Lerwick, Scotland

Lerwick, Scotland

The disabled cruiser visiting Lerwick must remember that it is a tender port and transfer to Lerwick will depend on the conditions for the day. Once in Lerwick you can get around reasonably well as most places are ramp accessible. You will encounter some hills along the way. The City Streets are large, smooth cobblestone and easily traversed by wheelchair. Most of the scenic spots in and about Lerwick are wheelchair accessible.

Lerwick is a tender port – Ships have to anchor off Lerwick and tender passengers ashore by boat. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.

Lerwick, Scotland

Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, in the United Kingdom.

Shetland Museum and Archives is located on Hay’s Dock. Discover the islands’ many secrets through the exhibits and displays, and take a look in the boat shed where you can see demonstrations of traditional boat building skills.

Take a seabirds and Seals boat trip to the islands of Bressay and Noss. Noss is a nature reserve and one of the best places in Britain to see seabirds, particularly gannets.

Lerwick Town Hall features interesting stained glass windows and is occasionally open to visitors to explore inside.

Take a lovely, scenic walk along the cliffside to the Knab, a headland which has excellent views of the Bressay sound, small seabird colonies and WW2 relics.

Clickimin Broch is a large and well preserved, restored broch near Lerwick. It is situated within a walled enclosure and features a large “blockhouse” between the opening in the enclosure and the door of the broch itself.

Fort Charlotte in the center of Lerwick, is a five sided artillery fort, with bastions on each corner.

Where You’re Docked

Lerwick is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.

At the Port of Lerwick, cruise ships up to 205m in length can dock alongside. The town center is around 1km away.

Larger ships can anchor in the harbor with passengers just minutes away by tender from a modern landing stage and welcome ashore pavilion located in the heart of Lerwick town center.

Good to Know

The famed Shetlandic accent.

Getting Around

On Foot: Nearly all of Lerwick’s main attractions are within a seven-minute walk from the port. In addition, shuttles are available to and from town if you’re unable to walk.

By Bus: Buses are by far one of the most dependable and affordable options to get in and out of Lerwick, with service throughout the main archipelago. Bus schedules and fare information can be found at the tourist office or right outside the bus terminal.

By Taxi: Taxis can be found throughout the city and most drivers speak English. If you want to book a private taxi tour outside of Lerwick, Allied Taxis can take groups of eight and offers a guide. For the Disabled Cruiser, within Allied Taxis fleet they have vehicles that can accommodate persons in wheelchairs. A pull out ramp which is located under the floor provides convenient and dignified entry for wheelchair users and a built-in securing facility holds chairs in place throughout the journey.


The official currency is the British pound. Most ATMs are found in front of the banks, inside the Tesco supermarket, at the Sound Service Station and at the Toll Clock Shopping Center. 


The official language in Lerwick is English, spoken with a local, Shetlandic twang. In addition to Shetlandic, Gaelic, the Celtic language of Scotland, is also spoken among some residents.


A wide range of shops provide ample opportunity to browse and buy gifts including Shetland knitwear, ceramics, jewelry, confectionery and crafts. If you’re not sure what to get, a wool scarf or hat in traditional Scottish tartan is always a good bet for gifts.

The Shetland Islands are known for it’s excellent quality seafood and lamb. Since the dairy is all made on the island, the selection of both cow and sheep’s cheeses are out of this world.

Points of Interest

  • Scalloway Castle – Explore the ruined remains of this fortress built in 1600 by Patrick Stewart, the Earl of Orkney and Shetland. Known for his cruelty, he was hanged in 1615 and the castle was never used again. The castle is located in the middle of town and the Disabled Cruiser can explore the ground level of the castle. The upper levels are accessed by stairs and are not handicapped accessible.
  • Jarlshof Ruins – This multi-period settlement complex was in use from the Bronze Age until the 16th century, although there is evidence as far back as 2500 BC. Explore the Norse remains dating back to Viking days. For a historical site, the Disabled Cruiser will find that it was amazingly accessible. There is a ramp from the carpark to the site that is a bit steep and the ground a bit uneven in places, but achievable. A path runs around and through the settlements which is fine gravel and is easy for a wheelchair to travel, however some of the points on the tour are in the actual ruins which aren’t wide enough to get a wheelchair in, but not many. 
  • Fort Charlotte – The fortress was built in 1665 by order of Charles II and successfully repelled a Dutch naval attack during the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Enjoy the breath-taking town views from its battlements.
  • Mousa Broch – The world-famous round castle built during the Iron Age, it is the tallest and best-preserved broch in the world.
  • Shetland Museum – Enjoy a smorgasbord of Shetland treasures. The museum boasts an impressive recollection of 5000 years worth of culture and people. You can even pop into the underground home of a “trowie knowe.” For the Disabled Cruiser the entrance is a gentle ramp and through revolving doors, there is a wheelchair button to slow it down. Once inside the museum, there are exhibits were on several levels with a lift to move between floors. There is plenty of space between exhibits for wheelchairs. There are also accessible toilets close to the entrance. 
  • Shetland Ponies – Visit some of the islands’ most famous residents. These delightful ponies have been here since Viking times. Their shaggy coats and flowing manes help them withstand severe weather conditions.
  • Bird Watching – Shetland’s been famous as the place to enjoy sensational seabird colonies and amazing rarities. You can get close-up views of Gannets, alongside Guillemots, Puffins, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars.
  • Hoswick Visitor Center – The Hoswick Visitor’s Center provides a space to display collected and preserved items associated with the islands. The Center includes weaving machinery, local items and an interpretation of the Hoswick Whale case and a unique wireless collection. The access in and around the building is great for the Disabled Cruiser. Although the center is over two levels, it is still accessible. There is a platform lift to take anyone with limited mobility up to the raised section to ensure everyone sees every collection.


Lerwick Accessible Excursions

Lerwick is a town in the Shetland Islands, an archipelago north of the Scottish mainland. Historically a major fishing port, Lerwick today attracts those drawn to the combination of Norse and British culture in the area. 

Guided Tours of Shetland

Go off the beaten track with an Allied Taxi tour, tailor made to suit your interests. Up to eight people can enjoy the Shetland sights in the comfort of a car, MPV or wheelchair accessible vehicle with friendly professional drivers.

Allied Taxis use qualified guides for our available tours and ensure all drivers have an abundance of interesting local knowledge and history to share with customers.

Whether your interests are wildlife, archaeology, geology, popular visitor attractions and museums or just finding picturesque beaches with nobody else to be seen, they will do their best to give you a trip that you will never forget.