Sumburgh Head visitor centre reopens after delay

The Sumburgh Head lighthouse and visitor centre reopened today Sunday) after a long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The centre, owned by Shetland Amenity Trust, should have opened in April but fell victim of the outbreak a month earlier.

Jane Outram, who manages the site on behalf of the trust, said: “We have seen lots of people at the site in recent weeks enjoying the wonderful weather, scenery and of course the puffins.

“Lots of people have been asking when we will reopen the visitor centre and facilities and we have been working hard to make that happen.”

The number of people in the centre is now limited to ensure social distancing and a one-way system has been put in place to direct people through the various areas.

Painted puffin pointers have been put in place to help direct visitors through the various elements of the site in a one-way system and to help with social distancing.

“Lots of people have been asking when we will reopen the visitor centre and facilities and we have been working hard to make that happen.”

Jane Outram

Ms Outram said the plan was to reopen for a month at this stage, and they were excited to be welcoming people back.

She said: “It is a great opportunity for people from Shetland to come and visit the site and rediscover all that we have to offer.

“There is lots to do outside but we also have lots to keep the whole family interested indoors too.

“The marine life centre is always popular with families and the engine room, smiddy and radar hut tell an incredible story of the lighthouse and the people who lived there.

“Now more than ever we need the support of local people and visitors alike. The site is entirely funded by ticket sales and donations. Every ticket sold or donation made goes directly into the upkeep of the facilities including the viewing platforms, car parks, toilets and the lighthouse itself.”

Tickets are now available to buy online and on site and the team at Sumburgh Head will be offering a range of activities throughout the coming month. See the website for details at

Ms Outram said full risk assessments and building checks had been completed and cleaning and sanitation procedures have been stepped up. Visitors would be encouraged to use hand sanitiser at regular intervals during their visit and asked to wear face coverings.

Shetland Amenity Trust and Sumburgh Head have recently achieved accreditation through the “We’re Good to Go” scheme from VisitScotland.

The scheme is a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark that has been developed by VisitBritain in collaboration with VisitScotland and others to provide confidence for visitors, communities and tourism businesses alike.


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