Moving south from Lerwick, the Hoswick visitor centre in Sandwick offers an unusual but fascinating collection. In part, it celebrates local knitting and weaving, and you can see huge looms and admire contemporary local knitwear; there’s more knitwear to explore in the nearby knitwear factory and a nearby designer’s outlet.
Another feature of the museum is an astonishing collection of radio equipment, taking up an entire wall of the building. Around half of them – the domestic radios and radiograms – stir nostalgia in older visitors and curiosity in younger ones. However, the display of a variety of professional radio equipment, with labels that reveal their purpose, is equally fascinating.
At Hoswick, you can also learn about a piece of legal history known as the Hoswick whale case, when – thanks to the passing of the Crofting Act 1880 – crofters were able successfully to challenge the laird’s claim to the 380 whales that had been driven ashore on the beach.
Entry to the visitor centre is free, though donations are very welcome. It includes a cafe serving snacks and some delicious cakes.