The drive to Sumburgh and subsequent walk up to the lighthouse are well worth the effort. There's a small entrance charge so that you can see the displays in the lighthouse buildings, but it is well worth it. Sadly the cafe was closed on the day that we visited, so cannot comment on that. But we did have an ice cream from the shop which we enjoyed sitting on a bench overlooking the sea. On a fine weather day this is a great place to visit and watch out over the water for seabirds and possible fins
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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4.5
382 reviews
Excellent
248
Very good
112
Average
18
Poor
2
Terrible
2

Debbie G
Guiseley, UK164 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
The drive to Sumburgh and subsequent walk up to the lighthouse are well worth the effort. There's a small entrance charge so that you can see the displays in the lighthouse buildings, but it is well worth it. Sadly the cafe was closed on the day that we visited, so cannot comment on that. But we did have an ice cream from the shop which we enjoyed sitting on a bench overlooking the sea. On a fine weather day this is a great place to visit and watch out over the water for seabirds and possible fins
Written 12 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

empathology
Rotterdam, The Netherlands505 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
This is the very southern tip of mainland Shetland with seabirds nesting in cliffs (it's an RSPB location) and a large lighthouse complex to explore. Great views (but that's true for most of Shetland!).

Worth a few hours on your way to or from the airport (which is just a few miles away). Free parking.
Written 27 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
14 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
Excellent place - stunning views, interesting lighthouse and surround, history visitor centre. And walks around.Very kind staff. No cafe but visitor centre do drinks ice cream etc
Children (large and small) get to try the warning foghorn!
Camera needed as picnic as plenty of benches to dwell eat drink and watch for orca whales.
Good but limited car parking so get there early and mind the light controlled airport runway crossing!!
Ooo - and Jarlshof Neolithic village is a mile away and a cracking place to visit
Written 1 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roger F
48 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
Some complain that this is an expensive venue. We'll...even though I got a concession I would have been happy to pay the £6 ticket. The site is modest, but with excellent graphics interpreting its history. Including time spent 'puffin spotting' I spent 3 hours here. Could have been more had I visited the cafe.
Written 14 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jude Parsons
24 contributions
Jun 2023
Important to note that this is close on Mondays and Tuesdays. We went on a Tuesday and it was closed so came back on the Friday. Great views from the lighthouse. Plenty of seabirds and the view out to sea is magnificent. Cafe very small but they were doing their best to accomodate people. Had nice cake and coffee. Toilets available and clean. It's a bit of a hike from the carpark to the top, not far but very steep. There is, however, a dropping off point near the top for those less able to be dropped off before parking lower down.
Written 3 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SusieLips
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom102 contributions
May 2023 • Friends
You get all the way to the car park, then discover it's still quite an uphill walk to the lighthouse. Worth stopping at the viewpoints on the way up (then do the other side coming down) for the stunning views and to see the birds all over the cliffs. Interesting exhibits at the lighthouse and you can try sounding the foghorn! Most of the building was in scaffolding when we were there,so not great for photos.
Written 8 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paulina J
22 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
Visited twice on our holiday. The location is spectacular, views are out of this world.
It's very romantic and dramatic at the same time. When you look out to the sea, you feel that unexplainable longing and melancholy that only a dramatic location like that makes you feel.

In june, when we visited, the cliffs are full of puffins. They are literally everywhere. It was excellent entertainment watching them fly off the cliffs or try to land on ones during a very windy day.

Have very fond memories of this place, hope to visit again one day.
Written 5 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Visitor
3 contributions
Apr 2023
Really interesting, amazing views but the highlight is the wonderful cafe with the most fantastic cakes you'll ever eat!
Written 17 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lesleyleslie
2 contributions
Sep 2022 • Family
One review is so misleading as it refers to previous owners and the lighthouse cafe is lovely. Delicious cakes and stunning views.
Written 24 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L N
Bristol, UK337 contributions
Sep 2022
The lighthouse is no longer in service but the old machinery can be examined at length by geeks. There are lovely views from this very windy site.
Written 17 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SUMBURGH HEAD LIGHTHOUSE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Sumburgh Head Lighthouse