“….I asked Laurence if there was enough time for us to have a quick sortee to the Burra Isles. Luckily he agreed. The first place we stopped at was Hamnavoe. This is in a beautiful setting and I didn’t really want to leave but time was moving on.
Next stop was East House. This was an old croft house that has been turned into a small museum. The building was shown in the last series of ‘Restoration’ ….”
The rest of this article is available as ‘Shetland Diary‘ on the Articles and Reviews page.
How do I get to the Burra Isles? Loganair (part of the Flybe group) fly from Aberdeen, Belfast, Benbecula, Birmingham, Campbeltown, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, Kirkwall, London (Gatwick), Manchester, Manston (Kent), Newquay, Norwich, Southampton and Stornoway to Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of mainland Shetland. Or, you could travel by Northlink ferry from the ferry terminal in Aberdeen. The Burra Isles consist of Trondra, East Burra and West Burra. They can be reached by following the road to Scalloway and then taking a left turn on a smaller road, signposted Burra Isle, to the bridge at Trondra. All the Burra Isles are connected by road bridges.
How do I get around the Burra Isles? Bus services for Scalloway and the Burra Isles are run by Zet Trans
What’s worth visiting on the Burra Isles? Hamnavoe is the main village and is very picturesque. Also worth a visit, especially if you have children, is the Burland Croft Trail on Trondra, where you can see a traditional Shetland croft at work and you can meet and feed the animals. Easthouse at Duncansclate on West Burra, was shown on the BBC’s Restoration programme – one of only six Scottish entries. It has now been restored as a Heritage Centre and has displays of historical photographs that can be viewed by the public. Sea Kayak Shetland is run from Bridge End Outdoor Centre on East Burra and offers Sea Kayaking trips around Shetland, for all levels of kayakers. For more information on Sea Kayak Shetland – please see my blog post on Sea Kayak Shetland.
Where can I stay on the Burra Isles? Highmount Cottage in Hamnavoe is a self-catering cottage that sleeps 6. Bannaminn Cottage is a 3 bed-roomed croft house that sleeps up to 8 people. There are many Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfast’s in Scalloway.
Any other information on the Burra Isles? Trondra, East Burra and West Burra are actually part of the Scalloway islands group, but they are known as the Burra Isles. The other islands in the Scalloway Islands group are Hildasay, Linga, Oxna, Papa and South Havra. They can be reached through boat tours by CyCharters, based in Scalloway, who also offer tours to Foula. Burra Bears are made on East Burra. They are made from recycled Fair Isle sweaters and you can even send in your old sweater to be made into one! For more information on mainland Shetland and Bressay please read my Shetland Diary.