Lerwick, Scotland | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Lerwick, Scotland

Lerwick is the main port of Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is centered 123 miles (200 km) off the north coast of the Scottish mainland and on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland. Lerwick is 211 miles (340 km) north-by-northeast of Aberdeen, 222 miles (357 km) west of the similarly sheltered port of Bergen in Norwayand 228 miles (367 km) southeast of Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands.
Lerwick, Shetland's only burgh, is the most northerly and most easterly town in Scotland.

Lerwick is a busy fishing and ferry port. The harbor also services vessels supporting the offshore oil industry.
Lerwick has an oceanic climate (Cfb) closely bordering on the subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) with cool to cold temperatures all year long.
Significant... Read more

Lerwick, Scotland


Lerwick is the main port of Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is centered 123 miles (200 km) off the north coast of the Scottish mainland and on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland. Lerwick is 211 miles (340 km) north-by-northeast of Aberdeen, 222 miles (357 km) west of the similarly sheltered port of Bergen in Norwayand 228 miles (367 km) southeast of Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands.
Lerwick, Shetland's only burgh, is the most northerly and most easterly town in Scotland.

Lerwick is a busy fishing and ferry port. The harbor also services vessels supporting the offshore oil industry.
Lerwick has an oceanic climate (Cfb) closely bordering on the subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) with cool to cold temperatures all year long.
Significant buildings in Lerwick include Fort Charlotte, Lerwick Town Hall, the Böd of Gremista, Shetland Museum and Archives and Clickimin Broch.
Because of the historic nature of the area, some scenes from BBC's Shetland (TV series) were filmed in Lerwick.

Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Lerwick, Scotland: Port Information

Smaller cruise ships can dock at the pier. It is about 1 mile from the pier to the city center - you can take advantage of free shuttle service. 
However, usually, liners anchor offshore, and passengers are transported ashore by tender boats to the tender cruise dock - from there, you can easily get in the town on foot. 
Taxis are available at both docks.

Get around Lerwick, Scotland

By car

There are a number of car hire firms. They all have offices in Lerwick and all can also arrange for vehicles to be collected either at the ferry terminal or airport.

By bus

A number of firms operate bus services in Shetland. The local council maintains timetable information.

By boat

A number of the islands are connected to each other and the Shetland Mainland by small ferries operated by Shetland Islands Council. Most of these ferries are a roll-on/roll-off type that can carry vehicles and passengers.

By taxi

There are many taxi firms in Lerwick and all taxis are licensed by the local council. There is a taxi rank located on Victoria Pier which is in the center of town.

What to see in Lerwick, Scotland

  • Fort Charlotte

    . Keys available from staff on site Mon - Fri. A five-sided artillery fort, built in 1665.
  • Clickimin Broch

    (1 km SW of Lerwick, just after the roundabout on South Road), ☎ +44 1856 841815. A Broch (circular castle) occupied between 700BC and 600AD. It was built on an island on Loch of Clickimin, but this is now joined to the shore.
  • Shetland Museum and Archives

    . M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00. Great museum near the bus station with the natural history, archeology, history, and anthropology of the islands. Free.

What to do in Lerwick, Scotland

  • Clickimin Leisure Complex (Located next to the Clickimin Loch, it is well signposted). Shetland's largest leisure center has a fantastic swimming pool and is a great place for other sporting activities as well, a great place for the whole family. It is reasonably priced.
  • Lerwick Up Helly Aa. Is held on the last Tuesday in January. It is a fire festival celebrating the influence of the Vikings on Scotland, culminating in the burning of a Viking galley.

What to eat and drink in Lerwick, Scotland


  • Havly Cafe, 9 Charlotte St., ZE1 0JL, ☎ +44 1595 692100. Small cafe with hot drinks, light food, and baked goods. Has free wifi.
  • The Peerie Shop Cafe, Esplanade.
  • Paparazzi, 88 Commercial Street, ☎ +44 1595 696005. Small pizza/burger joint and bar.
  • Grand Hotel, Commercial St. They have a formal restaurant as well as a more informal lounge to get food at. Serves locally sourced food.
  • Queen's Hotel, Commercial St. They have a restaurant that is accessible from the opposite side of the building from their bar. Reservations are suggested as they can get quite busy in the evening.
  • Fort Cafe & Take Away, 2 Commercial Road. The best fish & chip shop in Shetland.


Lerwick has a few pubs and bars. Some are pubs on their own and some are hotel bars that are open to and frequented by nonresidents:

  • Thule. Not the most salubrious of bars but generally always busy at the weekend. Boilersuits and work boots are a perfectly acceptable dress!
  • The Lounge. This centrally located bar is popular with locals and visitors. There are two parts to it; the downstairs is the "public bar" which is very basic, Upstairs the "lounge" bar is much nicer and far more comfortable. Quite often has impromptu live traditional music.
  • The Douglas Arms (Marlex), 67 Commercial Street. Another bar that is really two bars in one. The public bar is again very basic. The Lounge bar half is far more cozy with dark wood tables and a fireplace.
  • Captain Flints. A pirate theme bar right in the center of Lerwick. Can be very busy at times
  • Da Wheel Bar, 13 Commercial Road, ZE1 0LX. There are two bars here. The "public bar" is located downstairs and has a pool table and the "lounge bar" has a big dance floor.
  • The Ferry Inn
  • Da Noost
  • The Queens Hotel
  • The Grand Hotel

Shopping in Lerwick, Scotland

Lerwick is renowned for having one of the best town centers in Scotland with a great variety of local shops.
  • Anderson & Co, 60-62 Commercial Street. Various clothing items.
  • High-Level Music, 62 Commercial Street. Music.
  • Shetland Fudge Company, Esplanade. Very nice fudge handmade in Shetland.
  • The Wine Shop, Commercial Street (next to tourist info). Various different wines from around the world as well as liquor and beer, including local brews.
  • The Toll Clock Shopping Centre, 26 North Road. Scotlands most northernly indoor shopping center has a great variety of local shops and is a perfect place to go if the weather turns bad.
  • Harry's Department Store, Esplanade. Big department store selling a variety of items.
  • Westside Pine, Esplanade. Sells a variety of items made from pine wood.
  • Rod and Line, Harbour Street. Fishing supplies shop.

Safety in Lerwick, Scotland

From a crime perspective, Shetland is an extremely safe place. If you are mugged, robbed or treated with anything other than courtesy during your stay, you can consider yourself extremely unlucky. Outside Lerwick, it is common for doors to be left unlocked, and it is perhaps some indication of the general lack of crime that the theft of someones' wallet from an unattended house in Yell made the number one spot on the local radio news for three days. Drug use is reputed to be on the upturn, and CCTV cameras have recently been introduced in Lerwick, but Shetland is still a very quiet and peaceful place when compared to other locations in the United Kingdom (and the rest of the world).

The main hazards in the islands tend to be environmental rather than human-derived. Bonxies (great skuas) and other seabirds can be aggressive if you approach their nests during the breeding season, and will attempt to dive-bomb you. The best solution is to keep to the paths, but holding an arm or a stick above your head will generally keep them off. Take care next to clifftop areas, as outside the main tourist locations there are no warning signs or fenced-off areas, and these can be unstable. Coastal waters can be very rough and tides strong, so you are better accompanied by a local guide when kayaking unless you are very experienced and know the area.

For emergency services (police, ambulance, fire brigade, coastguard) ring '999'.

Tap water is safe to drink. There are no endemic diseases requiring special vaccinations. In areas frequented by sheep, watch out for ticks which can occasionally carry disease. There are no poisonous snakes or other creatures.

Language spoken in Lerwick, Scotland

As elsewhere in the United Kingdom, English is the official language and is universally spoken. Native Shetlanders have a unique accent and dialect which reflects the mixed Scottish and Norwegian influences on the islands. It is common for locals to speak 'standard English' (with a Shetland Scots accent) to visitors, and a more deeply dialected version of the language between themselves. The official website of the Shetland Dialect group gives some audio examples of Shetland speech from different areas of Shetland ForWirds. Note that the former language of Shetland was Old Norn (spoken in some areas into 19th Century) and that Scots Gaelic has never been part of the local linguistic tradition.

Many dialect words heard in common use reflect local wildlife and conditions, and some, such as 'bonxie' for the great skua have slipped into mainstream English. Many other dialect words are similar or identical to mainland Scots.

Here is a short list of expressions peculiar to local dialect.
  • Tamie — Puffin
  • Draastie — Otter
  • Solan Goose — Gannet
  • Peerie — small
  • Simmer Dim — summer twilight
  • Voe — inlet of water
  • Haaf — deep sea fishing


9:42 am
May 22, 2022


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