Lerwick Tourist Attractions
The largest island (54mi/86.4km long) is Mainland. Its uneven coastline has so many fjords and inlets that nowhere on the narrow strip of land is further than 3mi/4.8km from the sea. Lerwick (pop. 7,600), the islands' administrative center, lies on the east coast in a bay sheltered by the offshore island of Bressay and is Great Britain's northernmost town. The first settlers in Lerwick were Dutch fishermen who came during the 16th century. Herring fishing, which helped to establish the town's prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, remains an important industry alongside supplying the drilling rigs. Places of interest are few; the attraction of the town lies in its narrow alleys that wind up the slope from the main Commercial Road to the upper town.
Shetland Islands Museum
The Shetland Museum on Lower Hillhead documents the history and unique features of the islands.The lower gallery highlights Shetland's history from its geological beginnings to circa 1800.
Address: The Hillhead, Lerwick ZE1 0EL, Scotland
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm
Always closed on: Bank Holiday - Scotland (Jan 2), New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee: FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Typical Visit: 1 hour
Fort Charlotte, named after George III's wife, dominates the harbor area of Lerwick. These fortifications which were built in 1655 following John Mylne's design were burnt down by the Dutch in 1672 and then the English rebuilt them in 1781. At the turn of the century the fort became a prison, but it is now used to train cadets. A fine panoramic view of Lerwick is possible from the clock tower above the town hall, which was built in 1882 from Bressay sandstone.