Towns and villages in Shetland

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  • Hay's Dock and the Shetland Museum, Lerwick
    Hay's Dock and the Shetland Museum, Lerwick
  • Scalloway and Scalloway Castle
    Scalloway and Scalloway Castle
  • Small harbour at Symbister, Whalsay
    Small harbour at Symbister, Whalsay
  • Voe, Mainland
    Voe, Mainland
  • The west side of Whalsay
    The west side of Whalsay

Discover the distinct character and history of the towns and villages of Shetland. Find out more about these charming towns and quaint villages with information on things to see and do, local food and drink and more.

Rich in history, Shetland’s main town of Lerwick is characterised by its harbour-front location and the network of narrow lanes stretching up from the shop-lined Commercial Street. The bustling Victoria Pier comes alive during the summer months with sailing races and regattas and is often the hub for outdoor events and festivals, including the famous Up Helly Aa, as well as traditional live music in local pubs.

As well as a good variety of shops, cafés, restaurants and accommodation, Lerwick has modern facilities with the Clickimin Leisure Centre and the Shetland Museum and Archives. Attractions include the archaeological site of Clickimin Broch, an example of Iron Age and Bronze Age architecture, beautiful clifftop scenery at The Knab and some lovely gardens, such as the King Harald Street Flower Park.

Scalloway is Shetland’s second largest town and, as the ancient capital, is home to a wealth of history. Here you can see the ruins of Scalloway Castle and discover the local history at the Scalloway Museum, including the internationally famous story of the World War II Shetland Bus.

Characterised by steep valleys, hills and sheltered harbours, Delting is home to the lively settlements of Brae and Voe and also the Sullom Voe oil terminal, while the scenic isle of Muckle Roe is joined to the mainland by a bridge.

Nesting and Lunnasting, settlements on the east side of the mainland, boast some popular beauty spots and are great locations for wildlife spotting.

Impossible to miss thanks to a rather grand Welcome to Northmavine sign, the area north of Mavis Grind offers miles of beautiful coastline, world-renowned geological features, beautiful beaches and historic fishing villages where you can see evidence of whaling station.

The West Mainland combined beaches and dramatic cliffs and the numerous sheltered inlets of water are a great place for a variety of watersports. There are modern marinas in Walls, Aith and Skeld, while Bixter Firth is a popular spot for fishing.

The coastal walk from Walls to Sandness will provide beautiful panoramic views, taking in the island of Foula and sea stacks by Deepdale.

Use the detailed information listings to find accommodation and plan a trip to these unique towns and villages in Shetland today.

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  1. Lerwick

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    Towns & Villages

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    Lerwick

    Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, has a strong fishing heritage and is famous for its annual winter fire festival, Up-Helly-Aa.

  2. South Mainland

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    Towns & Villages

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    South Mainland

    South Mainland is the narrow peninsula that runs 25 miles south from Lerwick to Sumburgh.

  3. Central Mainland

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    Towns & Villages

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    Central Mainland

    The busy fishing port of Scalloway, Shetland’s former capital, is the heart of Central Mainland, an area of striking contrasts.

  4. North Mainland

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    Towns & Villages

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    North Mainland

    North Mainland is the area of Mainland Shetland north of Voe and features some of Shetland’s most spectacular scenery.

  5. West Mainland

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    Towns & Villages

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    West Mainland

    West Mainland is known for the amount of sunshine it gets, particularly in the summer months, and has great walking and wildlife watching opportunities.

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