Shetland (1 Viewer)

Feb 9, 2008
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Hi, we are planning to visit family in Shetland this year instead of heading to France. Does anyone have any experience of the Northlink ferries from Aberdeen to Lerwick?

We are intending spending a week or ten days up there, any tips or local knowledge would be useful.

many thanks
Bill
 

madbluemad

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Hi
We are thinking of doing the same thing this year and would be interested in any responses. By typing the word bump in to the post it revives it, thats to say it doesnt get lost simply because nobody has had the chance to read it and respond

Cheers Jim :Smile:

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tink

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NOT CHEAP but a fantastic sea journey ,if its in your budget book a cabin (it's a long overnight sea crossing) only one crossing a day .I think it leaves Aberdeen about 1700 arrives Lerwick about 0700. Good council run campsite in Lerwick follow sign for Clickimin leisure centre site at back of leisure centre .If your into wild camping loads of places for that in stunning scenery. Shetland must be one of the safest places to wild camp & the people are the friendliest you will meet, with any luck I will be back there the end of this month.
 

algill

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Hi Tink

Do you take the 5ver up there? What's the road network like?

Would love to go there sometime. :Smile:
 

PilgrimPhil

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Shetland could be clogged up with motorhomes this year as we intend to visit too!

Be aware that there is a motorbike rally on the Isles sometime in early June I think.

On the Knaus Owners website there is a "Members Trip" article by "Alan & Jacky" about their Scottish trip that takes in Shetland & Orkney.

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We have certainly picked up some tips from this article + we have also made contact with a Shetland resident who is also a motorhomer and he has given us usual ideas for wildcamping etc.

I worked on the construction of the Sullom Voe oil terminal between 1977 & 79 and always wanted to return & visit it "properly". Just need three weeks off work to do it from Norfolk!

PilgrimPhil
 

scotjimland

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I used to fly out of Shetland when I worked off shore, to me it looked like a barren wasteland, no trees, windy most of the time and cold.. certainly didn't inspire me to visit as a tourist..
If you are into wildlife and ancient stones it's supposed to be awesome.. personally I think mainland Scotland has much more to offer.. and the ferry is very expensive.

I imagine most of the roads away from the towns are single track with passing places, not ideal for a big RV ..
 

madbluemad

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Shetland could be clogged up with motorhomes this year as we intend to visit too!

Be aware that there is a motorbike rally on the Isles sometime in early June I think.

On the Knaus Owners website there is a "Members Trip" article by "Alan & Jacky" about their Scottish trip that takes in Shetland & Orkney.

Link Removed

We have certainly picked up some tips from this article + we have also made contact with a Shetland resident who is also a motorhomer and he has given us usual ideas for wildcamping etc.

I worked on the construction of the Sullom Voe oil terminal between 1977 & 79 and always wanted to return & visit it "properly". Just need three weeks off work to do it from Norfolk!

PilgrimPhil

Hi Pilgrim. I worked there too, at the same time

Jim:Smile:

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PilgrimPhil

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Northlink ferry to Lerwick & back now booked - Two weeks on the islands - Sat 9th to Sat 23rd May + the first three nights at the Clickimin site in Lerwick.

All done over the phone with Camping & Caravan Club - 10% discount on ferry cost.

By not using a cabin, the cost is £342 rather than over £500!


Looking forward to this trip - a return to Shetland after over 30 years.

Just hope for some clement weather!!

PilgrimPhil
 

ClareE

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I used to fly out of Shetland when I worked off shore, to me it looked like a barren wasteland, no trees, windy most of the time and cold.. certainly didn't inspire me to visit as a tourist..
If you are into wildlife and ancient stones it's supposed to be awesome.. personally I think mainland Scotland has much more to offer.. and the ferry is very expensive.

I imagine most of the roads away from the towns are single track with passing places, not ideal for a big RV ..

How expensive is very expensive? we have relatives in Shetland and would love to visit them but air fares are huge so taking M/H on ferry seems a good options - but would need to be in July or August....
 

tink

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Hi Tink

Do you take the 5ver up there? What's the road network like?

Would love to go there sometime. :Smile:

Sorry Al missed your post only just read it:Doh: No never took the 5ver to Shetland only because I just love the ride up there on the m/cycle, every 2 years they have a fantastic classic vehicle show everything from stationary engines to big American trucks the next one is next year usually in June I will post dates when I get them.
 
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WillH
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"How expensive is very expensive? we have relatives in Shetland and would love to visit them but air fares are huge so taking M/H on ferry seems a good options - but would need to be in July or August...."

There is a deal giving 30% off if your family in Shetland register for the "friends and family ' deal with Northlink Ferries.

We are hoping to use this.

rgds
Bill

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daveyboy

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i used to live on the shetlands and my eldest daughter was born there , well on unst to be exact ( the northern most island) and its a fantastic place.
irrespective of hardly any trees the scenery and the wildlife is amazing.
the people are the friendliest you will find.
i was stuck on the middle island (yell) one night , because the weather was that bad the inter island boat could,nt sail.
i sat at the ferry terminal in my land rover watching the sunset and watching sea otters swim past and the seals in the distance. after an hour i thought i better find a place to sleep
i went into the village pub to see if there was any b+b,s and got chatting to a few locals. then a couple who where working at the sullom voe oil terminal put me up for the night in there house.
i had known them for 10 minutes.:thumb:

i was,nt in to camping back then so i did,nt really keep an eye out for campsites but i do know that there are,nt many.
however i do know for a fact that motorhomes and caravans can park up in lerwicks sports centre car park for the night.

you must travel up to unst and see the sights. muness castle seems a favourite but its a bit small and boring.
Mucka Flugga lighthouse is a must, you can drive nearly right up to it. my friend used to live in the lighthouse keepers cottage.

biggest thing on unst is the birdlife, although the fishing is good.

call in at britains most northernly post office at haroldswick to post your postcards.

the nearby baltasound hotel ( nicknamed balty towers) is an experience not to be missed on the friday nights. the locals love the drink but are friendly with it.

i used to be stationed at raf saxa vord in the 90,s and although military personnel had to serve 18 months up there we done 3 years. yes it was that good.
the camp has long closed, but it it now a conference center of all things and the old quarters are hire cottages,
also the old officers mess in now a really fancy restaurant.

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get yourself booked in for a meal.


word of warning with the inter island ferries. in peak times they get really busy. whilst you can just turn up and get on the boat i would recommend booking in advance.

as i said people are so friendly and if you speak nicely to the crofters im sure they will let you park overnight on their land for a small donation.

incidentally,
i was a bus driver up there for the raf and even britains most northerly bus shetler is world famous. it even hs its own website.lol.

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if you are lucky some return sailings from lerwick call in at stromness, orkney. usually around tea time.
get off the boat (you have plenty of time) and go straight to the fish and chip shop on the harbour. best chippy in the world bah none.

hope you have a great trip.
look forward to hearing about it.
 
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daveyboy

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always gets me when people say the ferry is expensive.
this aint no dover calais 1 hour crossing.
its 16 hours. , more like a cruise .
in the winter its more like that film "the perfect storm" rough, aint the word.
 

PilgrimPhil

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Just returned from our two week trip to Shetland - wonderful time - everyone so friendly and accomodating.

Wild camping is actively encouraged and there are some super "out of the way" locations to spend a couple of nights [like a cemetery car park!!]

if anyone wants some first hand information, please PM me

PilgrimPhil
 

duetto owner

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I am surprised the ferry goes from aberdean, the top of scotland would be more practicle and half the journey.

note never been that far north but will one day its in my list.

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alf

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duetto owner
It also requires a deep water port have a look at a map of scotland and note the ports the ferrys sail from
most goods to and from shetland are for lowland Scotland / England and Europe the ferrys go the most economical route

note
the Itinerants in scotland are refered to as tinkers so be aware
Alf
 

PilgrimPhil

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Shetland trip

Evidence of our Shetland trip can be seen in the April edition of Practical Motorhome - Page 17!

We await the arrival of the Aires books for when we finally venture across the Channel.

PilgrimPhil
 

barryd

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You could go via Orkney and sail from (I think) Scrabster which is a short crossing. See a bit of Orkney then go on the Shetland from there and its only 6 hours I think. We did it the other way around. Sailed from Aberdeen and came back via Orkney. The crossing from Aberdeen goes on for ever and unless your prepared to have a long night on the beer (as I did) I would book a cabin.

From memory the roads are very good and traffic isnt heavy. The inter island ferries are cheap as well. A tenner each way we paid about 6 years ago. Unst is definately worth a visit. I think the site is down at the moment but the Millenium bus shelter is fasinating as is the whole island. http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/islandblogging/blogs/005163/0000009179.shtml

Its not everyones cup of tea but if you like wild out of the way places its worth a visit but I would definately recommend doing both Shetland and Orkney at the same time.
 
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WillH
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We are going back this year and visiting friends in Orkney on the way up. This way my dog is seperated from us for the least amount of time. Our trip last year was really good, only one day of rain in a week.

This time it's Scrabster to Kirkwall then Kirkwall to Lerwick just for a change. Looking forward to it as we haven't been on Orkney for a few years now.
 

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