A quick introduction
The Central Mainland is lush, fertile and steeped in history.
The village of Scalloway (meaning 'the bay of the booths') was Shetland's ancient capital until 1708. Today, it is the second biggest settlement on the Mainland after Lerwick.
In Norse times, Scalloway was the landing place for delegates attending Shetland's annual parliament or 'Ting', held on the Lawting Holm in Tingwall Loch, two miles north of the village.
West of Tingwall lie the communities of Whiteness and Weisdale. Whiteness' main feature is the long, narrow peninsula that gives the area its name. From the main road, there are spectacular views over Whiteness, Strom Ness and the islands that lie beyond.
The main road continues northwards through Weisdale, another of the valleys that run north to south through the Central Mainland. The view is dominated to the west by the steep slopes of Weisdale Hill but mellowed by Shetland's largest tree plantations at Kergord, towards the north end.
South of Scalloway are the islands of Trondra and Burra, accessible by car bridge. Trondra is a long, sparsely populated island which you pass through on to the way to Burra. Burra is, in fact, two islands, East Burra and West Burra; again, joined by a bridge.
The main settlement in West Burra is the village of Hamnavoe with its pretty harbour, boat marina and fishermen's cottages. East Burra is more sparsely populated but has plenty of attractions, including arts and crafts studios, horse riding and Shetland's only wallabies!
How to get to the Central Mainland
This area of Shetland is easily accessible by car. There are also regular public bus services to Scalloway and Burra (services 4 and 5) and to Tingwall and Weisdale (follow the routes to the West Mainland). See the ZetTrans website for more details.
Where to stay
There are plenty of self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation options for visitors in the Central Mainland. See our Accommodation page for a list of useful websites. There's also Nesbister camping bod in Whiteness and Bridgend Outdoor Centre and Caravan Park at Bridge End, Burra.