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Sea cliffs, grassy headlands, and sparkling blue waters make Sumburgh one of the most breathtaking places in the Shetland, a group of islands above the Scotland. It is a settlement in the Shetlands, located at the south end of the mainland on Sumburgh Head. Only a few number of people live in Sumburgh, with only about a hundred or so people going around the area.

When exploring the area, tourists will find bare, peat-covered landscapes and a maze of sea lochs, bays, and inlets. This distinctive appearance of the land makes it separate from Scotland's highlands and other natural features. Sumburgh, as part of the Shetlands, is also a hub of Viking expansions interspersed with Nordic culture. Such natural beauty and culture make Sumburgh a fascinating place to check out, especially when one needs a getaway.

What to see & do

When checking out Sumburgh, one can turn to Sumburgh Head, which is located at the southern tip of the Shetland mainland. The head is about 100 metres high with a rocky spur, where the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse was built. It was said that Robert Stevenson was the engineer in charge of the project when construction started in 1819. The Sumburgh Head Visitor Centre features several displays here, explaining about the lighthouse, foghorn, and radar station that were once set up here. Tours of the lighthouse can also be arranged. Those going around will also find that the cliffs can be a birdwatcher's paradise, due to the large number of seabirds. It was also classified as a nature reserve kept by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Birds are not the only major attraction in Sumburgh, as there are also whales and dolphins that often swim by the area. The Sumburgh Head is a popular viewing point, which can be exciting, especially during the prime season for whale migration across the sea. Vast quantities of seals basking on the rocks, with otters in the remoter coastal areas can also be found within the surrounding parts of the island. Those with a penchant for fishing can also go on to the lochs, where trout is the main catch. Sea angling and cruising with a bot can also be possible, with white fish as the leading type of seafood to here.

Exploring will also let one get to the Old Scatness, which brings to life Shetland's prehistory. There are guides wearing Iron Age clothes to lead visitors to the site, which has provided clues on a possible Viking takeover. There was also a broch from approximately 300 BCE, as well as roundhouses and wheelhouses. Jarlshof, another archaeological dig also features several periods of occupation by the vikings between 2,500 BCE to 1500 CE.

How to get around within Sumburgh

An extensive bus network of Zetrans can be found going to all corners of the Mainland and on the ferry to the islands of Yell and Unst. Tourists can also tour the area and the rest of the islands by ferry services. Rental cars can also be arranged in the island, which can suit those who have a detailed itinerary. Bicycles are also available for rent. Inter-island travel, on the other hand, is also possible from Tingwall airport, about 28 miles from Sumburgh Airport.

How to get there

Tourists who want to visit the area of Sumburgh can arrange flights venturing to Sumburgh Airport. Bergen Air Transport, Directflight, and Flybe offer transport services, which let one get to this part of the Shetlands. Northlink Ferries between Aberdeen and Lerwick also run overnight services, which also stop at Kirkwall, Orkney.

Images by Flickr\60North

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