Shetland Where to Stay

In this section I provide some accommodation tips and suggestions for your visit. Whether you want hotels, B&Bs, self-catering or camping, there’s a range of options across Shetland. 

One thing I would urge is to make sure you book your accommodation as early as possible (and of course, your cabin on the ship, if planning to arrive by boat). At popular times many places get booked up fast!

Lerwick waterfront

The following are links to some websites with accommodation listings or online booking.

Where to stay

Key in planning your visit is to decide which part of the isles you want to stay in. Here’s some suggestions:


If it’s your first visit you may want to stay in the islands’ capital, at least for part of your trip. Lerwick naturally has the largest choice of accommodation options, and you’ll be closest to most facilities and shops. Accommodation includes a wide range of modern hotels, guest houses and self-catering options (including ‘The Decca’). There’s also the excellent SYHA-affiliated Isleburgh House Youth Hostel.

However, to get the most of your trip to the Shetland, staying outside Lerwick will give you a chance to get closer to nature.


Staying in and around Scalloway can make sense. This small town has a great museum, castle, cafe, pub, take-away, local shops, and swimming pool. With a regular bus service to Lerwick, it’s a good option even if you don’t have a car. Scalloway is in a great setting, and there’s a fantastic view as you arrive over the hill. There’s B&Bs, self catering, and a great budget option are Easterhoull Chalets. (Note: Hopefully the excellent Scalloway Hotel will soon reopen.)

South Mainland

The South Mainland of Shetland provides some beautiful beaches and some of the ‘big’ attractions (including Mousa and Jarlshof). It’s also convenient for the airport. Hotels are thin on the ground in this part but there are plenty of B&Bs, self-catering, and camping options.

North and west mainland

Heading further away takes you into some of the less explored parts of Shetland. There’s some outstanding coastal scenery in places, such as at Eshaness. You’ll be close to the beautiful village of Voe, the Bonhoga Gallery, Kergord Valley, Ronas Hill (Shetland’s highest point), and the best fish and chips in the UK (Frankie’s, in Brae).

Again, there’s a wide variety of B&Bs and self-catering, but also a number of small hotels. In particular I have heard good things of the St.Magnus Bay Hotel in the village of Hillswick. This is an all-wooden structure that was manufactured in Norway. Likewise, Busta House Hotel in Brae is highly regarded. There’s a number of camping options, and glamping pods at beautiful Braewick Bay.

THE NORTHERN ISLES – Yell, Unst & Fetlar

The furthest north islands each has its own distinct character, and they are worthy of more than just an out-and-back trip from Lerwick.

Fetlar, “the garden of Shetland”, deserves a special mention; a truly beautiful island. There’s currently only limited accommodation, but it’s also easy to explore if you’re staying on Yell or Unst. There’s a range of accommodation on both, and the Baltasound Hotel comes recommended.

Other places

The more remote islands aren’t included in the above. (And unfortunately the Observatory on Fair Isle is yet to be rebuilt.) Still, if you genuinely want to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and get away from it all, a visit to any of these will not disappoint. Use the links above.

Updated 07/02/22