5 Stars for Sumburgh Visitor Centre!

by Helen Smith -

The Sumburgh Visitor Centre opened just last year, but it's already a must-see visitor attraction with world-class facilities. I took time out to visit the centre, along with my son to explore the site and catch up with Operations Manager, Angela Hunt to find out what she's got planned for the season.

The South-end attraction was officially opened last summer by HRH The Princess Royal following an extensive refurbishment programme of the lighthouse buildings, led by Shetland Amenity Trust. This is the first time it has been subject to a grading inspection and the Trust, along with on-site partners RSPB Scotland, are delighted with the outcome.

Quality Tourism Advisor, Alan Kinnaird, who conducted the unannounced inspection on behalf of Visit Scotland commented in his report: “The new Visitor Centre has been finished to a very high standard and is a real asset for Shetland… The exhibitions are all very well presented and it was good to see all the interactive aspects throughout.”

The opening times for Visitor Centre facilities at Sumburgh Head have been extended this year, following feedback from visitors in the first season. The indoor exhibition areas, Gift Shop and toilets are now available until 5.30pm daily with plans for late night openings on summer evenings for special events.

The Artists in Residence programme has been extended and there are plans for additional events throughout the year, with the Shetland Nature Festival coming up in July. The Northern Lighthouse Board is currently preparing the Lighthouse Tower for public access, which will allow Sumburgh Head Visitor Service Assistants to lead tours inside the Tower.

Angela Hunt, Operations Manager at Sumburgh Head said today “I am delighted that we have achieved the highest possible grading for the Visitor Attraction here at Sumburgh Head. It's a testament to the thought and hard work that went into creating this fantastic facility, and to the ongoing dedication to excellence of the team here on site, and the support given by the rest of the Shetland Amenity Trust staff.

Visitors come here expecting quality, and a memorable experience, and we will continue to make sure we give them just that.”

Details of opening times, events and facilities at Sumburgh Head can be found on the website at www.sumburghhead.com or by following the Facebook page.