Attractions on the South Mainland of Shetland

The South Mainland boasts some of Shetland's most attractive scenery, an extraordinary concentration of archaeological sites, and world-class wildlife attractions in its seabird cliffs, wildfowl lochs, seal rookeries and whale-watching viewpoints.

Old Scatness

This fascinating multi period archaeological site features reconstructed period houses. 

Mousa Broch

One of the iconic images of Shetland, Mousa Broch is the finest surviving example of a 2,000 year old Iron Age tower, or broch. It was one of about 120 built throughout Shetland.The purpose of brochs is still open to conjecture although their location and construction point to some form of defensive structure.

The Crofthouse Museum

South of Boddam, the custodian welcomes visitors at the Shetland Crofthouse Museum, a homestead restored as it would have appeared about 100 years ago.


Officially described as "one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles", Jarlshof came to light a hundred years ago when violent storms exposed massive stonework under a grassy mound above the beach at the West Voe of Sumburgh.

Sumburgh Head

Shetland's first lighthouse, on Sumburgh Head, is a Grade A listed building. Built by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson, who accompanied Sir Walter Scott to Shetland in 1814, a cruise that produced his novel 'The Pirate', set around Jarlshof and Fitful Head. The area around the lighthouse is also home to a great many seabirds and is one of the easiest locations for spotting puffins anywhere in the British Isles. Visit the Sumburgh Head website
to find out more.

Quendale Mill

Under the shadow of Fitful Head, this powerful water mill was a labour-saving revolution for farmers and crofters in the late 1860's replacing traditional 'click-mills' and hand querns for grinding cereals.
Beautifully restored the mill now houses a visitor centre with an exhibition of old farming methods and croft implements. A video shows the original mill machinery in action. There are facilities for the disabled.

St Ninian's Isle

St Ninian's Isle became famous in 1958, when a schoolboy helping at an archaeological dig on the island's tiny Celtic chapel discovered a hoard of silver bowls and ornaments.

The treasure, believed to date from around 800AD, is kept in Edinburgh but replicas are displayed at the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick.

Catpund Quarry

A remarkable Viking quarry is hidden away on the hillside above the main A970 road from Sandwick to Cunningsburgh - where the ancient inhabitants of Shetland worked steatite, or soapstone. The rock is soft and easy to carve but hardens when subjected to heat.
Betty Mouats Camping Böd Sketch
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Shetland Charitable Trust Logo Address: Shetland Amenity Trust, Garthspool, Lerwick, Shetland ZE1 0NY