COVID-19 update: Shetland is open to visitors, in line with Scottish Government guidance. Please read our information on travelling responsibly.

Rediscover Shetland

by Promote Shetland -

Shetlanders are now at liberty to travel and no longer have to remain within five miles of their homes. While the threat of coronavirus hasn’t gone away, we are encouraging islanders to make the most of what’s on their doorsteps this summer, particularly when the options to travel further afield are still limited.

As the video above shows, we are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places in the British Isles. Get outside, enjoy the sights and support the local economy as much as you can.

Where can you go?

Now that the five-mile travel restrictions have eased, Shetlanders can travel around the islands freely. There’s lots of inspiration on this website for places to go and things to see across the islands.

Shetland is a walker's paradise and there are plenty of coastal and inland walks to be enjoyed and explored. If you’re looking for a new walking route, check out our updated walking section of the website. You can search for walks based on area, length of walk and difficulty level. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes or boots and your waterproofs (just in case!). We also recommend taking a bottle of water and, if you're planning to make a day of it, a flask of tea and maybe some sandwiches for refreshment! Just remember to observe the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and be mindful of sheep, ponies and other wildlife.

If two wheels is more your style, we've also got an excellent selection of Shetland cycle routes for you to choose from. Again, these are based on area, duration and difficulty level.

Can I travel between islands?

Yes, the inter-island ferry services are now open to all travellers but they advise that if you do wish to travel to an island that you book your journey in advance. This applies to both car and foot passengers.

Please note also that ferries are no longer accepting cash payments, you must apply for an Account Card. You will then be billed in arrears at the end of each month for your journey/s. See the Shetland Islands Council website for more details.

Public buses are still running across Shetland and you can visit the ZetTrans website for the latest timetables.

What’s open?

Most shops are now reopen for business. If you’re planning a trip to Lerwick, check out the Spend at Da Street campaign, launched by Living Lerwick. If you spend £20 or more on one transaction in any of the participating shops you will receive a stamp on a loyalty card. Once the card is full (10 stamps), you’ll be entered into a draw to win £200 worth of vouchers to spend in the town. See the Living Lerwick website for more details.

It's worth noting that even though lockdown restrictions have eased, not all shops, restaurants and visitor attractions are open for business as usual. Some businesses have taken the decision to remain closed for the 2020 tourist season or for the time being at least, while others are operating to limited opening hours. To avoid disappointment, check before your travel if your favourite shops and visitor attractions are open again.

Things to be mindful of…

  • Face coverings are compulsory in shops across Shetland.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on public transport. Passengers must wear a face covering while travelling on local buses, in taxis, or in the enclosed areas on ferries, such as passenger lounges.
  • Check notices on the doors and windows of shops, visitor attractions, cafes etc., as they may be limiting the number of people they allow in.
  • Use contactless payment in local shops as much as possible.
  • Maintain the 2 metres social distancing guidelines, although this can be reduced to 1 metre on public transport and in retail outlets and indoor and outdoor hospitality venues, where agreed risk mitigation is in place.
  • Stick to designated footpaths and remember, if a gate is closed when you find it, remember to securely close it behind you.
  • Do not start fires or light BBQs on private farmland or open moorland.
  • Enjoy the countryside and open spaces but remember to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Everyone is adjusting to this new post-lockdown reality. Please continue to show respect and support towards your fellow islanders and the communities that we live in. After all, we’re all in this together!

Welcome back to Shetland.

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