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Location Spotlight - Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

Being from the Shetland Islands, I am always on a flight back up for a bit of an escape. It's the perfect place to unwind, be surrounded in nature, while having a bit of a staycation. But, being from Shetland also means I never do the more tourist sort of things! So it was a lovely change to head up to Sumburgh Lighthouse on my most recent trip to the islands.


When visiting the Shetland Islands, fully expect your flights to be delayed. I would say that 90% of the flights I take are delayed by at least half an hour. So on my last day in Shetland this June, it was no surprise to get that dreaded message from Loganair, saying my flight was going to be delayed by a couple hours. And, of course, I still had to check in at the original time. So instead of sitting in departures for hours, I dropped my bags off at check-in and went and explored. I couldn't help feeling like I was doing something illegal! Checking-in and leaving my bags there. But with a colony of puffins on the cliffs nearby, it was completely worth it. The weather wasn't ideal, but the rough waves and wind give such a wild atmosphere. It did mean the birds were taking cover though so I was hoping for slightly better photos. I definitely recommend visiting when the weather is calmer.



Location

The lighthouse is on the most southern point in Shetland and is just a five minute drive from the main airport in Shetland, Sumburgh airport. From Lerwick, it is about a half hour drive.


History

The oldest lighthouse in Shetland, built in the 1820s. In the 1990s the lighthouse buildings were converted into holiday accommodation and now has a visitor centre and is classed as a nature reserve.


Nature

Visit the lighthouse in Summer and the cliffs and sea will be packed with wildlife. The seabirds you can spot include Fulmars, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Shags and, of course, Puffins. If you're lucky, you can spot cetaceans in the ocean including porpoises, dolphins, seals, minke whales, orcas and sometimes even humpback whales. It is important to respect the habitat these animals live in when visiting though.



Shetland Islands, Scottish island coast and cliffs with coastal wildflowers and waves crashing
Sumburgh Head Coast

If you love these landscapes and wildlife, check out my homewares and prints for all things inspired by the Scottish coast and nature!



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