What to do and see in Mainland, United Kingdom (UK): The Best Places and Tips

March 23, 2018 Jacquiline Darosa

Discover the best top things to do in Mainland, United Kingdom (UK) including Shetland Museum and Archives, Croft House Museum, Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement, Scalloway Museum, Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Lerwick Visit Scotland Information Centre, Clickimin Broch, Scalloway Castle, St Ninian's Isle, Tangwick Haa Museum.
Restaurants in Mainland

1. Shetland Museum and Archives

Hays Dock, Lerwick ZE1 0WP, Scotland +44 1595 695057
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 682 reviews

Shetland Museum and Archives

Shetland Museum and Archives is located on Hay's Dock, which was restored during the building of this award winning visitor attraction.Discover the islands' many secrets through the exhibits and displays, and take a look in the boat shed where you can see demonstrations of traditional boat building skills. Also be sure to visit Da Gadderie, the museum's temporary exhibition area which hosts a diverse range of Exhibitions throughout the year.Shetland Museum and Archives is open daily and admission is free.

Reviewed By EcoArtTraveler - Billings, Montana

This is a fantastic museum, which appears to have been recently reinstalled / redesigned. The staff can be justly proud of their achievement. From dense exhibits of historic objects to more sparely designed Exhibitions, it is an excellent combination of interpretation and object. I would imagine they have still more in storage and were at pains to share as much as possible, but rather than seemingly confusingly crowded, their rich exhibit cases were well designed and thoughtfully equipped with just the right amount of text. It is a bit of a maze once you get into the main galleries, so if the day should ever come when more work is done, I'd pop another passageway or two in, but again, I'm sure the staff didn't want to leave out a single chapter of their history. Good little idea for indicating to visitors which objects are new acquisitions. Good hands-on exhibits and no audio features that didn't work (so annoying when that happens). We were there in advance of Up-Helly-Aa and were pleasantly surprised when the entire Guizer Jarl squad showed up. Wonderful afternoon.

2. Croft House Museum

Boddam, Dunrossness, | Dunrossness, Lerwick, Scotland +44 1950 460557
Excellent
78%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 107 reviews

Croft House Museum

Reviewed By KeithJenner - Barnsley, United Kingdom

This museum if very well presented and gives an interesting insight into how people used to live in the Shetlands.
Lots of detail, and there was plenty of information available. The people onsite seemed to be very knowledgable as well.
Certainly well worth visiting as an interesting and enjoyable stop.

3. Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland +44 1950 460112
Excellent
73%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 270 reviews

Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

The Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlements in Shetland are one of the most important and inspirational archaeological sites in Scotland. Jarlsholf is located at Sumburgh Head near the southern tip of Mainland Shetland. This extraordinary site has a complex of ancient settlements which cover more than 4,000 years of human history. You will be amazed to find such a range of archaeological treasures in one place, including late Neolithic houses, a Bronze Age village, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, a Norse longhouse, a medieval farmstead and a 16th century laird’s house. The fascinating interpretation centre houses a hands-on display of local materials traditionally used on site including wool, stone, slate and bone. Visitors can also learn all about prehistoric life and the history of the site.

Reviewed By roaming_kiwi58 - Christchurch, New Zealand

This is a really interesting site. There are 1000s of years of history here, and the different era are clearly displayed. We did Jarlshof as a shore excursion from our cruise ship moored in Lerwick. We had a great guide and really enjoyed this trip. It was quite cold and windy though! There is a good souvenir shop on site, but you have to go to the neighbouring hotel to use the toilets, or buy food/drink.

4. Scalloway Museum

Castle Street, Scalloway, Scotland +44 1595 880734
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Scalloway Museum

Reviewed By Clive M - Cambridge, United Kingdom

So many museums overwhelm with too many exhibits and a number underwhelm with very familiar types of exhibit. Scalloway manages to tread that delicate path between the two with enough to intrigue and inform without paralysing the brain with overload. The building is a nice...MoreMany thanks for your very comprehensive review and your lovely comments. You spoke to William Moore who's father owned the slipway where the Shetland Bus boats were taken out of the water and repaired. He therefore has a splendid knowledge about the Shetland Bus.

5. Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

Sumburgh ZE2 9JN, Scotland +44 1595 694688
Excellent
62%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 207 reviews

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

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.

Reviewed By GreenThumb331 - Manila, Philippines

This historical 1821 lighthouse is constructed on Sumburgh Head which is located at the southern tip of Mainland Shetland. The word Sumburgh means ‘south fortification’ from sunn, meaning south and burgh, meaning fortified place - this is the origin of the word broch. Sumburgh Head has played a role in protecting Shetland at several points in the story of the Islands beginning more than 2,000 years ago when people first began to defend themselves.

The lighthouse sits 100 meters above sea level on a rocky cliff. Because of its strategic location, it played a key role for the Royal Navy and Air Force during both world wars. Radars were installed o detect incoming attacks. Nowadays, tourists visit it to see the wonderful scenery. We saw many adorable puffins on the grassy cliff tops sitting just a few meters away. You can also see them gliding with the strong winds. It is now one of the most accessible seabird colonies in Britain.

6. Lerwick Visit Scotland Information Centre

Tourist Information Centre Market Cross | Market Cross, Lerwick ZE1 0LU, Scotland +44 1595 693434
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 149 reviews

Lerwick Visit Scotland Information Centre

At the Lerwick VisitScotland Information Centre we have an extensive range of information available and our friendly Visitor Services Advisers have an in-depth knowledge of Shetland, using our insider knowledge we will help you plan your Shetland Experience. In our shop we have a range of books, maps and gifts, we also highlight some of Shetland's many excellent craft producers with Fair Isle Knitting, Shetland Tweed, Lace Knitting, Shetland Fudge & Shetland Deli products available.

Reviewed By edwmagee - London

Good range of gifts and very helpful staff and very reasonable priced. Staff answered all our questions efficiently and gave advice about parking and directions

7. Clickimin Broch

South Road, Lerwick, Scotland
Excellent
51%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 194 reviews

Clickimin Broch

Reviewed By Clive M - Cambridge, United Kingdom

Brochs always seem to feel very mysterious - their form and function appear obvious but the more you look around them, the less confident you feel that you properly understand them. Clickimin is no different. What adds to the sense of disorientation is its location: just opposite a Tesco's superstore on the outskirts of Lerwick. Originally surrounded by water and approached via a causeway, the lake is lower nowadays and so the broch is joined to the land. The main walls have been restored to about 10 feet. There are a number of buildings round the periphery of the tower and a stone with very indistinct feet cut into it. Worth a visit and you can do your weekly shop at the same time!

8. Scalloway Castle

Castlehaven Castle Street, Scalloway, Scotland
Excellent
29%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 120 reviews

Scalloway Castle

Reviewed By Clive M - Cambridge, United Kingdom

Patrick Stewart's rule over Orkney and Shetland although brief was tyrannical. It resulted, however, in two splendid buildings: the Earl's Place in Kirkwall, Orkney and Scalloway Castle on Shetland. There is enough left at Scalloway to clearly sense Black Pattie's vaulting ambition although the top two floors are missing. There are some information panels which are more or less helpful. There is a very brief guide kun the museum - it is hard to understand why Historic Scotland do not provide something more substantial, as at Kirkwall, about this interesting building and the life of the notorious Patrick Stewart.

9. St Ninian's Isle

Bigton, Scotland
Excellent
81%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 61 reviews

St Ninian's Isle

Reviewed By GreenThumb331 - Manila, Philippines

A short drive to St. Ninian was the first thing we did on this cruise visit to the Shetland Islands. We stopped at what looked like a rural agricultural area and viewed the beach connecting St. Ninian’s from across. The strong winds and drizzle prevented us from going nearer. In the island, there was a discovery of 28 pieces of 8th century silver under the church by a schoolboy excavating the area in 1958. The treasure was supposed to be a collection by a family hidden from the Viking raiders during this time.
We took some photos of the beach and the scenery instead.

10. Tangwick Haa Museum

Tangwick, Brae, Scotland +44 1806 503389
Excellent
58%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 53 reviews

Tangwick Haa Museum

Reviewed By Faedanorth - Lerwick, United Kingdom

Firstly I would point out that Tangwick Haa is NOT in Brae, it is between Hillswick and Eshaness. Nevertheless it is well worth a visit, with an amazing amount of local history included and many interesting exhibits. No entrance charge but donations welcome. It has had modern toilet facilities installed since our last visit. One point for those with mobility problems - about half the museum is on the first floor accessed only by a staircase.

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