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Lerwick is a thriving and bustling seaport with a busy cultural and social life. Services, amenities and visitor attractions are only a short stroll from the apartment.
The town offers a variety of local eateries, pubs, retail outlets and fabulous sightseeing opportunities, including Shetland Museum and Archives - a renowned heritage hub with superb facilities, Clickimin Broch - an ancient fort, and the Town Hall - a Gothic Baronial building with striking stained glass windows reflecting Shetland's history, in particular its Scandinavian links.
The library, located at Hillhead - close to a picturesque public park and bowling green, offers free internet access. The Post Office, and several banks with cash-point facilities are to be found along Commercial Street. The Tourist Information Centre is situated at Market Cross - supplying Shetland books, maps and leaflets. Staff will be more than happy to plan your itinerary, point you in the right direction and pre-book guided tours on your behalf. Life couldn't be easier!
Northlink ferries arrive from Aberdeen at the main terminal - a short walk from Blydest. There's a regular bus service between Sumburgh Airport and Lerwick (50 minutes), connecting with daily flights. Taxis and car hire are available at the airport, and in Lerwick. All island bus services start, and end, at the Viking Bus Station; located 5-minutes from the property. The inter-island ferry service to Bressay – gateway to Noss National Nature Reserve, is very near to Blydest, as is Victoria Pier and the small boat harbour where you can peruse the many excursions on offer.
Islesburgh Community Centre, a 10-minute amble from Blydest, plays hosts to a number of events throughout the year. The following are a few examples of annual festivals happening in Lerwick. See the links page for a more comprehensive guide.
Lerwick Up Helly Aa is held on the last Tuesday in January and is the largest fire festival in Europe! Over 800 men, dressed as Vikings and in a variety of imaginative costumes, march through a darkened Lerwick, carrying flaming torches and singing songs of old. The procession culminates in a Viking galley being burnt and much merriment ensues for the following 12 hours, or more! With over 5000 spectators, and much hilarity, it really is an experience of a lifetime! Make sure you book early!
2010 celebrated the 30th year of this world renowned Folk Festival, featuring local and international musicians. Fiddlers' Bid, Bodega, Lau, Baskery, New Rope String Band, amongst others, have played at this prestigious event. It really is a highlight on the Festival calendar and the Festival Club is a great place to meet the the bands and sample Valhalla Breweries finest ale!
The Accordion and Fiddle Festival showcases the best in traditional Shetland music with concert and dinner dances organised throughout the year as well as during this annual event.
Dining out in Lerwick offers a great deal of choice – Nepalese, Indian, Chinese, fabulously fresh fish and chips, and the superb Hay's Dock Café Restaurant - enjoy delicious local produce and superb panoramic views across the harbour - watch out for playful seals! If you prefer to stay in and cook - there are 2 large supermarkets, a well-stocked health food store, local fishmongers, butchers and bakers. There are several cafés offering yummy home bakes and wholesome lunches. Read The Shetland Food Directory for further information. If you'd like to listen traditional Shetland music, whilst imbibing a wee dram (or two!) - there are several atmospheric watering holes to choose from. Perhaps the best known is the legendary music venue – The Lounge, on Mounthooly Street, where local musicians play regular sessions.
Visit the contemporary arts and crafts shops - Ninian and North Rock Gallery. Drop into Spiders Web; where traditional knitwear and intricate lace garments can be admired. Purchase a local author's work at the Shetland Times Bookshop or indulge in some sweet stuff – Shetland Fudge! Lerwick offers a wide variety of gifts to choose from - you are sure to find something special, and unique, to take back home with you.
Come winter or summer, Shetland is a breathtaking place to take a walk. Revel in the freedom to roam and magnificent cloud formations. During a walk around the south end - there are good view points across to Bressay, the Lodberries and then on to the Knab, with views over the 'Sooth Mooth' and Breiwick. The more energetic might like a walk past Clickimin Loch, taking in the Broch and a hike to the top of South Stoneyhill with pleasant views over Lerwick and Bressay. After admiring the scenery you may be tempted to visit Clickimin Sport Centre for a relaxing sauna.
Clickimin Leisure Complex is an excellent sports complex providing a 25 metre swimming pool, sauna and steam room, state-of the-art fitness centre, squash courts, and for the kids – toddler's pool, river ride, flumes and outdoor lagoon.
Whether your stay at Blydest is short term, or long term, there's plenty to keep you busy, right on your doorstep!