Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
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Approximately 2½ Hours
Meals not included
Begin your tour with a brief panoramic orientation drive through Lerwick, the only town in Shetland. This tiny capital dates from the 1600s. From there, you'll head to the central and west mainland. A half-hour drive brings you to Scalloway, the former Shetland capital.
Arrive into Scalloway passing by the Castle, built in 1600 by the pompous tyrant earl Patrick Stewart by way of forced labor, oppression, extortion, and outrageous taxation of the poor. In completely unrelated news, Patrick and his equally unpopular son were later beheaded. Scalloway castle was eventually used as the administrative center for Shetland and as a barracks for Oliver Cromwell's troops (1650s). Although the original tower house has been restored, the surrounding walls and buildings are gone.
The Scalloway Museum houses a special Shetland bus exhibit, depicting the village's unique role in world war ii. The story of the Shetland bus goes back to the German occupation of Norway resulting in a stream of refugees heading to Shetland. Norwegians began training with units of the British armed forces, knowing that there were thousands of Norwegian servicemen hiding in their own country who needed only arms and communications to become an effective underground movement. It's a great story.
Stop to visit carol's ponies. Carol breeds top-quality animals and is a true enthusiast. She, or a member of her staff, will be delighted to share with you their knowledge of these hardy beasts.
Passing through peat- and heather-covered landscapes, you'll begin the return journey to Lerwick. Snap some photos of the spectacular vistas of many of the islands that make up the Shetland archipelago and hear more about Shetland’s culture and heritage from your local guide.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.