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One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Netherlands
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One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Dear readers,

We are planning a trip to Shetland in summer.

Last summer we had to cancel our trip for sad reasons. But now we will try our luck again. First we will visit Shetland and after that we will travel for five days to Harris (we love it so much).

We will arrive on a tuesday. We've already read a lot and seen several videos on YouTube so we are in the mood.

But, we are in doubt. Should one week (from tuesday to tuesday) do or is it better to book another four days. We will stay in a selfcatering home just south of Lerwick.

Thank you for reading our email.

Lancashire
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11. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Hi, I visit Shetland several times a year and in summer we go for three weeks at a time but it is never enough. Your itinery sounds fine but I must warn you the weather may spoil those plans. As for otter watching, you may well just see on or two as you go about your daily sightseeing. We have seen otters on the beach while waiting for the ferry from Bressay to Noss or while at Toft waiting for the ferry to Yell for example. Shetland will surprise you. If it's magic captures you, you will want to stay longer, or even return another time. Hope you enjoy your trip. We will be there in February and inJune this year. Helen

Beautiful Shetland...
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12. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Hello !

I also live in Shetland and Fladdabister is no more than a mile away from where we reside in Cunningsburgh. There is a lovely view of the Shetland coastline from the northern part of Fladdabister. If you are into walking and it is a decent day weather-wise, you could catch a bus into Lerwick and walk back to Fladdabister along the coastline. My wife and I did the walk last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

If the weather is in your favour, you will adore the coastal scenery up here. My wife and I came up here for two walking holidays and subsequently moved up here 5 years ago when I took an early retirement from commuting into London each weekday; that's how much we loved the place !

Netherlands
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13. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Dear all,

At the moment we are in Shetland. What a wonderful Island. Arrived last tuesday. After some shopping in Lerwick we drove to Sumburgh. A very strange, but exciting moment to see the puffins for the very first time.

Unfortunately we were not alone. Workers, a bus with a lot of tourists. But we've been back several times in the late evening. What an experience. Feels like one with nature.

On wednesday is was very foggy the whole day long, so we explored the west Mainland (Sandness).

On thursday we've left our chalet very early. Even booked a ferry to Yell and Unst, but at 6.45 there wa no need to. We were the one and only car. A pretty nice walk to Hermaness Cliffs (warm, because the sun did well) brought us to the gannets. Not a lot of puffins. They were at sea. We could see them in groups, but not on land.

The sight of Muckle Flugga make us very humble. And again, no other tourists. Not that we don't like other people, but at certain places it's for us an extra to be alone for an hour in and with nature. ;)

On Friday is was foggy again, so we decided to take some rest.

Yesterday we've been to Eshaness Lighthouse. First we sat down in front of the Dore Holm. It was very foggy again, so we went back in the afternoon when it was a bit brighter. What a nice place to be . Very quite (although at that moment). Watching some seals, gannets (not a lot, but every few minutes two or three gannets flying along).

And yesterdayevening at about eight I drove to Sumburgh again. On my way to Sumburgh I saw some cars parked along the road and people watching to the sea (Sandwick). Yes, three or four Orcas! Ok, not touchable, but we could see the black and white. Wauw. After a few minutes there where about fifteen cars. How do they know? Twitter?

And today rain is predicted for the afternoon. We will visit the Museum in Lerwick.

And then three days to go. A pity that the forecast for tuesday is not well. We like to visit Noss, but the boat to Noss will not go on mondays.

Ok, thank you for all your replies and we hope to visit Shetland again!!

Lerwick, United...
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14. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Willem, how nice to know you are here in Shetland right now! You are certainly experiencing some 'interesting' weather - it is a long time since we had so much fog. However, it is great to know you are enjoying Shetland so much. Yes, Sumburgh Head is a bit like a building site just now, but the renovations of the lighthouse buildings will be completed next year and provide some great facilities for visitors.

You had a very special experience yesterday, seeing the killer whales (orcas). A sighting of a pod close inshore always causes much excitement and I spend nearly 3 hours watching them yesterday. Did you see the white-sided dolphins as well? The orcas were seen again this morning for a while, but the weather today has not been good for whale-watching. You ask how we get to hear about the whales - well, some people post on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/natureinshetland and some may use Twitter - but there is also a very good local 'grapevine' - we call eachother, I got a call on my mobile and stopped what I was doing, grabbed binoculars and jumped in the car..... Seeing orcas is special for all of us!

I hope you enjoyed the Museum today – a good choice on a wet day. If you don’t manage to get to Noss this time, save it for your next visit. It is a special place – and if you like places like Eshaness and Hermaness, you will love it.

Enjoy the rest of your stay and come back soon.

Beautiful Shetland...
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15. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

I heard that the whales were still around yesterday but it was far too foggy at the time to go and see them. We have been here 5 years now and are still awaiting our first sighting.

Living here in Shetland (we are in Cunningsburgh), we tend to take the weather as being very much hit and miss but know that, when the sun is out and the wind drops, it is such a beautiful place to be.

Hopefully, the original poster will take some wonderful memories and photos home with them.

Netherlands
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16. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Dear Shellseeker,

Yes, yesterdaymorning I've looked at facebook shetland wildlife and read it all.

Maybe we've stood close to each other at the bypass saturdayevening.

Dear Shetlandman,

Yesterday we had a look at about eleven in the morning, but nothing to see, although not by us.

Cunningsburgh. We are in Aithsetter, so a few minutes away. What a coincidence.

This morning a bit more wind. Will visit St. Ninian Isle and Burra.

My wife doesn't like the wind, so no Mousa for us.

Ok. All the best for you all. Feels a bit unhappy knowing we have to leave this Island at wedneday again, but happy that we are that lucky being here after a harsh year.

Beautiful Shetland...
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17. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

I know Aithsetter very well and cycled/walked through it yesterday morning. I am still trying to get to the stage where I can cycle up the hill at the northern end. A fair while yet, methinks.

Are you staying, perchance, at one of the Glover Lodges?

London, United...
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18. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

I would recommend Brekka Lodge http://www.selfcateringshetland.co.uk/ which very well equipped and very peaceful. An ideal place to chill out as well as tour around. I would recommend a longer stay for the first time as there is a lot to see.

Valletta, Malta
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19. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Hi there! Its so nice to read such experiences about shetland islands! It truly makes me believe that i did the best choice booking the ferry to lerwick this morning for our upcoming trip in aug 2014. Been months working itinery as we are starting frm glasgow all the way up to shetland.

We are staying 2 days already bkd noss trip. Hotel in lerwick. Would u kindly suggest places to visit( we have a young man of 3 yr to carry around) which are easily reached. We aint renting a car.

Also if maybe you can also offer suggestions reg aberdeen as we are staying there to catch late eve flight.

Tks

Eliclaus from the islands of Malta

Netherlands
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20. Re: One or two weeks for a first visit to Shetland?

Dear Eliclaus,

First of all: Great choice made to visit Shetland.

We are from the Netherlands and love the Uk for years and years now. The last six/seven years we spend our time in Scotland (the Outer Hebrides) and last summer we visited Shetland for eight days. You can imagine, eight days were too short. Not only for visiting all the interesting places but more because you haven't got the time to realize that you were part of the island. That is why we booked another two weeks for this summer.

It is very difficult to add more options rather than the options mentioned in the previous messages.

We loved Noss very much and will visit that little island again, probably twice. Staying in Lerwick, a very nice town (when a big cruise-ship passes by, the town is very lively, one or twice a week), is ideal for Noss. The ferry brings you to the first island, but I don't know how you get to the other part of the island to get to Noss. A taxi? With a little motorboat a volunteer brings you to the island. And then a long but very nice walk leads you to the cliffs full of birds (gannets/puffins etc.) You can almost touch the puffins.

Puffins can be find at Sumburgh (I visited that place every evening, because we stayed about 20 minutes drive from Sumburgh), Hermaness (a very long walk, more than an hour, not that such a walk is long, but with a little boy it can be tough) and Noss. Beware the bonxies (when you walk right through the moors, you will be attacked by these birds). I am not a small person, but they succeeded in scaring me a bit. They dive trying to hit your head.

We will visit exact the same places again mentioned as above and this time we will also visit Mousa, a little island.

Sorry that I cannot help you more, but what I can say is that you will have a wonderful time there. The scenery is nice, lots of wildlife and really, the people are very very friendly. We had some trouble with the car. The car was examined for an hour. For free!

May you can hire a car for a few days on the island.

Wish you a great time!!!!

Willem.

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