The Shetland’s, located 112 miles from the most northerly point to the southern tip, is the cross-roads of the northern seas, and unlike anywhere else in Scotland. They roll out in a long vista of moor and wiry pasture, penetrated by great sea inlets. As you come ashore, you’ll notice the main town of Lerwick, with its narrow Main Street and small shops. Climbing out of Lerwick, the road travels south and you’ll soon be seeing the vistas of hillsides. Travel to Scalloway, the former capital of the Shetland’s and see the Scalloway Castle, a forbidding ruin dominating the town, built by Earl Patrick Stewart in 1600 using forced local labor. Stewart was the notorious despot who tyrannized Orkney and the Shetland’s, where he extorted crushing taxes and fines from the people.
His cruelty eventually led to his downfall and in 1615, he and his son were executed in Edinburgh. Built in medieval style, the roofless shell, with corner turrets and gables, stands on a narrow promontory by the water. Today, it stands side by side with the commerce of a busy fishing port, a silent sentinel. Your tour route then heads towards the fertile Tingwall Valley. The road passes a collection of farm buildings, and then suddenly there are belts of trees, rising abruptly amongst the barren hills. From the comparatively tranquil landscapes of the Tingwall Valley, you’ll head towards Weisdale Voe where the landscape changes dramatically. Here you’ll visit the small workshops of Shetland jewelers which manufacture a range of silver and gold jewelry featuring Celtic, Viking and local wildlife designs. The showroom also stocks a selection of local crafts. The excursion itinerary then takes to the eastern side of mainland Shetland and returns towards Lerwick.