village in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK

Scalloway (Old Norse Skálavágr, "bay with the large house") is a fishing village in the Shetland Islands. It was the capital of these islands until 1708 when Lerwick supplanted it. The population in 2011 was 900.

Get in

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Scalloway Castle

Scalloway is six miles from Lerwick by a good road, so 10 min by car or 30 min by bike should do it.

Andrews Bus 4 runs from Lerwick to Scalloway hourly M-Sa, taking 25 min and continuing along the shore to Port Arthur. This connects four times a day with Bus 5 from Scalloway to Trondra, Hamnavoe and Papil on West Burra, and Houss on East Burra.

Get around

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Inksters Taxis are based at Port Arthur, +44 7770 611646. Otherwise call one of the Lerwick taxi firms.

 
Model ship atop the Shetland Bus memorial
  • 1 Scalloway Castle, Castle St ZE1 0TQ, +44 1856 841815. Daylight hours. The former living quarters of Earl Patrick Stewart, built in 1600 by slave labour but ruined after his downfall. The key is available from the Scalloway Museum (opposite) during normal opening hours, but closed for restoration as of Sep 2022. The place occasionally gets mobbed by cruise ship tourists, but is otherwise quiet, so you have the agreeable experience of holding the key to a castle and letting yourself in. It's impressive but just a roofless shell. Free.    
  • Scalloway Museum, Castle Street (opposite castle), +44 1595 880734. May-Sep: M-F 11AM-4PM, Su 2-4PM, closed Sa. Small museum covering the history of Scalloway, including the "Shetland Bus", a clandestine operation during World War II to land agents and arms in Nazi-occupied Norway and to smuggle people out. £3 adult.  
  • 2 Shetland Bus memorial stands on Main Street.
  • 3 Tingwall Loch, 2 km north on B9074, is a freshwater loch with bird life, including mute swans. The little promontory at its north end, "Law Ting Holm", was an islet and the site of Shetland's parliament (Thing) until the 16th century, but there's little to see there now. The Murder Stone is a 2-m granite slab by the roadside at the south end of the loch. There's various legends about the murder, but in the parliament of those days it might not even have got you rebuked.
  • 4 Scalloway Islands are a chain of little islands linked to the mainland by road. Follow B9074 south, crossing first onto Trondra which is just farmland, then to West Burra which has the village of Hamnavoe (a common place name meaning "sheltered harbour"). There's a B&B here and a couple of self-catering cottages. The lane continues south for a mile then one fork crosses to East Burra to end at Houss, where The Outpost cafe is well-named. The other fork stays on West Burra to end at Papil. Both forks end in spits, with paths but no road to extensions of the peninsula: Houss Ness on East Burra beyond Houss, and Kettla Ness on West Burra beyond Papil.
  • Yet(i) more islands: the Scalloway archipelago includes a scattering of others, nowadays uninhabited. South Havra and Little Havra are the pair south of the Burras. Oxna, Papa, Hildasay, Langa and Linga are the group seen west of Trondra and Ness of Westshore. They've been likened to a yeti's footprint.
  • 1 Scalloway Pool, New Rd ZE1 0TN, +44 1595 807716. M-W 10AM-8PM, Th noon-8PM, F 11AM-6PM, Sa Su 10AM-2PM. Small swimming pool north end of the village.
  • Ness of Westshore is the headland west of town, an easy hike via the coast road and track.
  • Golf: Shetland GC is three miles north on A970, see Lerwick#Do.
  • Sailing: visitor boats should use the pontoon at Scalloway Boat Club, there are no visitor moorings within the marina. The pontoon is sheltered from all winds and has 4 m depth at all tides. The club has toilets showers and laundry and is open till late.
 
Hairdresser's shop in Scalloway
  • The Checkout is the convenience store, open M-F 8AM-10PM, Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-10PM.
  • Villagers head to Tesco in Lerwick for their big shop.
  • * Cornerstone Cafe, see Sleep. Daily 9AM-4PM. Tea, coffee, lunches. Dinners on F-Su 4-9PM (fish and chips, chicken, sausages, etc.)
  • Da Haaf, Port Arthur Rd ZE1 0UN, +44 1595 772480. M-Th 9:30AM-4PM, F 9:30AM-9PM, Sa 5-9PM. Good seafood place within the Marine Research Centre.

Drink

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  • The town pub is Kiln Bar on Main St, open daily 11AM-1AM.

Sleep

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  • 1 Cornerstone, Main Street ZE1 0TR, +44 1595 880346. Reliable, friendly B&B open all year. B&B double £90.
  • Other B&Bs only opened for self-catering in 2021, if at all. They include Shieling (below) and New Easterhoull..
  • 2 The Sheiling Shetland, Main Street, +44 7747 694183, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM. A traditional cottage with an open plan living area, 1 double bedroom, 1 twin bedroom, and a shower room.
  • 3 Scalloway Hotel, Main St, Scalloway, ZE1 0TR., +44 7747 138932. Hotel with 23 ensuite rooms, bar and restaurant. from £144.

Connect

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As of Nov 2021, Scalloway has 4G from EE but no signal from other carriers. There's patchy coverage along the road from Lerwick but nothing down the lane to the Scalloway Islands.

Go next

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You don't have to go back to Lerwick to reach other parts of the Shetland Islands, but it's the obvious route.


This city travel guide to Scalloway is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.