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Community / Sumburgh Head Lighthouse to reopen next weekend

Photo: Susan Molloy

A BLAST of the foghorn at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse next weekend will mark the start of the 2022 season.

The visitor centre will open from Saturday 2 April ahead of the summer season.

The foghorn will be sounded at noon that day by retained lightkeeper Brian Johnson.

People will get the chance to win a competition to be the lightkeeper’s assistant on the day.

Meanwhile on 2 April the ticket office will open at 10am, and all ticket holders are invited to an outside guided tour at 11am, followed by the customary blast of the foghorn.

Katja Stübiger’s popular ‘Unken Kaffee’ will also be open.

The refurbished Sumburgh lighthouse visitor centre is one of the trust's flagship projects.

Sumburgh Head site manager Jane Outram said: “Since last season the lighthouse and surrounding buildings have been painted and everything is looking bright and fresh ready for the start of a busy year.

“The blasting of the foghorn always attracts a good crowd and our lucky competition winner will help Brian to open the final valve to sound the foghorn whilst the three runners up will each be given the chance to help start one of the engines.

“All the details on how to enter the competition are on the Sumburgh Head website and social media pages. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 30 March.”

Meanwhile puffins are expected on the waters off Sumburgh from the beginning of April and back on the cliffs shortly after.

Alison Moncrieff, chair of operator Shetland Amenity Trust, added: “We would like to thank everyone who has supported Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre over the years and especially during Covid.

“Sumburgh Head is entirely funded by tickets sales and charitable donations. It is an outstanding spot with so much natural and cultural heritage to enjoy, and the small team there does an incredible job to ensure that the site remains a world class visitor attraction in Shetland.

“In order to help our team continue to maintain this fabulous site for everyone’s enjoyment, we encourage people to buy a ticket, which is reusable, and will gain them access to all aspects of the site throughout the season.”

A programme of events and activities is also planned for the Easter holidays and for the rest of the season.

The visitor centre and cafe will be open five days a week, Thursday – Monday, 10am – 5pm.