Sumburgh Head Bird Cliffs and Hoswick

Travel to island’s most southerly point, Sumburgh Headand, a RSPB Reserve where the cliffs attract thousands of seabirds and visit the small historic village of Hoswick.

  • Fascinating history
  • Stunning scenery
  • Dramatic cliffs
  • Suitable for all abilities
  • Difficulty level

    Level 2: Moderate - some mobility needed

  • Duration


  • Max. passengers


  • Booking code


  • From

    119 €

  • Notices

    Warm, waterproof clothing recommended

Depart through Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, as you begin your trip to the island’s most southerly point.  On the drive south, conditions permitting, you will pause to admire the view of the magnificent Mousa Broch, the tallest and best preserved of all brochs in the world.  You will continue down the west coast, hopefully see some seals at Rerwick, and perhaps catch a glimpse of St Ninian’s Isle where the famous Pictish horde of silver dating from the 9th Century was found in 1958.

Continue south to the RSPB Reserve at Sumburgh Head where you will see Shetland’s first lighthouse, built in 1821 by Robert Stevenson. The cliffs around Sumburgh Head are on the southernmost tip of Mainland Shetland and attract thousands of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, shags and fulmars. Gannets are regularly seen offshore too. The seabird breeding season, May to mid-August, is the only time to visit Sumburgh Head for this spectacular show. Each species of seabird has its special nesting place on the cliffs. Our guide will be knowledgeable about Shetland’s bird life and will further enhance our visit.

The seas here are home to various animals and you may be lucky enough to see harbour porpoises (neesicks), white beaked dolphins and whales – killer, minke and even humpback whales are sometimes seen. Common seals often haul themselves out onto the rocks.

Our tour continues the short distance to the small historic village of Hoswick and a visit to the Hoswick Visitor Centre. Here you can get an understanding of the history and culture of Shetland from the very informative interpretive displays. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to purchase an original Shetland garment from the wide variety on sale in the knitwear shop!

After some time here, we will return to Lerwick with our guide telling us more about these islands as we look out for Shetland’s famous ponies on the way. 

Practical information: 

  • Remarks/requirements: Warm, waterproof clothing recommended.

  • Included: Hot drink and home bake at Hoswick Visitor Centre.

  • Language: English.

  • Walking information: Sumburgh Head – ½ mile walk up a steep path to lighthouse. Hoswick – at guests’ discretion.

  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes.