North West Shetland: An Eshaness Shore Excursion from Lerwick

Nestled in the northwestern corner of the Shetland Islands, Eshaness is a geological wonderland that beckons travelers with its dramatic coastal landscapes and awe-inspiring natural formations. An Eshaness shore excursion from Lerwick promises an unforgettable journey through this rugged and breathtakingly beautiful part of the world.

Discovering Eshaness: A Journey of Geological Marvels

Eshaness is renowned for its remarkable geological features, sculpted by the relentless forces of wind, water, and time. The area boasts the Esshaness Cliffs, a stunning series of towering sea cliffs that stretch for over a mile along the coast. These cliffs, composed of alternating layers of volcanic rock and ancient sedimentary strata, offer a mesmerizing display of nature’s artistry.

One of the most striking geological formations in Eshaness is the Holes of Scraada, a series of massive sea caves carved by the incessant pounding of waves. These cavernous openings, some large enough to accommodate a small building, are a testament to the power of the ocean and the resilience of the surrounding rock.

Another natural wonder in Eshaness is the Grindastack, a colossal sea stack that rises defiantly from the turbulent waters. This iconic landmark, once connected to the mainland, has been gradually eroded by the unforgiving elements, creating a dramatic silhouette against the ever-changing skies.

The Lure of Eshaness Lighthouse

Perched atop the Eshaness Cliffs, the Eshaness Lighthouse is a captivating sight that has guided countless ships through the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic. Built in 1858, this iconic structure has withstood the relentless onslaught of storms and waves, serving as a beacon of safety for mariners.

Visitors can explore the lighthouse grounds, marveling at the panoramic views of the rugged coastline and the vast expanse of the ocean. The lighthouse itself, with its distinctive white tower and red roof, offers a picturesque backdrop for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Exploring Sea Caves and Natural Arches

Exploring Sea Caves and Natural Arches

An Eshaness shore excursion would not be complete without venturing into the remarkable sea caves and natural arches that dot the coastline. These geological wonders, carved by the incessant action of waves and erosion, offer a unique opportunity to witness nature’s sculptural prowess up close.

One of the most remarkable sea caves in Eshaness is the Holes of Scraada, mentioned earlier. Visitors can carefully navigate through these cavernous openings, marveling at the intricate patterns and textures etched into the rock by the relentless power of the sea.

Adjacent to the Holes of Scraada is the Dore Holm, a natural arch that spans the turbulent waters below. This breathtaking formation, sculpted by the unyielding forces of nature, provides a stunning vantage point for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Encountering Wildlife in their Natural Habitat

Eshaness is not only a geological marvel but also a haven for a diverse array of wildlife. The rugged cliffs and sea stacks provide nesting grounds for numerous seabird species, including puffins, fulmars, and kittiwakes.

During an Eshaness shore excursion, visitors may have the opportunity to spot these feathered inhabitants soaring gracefully above the crashing waves or perched precariously on the cliff edges. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will be in their element, captivated by the vibrant spectacle of life that thrives amidst this harsh yet beautiful environment.

The Flavors of Shetland: Sampling Local Cuisine

No visit to Eshaness would be complete without savoring the rich flavors of Shetland’s local cuisine. Deeply rooted in the island’s heritage and culture, the culinary traditions of Shetland offer a tantalizing taste of the region’s unique identity.

One of the highlights of the local fare is the fresh seafood, which is celebrated in dishes like Shetland mussels, smoked salmon, and the famous Shetland salt fish. These delicacies, sourced from the pristine waters surrounding the islands, are a testament to the bounty of the sea and the skill of the local fishermen.

For those with a sweet tooth, Shetland’s traditional baked goods are a must-try. The island’s renowned “rowie” or buttery rolls, often served with locally produced jams and chutneys, are a delightful indulgence that perfectly complements the bracing sea air.

Visitors can also explore the rich legacy of Shetland’s knitting and textile traditions by visiting local craft shops and galleries, where they can admire and purchase unique, hand-crafted items that showcase the island’s artistic heritage.

Why is Shetland so expensive?

Why is Shetland so expensive?

While the natural beauty and cultural richness of Shetland are undeniable, one aspect that often surprises visitors is the relatively high cost of living on the islands. Several factors contribute to this:

  1. Remoteness: Shetland’s remote location, situated over 100 miles off the northern coast of mainland Scotland, means that most goods and supplies must be transported by sea or air, adding to the overall cost.
  2. Energy Costs: The islands’ reliance on imported fuel for heating and electricity generation can drive up energy costs, which are then passed on to consumers.
  3. Workforce Challenges: With a relatively small population, attracting and retaining skilled labor can be challenging, leading to higher wages and associated costs.
  4. Tourism Demand: The islands’ popularity as a tourist destination can drive up prices for accommodation, dining, and other services during peak seasons.

Despite the higher cost of living, many residents and visitors alike consider the unique experiences and natural beauty of Shetland to be well worth the investment.

What country do the Shetland Islands belong to?

The Shetland Islands are a subarctic archipelago that is part of Scotland, which itself is a constituent country of the United Kingdom. This means that Shetland is a Scottish territory that falls under the jurisdiction of the UK government.

While Shetland enjoys a degree of autonomy through its local council, it is ultimately subject to the laws and policies of the UK and the Scottish Parliament. This unique relationship allows the islands to maintain their distinct cultural identity while benefiting from the resources and support provided by the larger nations.

What do people do for a living in Shetland?

The economy of Shetland is diverse, with various industries contributing to the islands’ livelihood. Here are some of the main occupations and sectors that employ Shetlanders:

  1. Fishing and Aquaculture: Historically, fishing has been a cornerstone of Shetland’s economy, and it remains an important industry today. Fishing, fish farming, and fish processing provide employment for many islanders.
  2. Energy: The energy sector, particularly oil and gas exploration and production, has become a significant employer in recent decades. The islands’ strategic location in the North Sea has made them a hub for energy-related activities.
  3. Tourism: With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unique attractions, tourism has emerged as a vital part of Shetland’s economy, providing jobs in hospitality, tour guiding, and related services.
  4. Agriculture and Crofting: Despite the challenging climate, agriculture and crofting (small-scale farming) continue to play a role in Shetland’s economy, with livestock farming and the production of high-quality wool being notable activities.
  5. Public Sector: The public sector, including healthcare, education, and local government, employs a significant portion of the islands’ workforce, providing essential services to the community.
  6. Crafts and Arts: Shetland’s rich cultural traditions have given rise to a thriving crafts and arts industry, with skilled artisans producing textiles, knitwear, jewelry, and other handmade items.

While the traditional industries like fishing and agriculture remain essential, Shetland’s economy has diversified over time, reflecting the resilience and adaptability of its people.

Are the Shetland Islands closer to Norway or Scotland?

Geographically, the Shetland Islands are situated closer to Norway than they are to mainland Scotland. Here are some key facts:

  • The Shetland Islands are located approximately 170 miles (274 km) north of the Scottish mainland.
  • The islands are situated approximately 200 miles (322 km) west of Norway.

Despite their closer proximity to Norway, the Shetland Islands have been a part of Scotland (and the United Kingdom) for centuries. This historical and cultural connection, along with the islands’ political and administrative ties to Scotland, have solidified their status as a Scottish territory.

However, the islands’ proximity to Norway has left a lasting influence on Shetland’s culture, traditions, and even language. Many place names and words in the Shetlandic dialect have Norse origins, reflecting the islands’ Viking heritage and the close ties with their Scandinavian neighbors.

Is Shetland classed as UK?

Is Shetland classed as UK?

Yes, the Shetland Islands are considered part of the United Kingdom (UK). While they have a distinct cultural identity and a degree of autonomy through their local council, the islands are ultimately a Scottish territory that falls under the jurisdiction of the UK government.

As a constituent country of the UK, Scotland has devolved powers to manage certain affairs, such as education, healthcare, and local government. However, matters of national importance, including defense, foreign policy, and certain aspects of taxation, remain under the purview of the UK government in Westminster.

Shetlanders are British citizens and participate in UK-wide elections, sending a representative to the House of Commons in the UK Parliament. They are also eligible to vote in Scottish Parliament elections, which determine the leadership and policies of the Scottish Government.

Despite their unique heritage and geographical location, the Shetland Islands have been an integral part of the UK for centuries, sharing in the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of being a British territory.

A Shore Excursion to Remember

An Eshaness shore excursion from Lerwick offers an unforgettable opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the Shetland Islands. From the awe-inspiring geological formations and dramatic coastal landscapes to the vibrant wildlife and rich culinary traditions, this excursion promises a multitude of memorable experiences.

As you explore the rugged cliffs, sea caves, and natural arches of Eshaness, you’ll be transported to a world where the forces of nature have sculpted a masterpiece of breathtaking beauty. The sight of seabirds soaring above the crashing waves and the possibility of encountering marine mammals in their natural habitat only add to the magic of this incredible journey.

Beyond the natural splendor, an Eshaness shore excursion also provides a glimpse into the unique culture and history of the Shetland Islands. From the iconic Eshaness Lighthouse, a beacon of safety for mariners, to the vibrant local cuisine and traditional crafts, this excursion offers a tapestry of experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply someone seeking an unforgettable adventure, an Eshaness shore excursion promises to be a highlight of your visit to the Shetland Islands.


What are the best times of year to visit Eshaness?

The best times to visit Eshaness are typically during the spring and summer months, from late April to early September, when the weather is milder, and daylight hours are longer.

How do I get to Eshaness from Lerwick?

To get to Eshaness from Lerwick, the most convenient way is to join a guided tour or shore excursion that provides transportation via coach or minibus.

Is the Eshaness shore excursion suitable for all fitness levels?

The Eshaness shore excursion can be adjusted to accommodate different fitness levels, with options ranging from leisurely strolls to more strenuous hikes along the cliffs and coastline.


An Eshaness shore excursion from Lerwick promises an unforgettable journey through the rugged beauty and rich cultural tapestry of the Shetland Islands. From the awe-inspiring geological formations and dramatic coastal landscapes to the vibrant wildlife and local cuisine, this excursion offers a multitude of memorable experiences that will leave a lasting impression on all who embark on this adventure.

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