“As part of my week long holiday on Shetland, I had booked a tour of the isle of Fetlar, with SeeShetland tours. After speaking to Sarah McBurnie, See-Shetlands co-ordinator, she arranged for Laurence Tulloch, a local guide and Storyteller to accompany me.
Laurence picked me up from my Bed and Breakfast in Lerwick and we set off on the journey through the central mainland of Shetland and on up to Toft for the crossing to Ulsta on Yell. From Yell, it was an easy half an hours drive to Gutcher, which is where boarded the Blumull Sound ferry over to Fetlar
We alighted at Hamars Ness on Fetlar, after the short 25-minute crossing. At the first crossroads on the single-track road , we turned right down to Brough Lodge, which was located just off the shore, to the right of the grandly named ‘The sand of the sand’.
Brough Lodge was built around 1820 for Arthur Nicholson. It is a Gothic house with land that was once used for shooting, golf and tennis. As well as the lodge there is a chapel and a folly, built around 1840. The folly was built on the site of an Iron Age broch and incorporated into its design a wooden stair-tower. Originally, the folly was used for astronomy and housed a large telescope, which can still be seen at the nearby Interpretive Centre ….
The rest of this article is available as ‘Garden of Plenty’ on the Articles and Reviews page.
How do I get to Fetlar? Loganair (part of the Flybe group) fly from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Kirkwall (Orkney) to Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of mainland Shetland. Or, you could travel by Northlink ferry from the ferry terminal in Aberdeen. To get to the isle of Fetlar, you need to catch the ferry from Gutcher on Yell to Hamars Ness on Fetlar. The ferry takes about 30 minutes to get to Fetlar. Sometimes the ferry goes via Belmont on Unst.
How do I get around on Fetlar? There is no public transport on Fetlar, however, there is a dial-a-ride service operated by R G Jamieson & Son, who need to be contacted before 4.30 pm the day before you need to travel.
What’s worth visiting on Fetlar? The Fetlar Interpretive Centre at Houbie is small, but it’s a mightily impressive Museum. it has interesting exhibitions and artefacts from Brough Lodge and from the life of Sir William Cheyne, Fetlar’s most famous ex-resident. It is eerie watching old footage of Brough Lodge and then visiting the house to see what it has now become. Also displayed in the Interpretive Centre is the almost complete Steatite Bowl found in the Time Team excavation at Houbie.
Where can I stay on Fetlar? You can stay at Gord B & B or there is self catering accommodation at Tresta Cottage. There is also The Fetlar Campsite at Gord and Aithbank, one of Shetland’s famous Camping Bod’s.
Any other information on Fetlar? The isle of Fetlar has about 90% of the UK population of red-necked Phalaropes. The brightly coloured birds can be seen from the RSPB Hide at the Mires of Funzie and also at the Loch of Funzie. For more information on Fetlar please read the article Garden of Plenty and my Shetland Diary.