Thursday 23 May 2024
 11°C   NE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Easter events to mark opening of Sumburgh Head lighthouse

The Sumburgh Head lighthouse and visitor centre. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

THE SUMBURGH Head lighthouse, visitor centre and nature reserve will officially open for the season during the upcoming Easter weekend.

The lighthouse will open its doors again for 2024 on Saturday 30 March. As this coincides with the Easter holidays, the celebrations will include a number of events for the whole family to enjoy.

A “lightsome” tour will be available for all ticket holders at 11am, describing the story of Shetland’s first Stevenson lighthouse.

This will be followed by the traditional sounding of the foghorn at 12pm with retained lightkeeper Brian Johnson.

Members of the community are invited to take part in a competition to help the lightkeeper start the foghorn engines and sound the foghorn.

The winner will help Johnson to open the final valve to open the foghorn, while three runners up will each be given the chance to start one of the engines.

From the Saturday to Monday, children will be able to embark on an Easter treasure trail and visitors can contribute to the start of a season list for wildlife sightings.

Sumburgh Head site manager Jane Outram said: “We are excited to be opening for 2024 at the start of the Easter holidays and can’t wait to welcome everyone back for what will no doubt be another busy season.”

“We have already heard of sightings of puffins on the waters around the Isle of May and we anticipate that they’ll be heading to Shetland soon.”

The site will present some changes, including the keepers’ corner, a new display sharing an insight into what everyday life would have been like for keepers manning the lighthouse over the years.

The former café has also been transformed into a new “observatory”, where people will be able to soak up the views of the surrounding cliffs, seabird colonies, waters and marine life.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Here, Outram continues, “visitors will still be able to enjoy a cuppa and a home bake whilst speaking to our experts about marine mammals, seabirds, the geology, archaeology and the history of Sumburgh Head”.

The cafe area was previously leased out to Katja’s Cakes, but owner Katja Stübiger has now moved back to Germany.

Shetland Amenity Trust chair Alison Moncrieff added: “We would like to thank everyone who has continued to support this world class visitor attraction in Shetland.

“2023 was our busiest season to date and our small team has worked incredibly hard to develop a really rich offering of specialist tours and activities.”

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

To enter the competition, people can register on the Sumburgh Head website, with the closing date for entries Wednesday 27 March.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.