Sumburgh Head lighthouse to reopen this weekend

THE SUMBURGH Head lighthouse and visitor centre is reopening this weekend.

The Easter weekend will kick off this Saturday with the customary blasting of the foghorn with the help of retained lighthouse keeper Brian Johnson at 11am.

The refurbished Sumburgh lighthouse visitor centre is one of the trust's flagship projects.The Sumburgh Head lighthouse and visitor centre, which reopened in 2014 after a £5.4 million refurbishment. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

An Easter egg scavenger hunt will be available from Saturday to Monday and families will be able to explore the site, find clues and receive a goodie bag.

Katja Stübiger of Katja’s Cakes will also be there, as she launches her new ‘Unken Kaffee’ café, serving coffees and Belgian hot chocolate, homemade cakes and light lunches.

After the Easter weekend the café will be open Thursday to Sunday, from 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Visitors are also encouraged to keep an eye out for puffins which could be back during the first week of April. Guillemots returned at the end of last year, and there have already been sightings of Razorbills on the water.

Thursday 8 April, meanwhile, marks the anniversary of the Sumburgh Head Radar Station (AES1) thwarting a surprise attack on the British Home Fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney.

Bookable military tours will take place outside on the day telling the ‘Sumburgh at War’ story and taking in some of the external features, like the military hut bases, that relate to the radar station.

Jane Outram, who manages the site on behalf of the Shetland Amenity Trust, said: “We are delighted to be opening to the public this Easter weekend and have put together a series of visitor led and outdoors activities so that we can maintain social distancing.

Katja Stübiger of Katja’s Cakes will finally be opening her new cafe at Sumburgh Lighthouse. Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

“This year marks the bicentenary of the lighthouse and we’re looking forward to sharing more activities and events over the coming months. Whilst the restrictions don’t allow for large social gatherings, we know that Sumburgh Head lighthouse, visitor centre and nature reserve will provide a fantastic opportunity for folk to come along and enjoy a great day out.

“We’re thrilled that we have a permanent café in place once more offering what, in our opinion, is the best coffee, cake and views in Shetland.”

Throughout the coming months an extensive programme is lined up, which will include lighthouse tours, wartime tours and trails, guided walks taking in the construction of the Lighthouse, a book launch, a Q&A with Brian Johnson, family activities and wildlife events.

The care of the site at Sumburgh Head is entirely funded by ticket sales and donations, and receives no public funding.

The public are encouraged to buy a family ticket which will gain them access to all aspects of the site throughout the season, including free entry to many of the bicentenary tours and talks.

Tickets can be booked via the Sumburgh Head website or purchased at the ticket office on arrival at the site. Military tours can be booked from next week.

Shetland News