Restored complex will light up summer visits
The restored Sumburgh lighthouse complex will open to the public a week today for the summer season.
The £5.4 million Shetland Amenity Trust project is complete, with the lighthouse and surrounding buildings in pristine condition, freshly painted in gleaming white.
And today The Shetland Times publishes the first photographs from inside the complex.
Visitors will enter through the ticket office and gift shop, which leads into the engine room.
Here the 60-year-old engines have been cleaned and painted and are once again in working order. They were installed to power the mighty red-painted foghorn on the building opposite, which has a new spiral staircase.
Next to the engine room is the former smithy, where lighthouse keepers of old carried out their metal work. And further along is the education centre with its (nearly) 180-degree windows offering stunning panoramic views.
On the other side of the path the marine life centre takes visitors from a sub-sea entrance, up through a kelp forest to a vista bursting with life, in the water and in the air – complete with sound effects. A huge whale, half orca and half minke, is the centrepiece.
Visits to the working lighthouse will be available with set tour times.
To celebrate the opening, The Shetland Times is running a competition, together with the amenity trust, offering a three-night stay in the visitor accommodation, a refurbished lighthouse keeper’s house, and a family season ticket for this, the first season. See next week’s paper for more about the restoration project and all the details of how to enter the competition.
The complex, which was restored by Irish contractor Corramore, will be open from 2nd May until the end of August. This coincides with the return of the migrating birds, as Sumburgh is an RSPB nature reserve.