Orkney & Shetland 2019 - Day 18

Shetland, Lerwick and Mousa Island


The overnight ferry from Kirkwall to Lerwck on Shetland is scheduled to arrive at 0700, but for some reason ours was delayed by 30 minutes. Breakfast is available on board the ferry so we decied to choose this options. On arrival drivers are invited to remove their vehicles then return onto the ship for breakfast. I did this and we soon sat down to breakfast in the dining room overlooking Lerwick. We then proceed to drive through Lewick to get our bearings - this proved useful as we were soon lost in the maze of small lanes. We found Tescos, bought food for lunches then consulted the map. The best cafe in Lerwick - Fjara Cafe Bar - was just around the corner so had coffee and decided what to do. As the weather was stunningly good we would first visit Clickimin Broch and then take the boat trip to Mousa Island. So after visiting the broch (yet another one!) we drove south to Sandwick and waited for the boat tour. Then back to Lerwick to find the Fort Charlotte Guest House. The accommodation is in the old town centre close to several good eating places - all closed on Sunday. We walked the short distance to the Great Coach Chinese place which had an interesting and varied menu.

Clickimin Broch

There are hundreds of Iron-Age brochs around Scotland. They were mostly built around the 1st centuries BC and AD (i.e. around 2,100 years ago). Most are in poor shape having been wrecked by later people, often to use the stones for other buildings. The broch in the lake in the middle of Lerwick is one of the few close to a built up area that is still in good condition.

The entrance to Clickimin Broch in the middle of Lerwick
The broch surrounded by cows
The broch with the Clickimin sports complex in the background.
The low doorway into the broch
Looking out one of the high windows.
Looking up through the wall to sunlight streaming in


Mousa is a small uninhabited island lying just east of Lerwick. It is renowned for the almost fully intact broch and the nesting birds. The small boat takes up to 50 or so people across to the island for a 3 hour visit. There is a circular walk around the island that takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. The broch is the highlight.

We drove south of Lrewick and stopped at a viewing point...
Pso we could see Mousa in the distance
Mousa Broch can be seen on the island
The Mousa boat
Crowds waiting for the trip to Mousa
Nearing Mousa
Mousa Broch
Arriving on the island
The cabin (originally a fish smoke house) used as a base for island tours.
Evidence of bored tourists
No wonder it was cold - 60° North
Remains of an early water mills
The broch - typical shape but a bit distorted.
Its not quite circular either.
Stairs between the two walls leading up to the rampart.
The top of the broch - Mousa is the only broch to be this complete.
The top, with a few modern additions..
The view towards the north
View SE with the remains of the earl's house.
Fire hearth on the floor of the broch
Base of the broch with the foundation of large stones.
The doorway - apparently rebuilt in modern times after the lintel broke.
The mis-shapen broch.
Small lake behind the broch
Stone beach on the easern side of Mousa
where many seabirds were nesting - well camoflauged.
One of many cruise shios the visit Lerwick.
On departure we sailed towards the broch - the 60° North seat looks rather lonely now.
A Bonxie followed us
A landed near the boat.
Remains of another broch on the Shetland mainland.

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Last updated: 26/06/2019