If you're planning to attend the ITI Scottish Network Summer Workshop 2020 in Lerwick, Shetland, then it's high time to start looking at how to get there and where to stay. With the help of our local organiser, Birgit, we've put together some information that may help.
Getting to Shetland
Almost 300 miles in a straight line from Edinburgh (not that you can actually follow that path!), Lerwick is still relatively accessible for travellers. Northlink Ferries sail between Aberdeen and Lerwick overnight, taking approximately 12.5 hours and arriving in Shetland at 7.30am. Some sailings go via Kirkwall in Orkney and the ferry leaves earlier on those days - check the timetable. The return journey is also overnight, and the two cruise ferries offer a wide range of accommodation options, from simple reclining chairs to premium cabins.
If life on the ocean wave is not for you, Logan Air flies direct to Sumburgh Airport at the southern tip of Shetland from Aberdeen, Inverness, Kirkwall, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bergen. Sumburgh is around 25 miles from Lerwick, so transport from the airport to our workshop venue will also need to be arranged. Get in touch with ScotNet once you have booked your flight as there may be options available that are cheaper than a taxi. There is a bus service but buses are not very frequent and don't connect with all flights. Timetables can be found at www.zettrans.org.uk/travel/public-transport/bus.
There are several listings websites for hotels and B&Bs / guest houses, all of which should be fairly easy to find, and if you would rather speak to a person, there is the tourist office, (www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/shetland/, tel. 01595-693434), although not nearly all properties are listed with them. B&Bs / guesthouses tend to get booked up fairly quickly. AirBnb offers the most extensive list of properties with lots of reasonably-priced self-catering places and the odd B&B option too.
There is an excellent hostel (Islesburgh House Hostel) conveniently next door to the workshop venue.
To help you choose a location, there is a map below that shows the location of the workshop venue (Islesburgh Community Centre) and the venue for the dinner and ceilidh (Sound Hall). To give you an idea of scale, it's about one mile, i.e. a 20 min walk or 5 min drive/taxi ride from one to the other. We don't have a venue for the Friday evening meal yet but it will most likely be somewhere central.