Its Anya here! This is my first ever time writing a blog post. Since the schools here are closed today for a long weekend, I thought I’d write about something I know a lot about …things to do outdoors in Lerwick with “bairns” (children)! Hopefully you’ll find some ideas to spark “peerie” (little) imaginations!
Lerwick has many beautiful walks for bairns (the word “bairns” is widely used in Shetland for “children” and will be used in this post). Clickimin Broch itself is one big adventure. My Grandad used to walk us to Sound Service station for some picnic food and we would have a play and a picnic at the Broch, and I love being able to do that with my kids now as a family. Around the back of the Clickimin broch is a great place for adventure too though. There are the remains of several Tank Traps from World War Two, which make a fun place to play “house” and other games.
Lerwick has several play parks, King George V playparkbeing the largest of these, with lots of play equipment and the beautiful Jubilee Flower Park next to it (bairns can have a go at putting here, which is fun for all ages!). Our favourites are the Pitt Lane playpark and the Quoysplay park. The Pitt Lane playpark is a favourite of ours because it feels “secret” … head to Pitt Lane and see if you can find it (and have a play in Lerwick’s adventure-filled lanes while you’re at it!). It’s also a good place to find a “Shetland Rock”.
Keep your eye out for “Shetland Rocks” all over the island, including Lerwick. These are painted rocks that can be painted by bairns (or anyone) and hidden! If you find one, you take a picture with it and post it to the “Shetland Rocks” Facebook page and then re-hide it. Bairns love it when people find the ones they’ve hidden. You may find one when out on tour with Island Vista or why not hide one yourself!
The Quoys Playpark in the Sound area of Lerwick is a favourite as it has a small burn (stream) that runs down beside this park with a little bridge and lots of rocks for sitting on. It’s a super place for adventures and you can follow the small burn all the way down to Sands of Sound Beach.
There are several beaches, big and small in Lerwick. The Sands of Sound is the biggest beach and can be filled with families and beach-lovers on a warm sunny day. If you’re looking for smaller beaches in Lerwick, check out Bain’s Beach and the Grottie Buckie beach, which are great if you enjoy beachcombing! We collect sea glass, sea pottery and shells which are great for using in arts and crafts and can be found on many of the stonier beaches in Lerwick.
The “Grottie Buckie” beach is a little beach south of Sands of Sound, so-called as it’s a beach where you can find the “Grottie Buckie” shells (Shetland word for “Cowrie shells”). It’s a hill walk that is doable for all ages, but my 3-year-old does need carried for some of it as it’s just a bit tricky for her. The remains from Shetland’s crofting and fishing heritage are an added imaginative play bonus on the way!
Bain’s beach is right in the heart of Lerwick’s Old Town and feels quite special as it’s only accessible at certain times when the tide is out. There are little treasures to be found on this beach but its also a super place to watch boats (including the Bressay ferry) coming and going and a super place to take an ice cream on a sunny day! We pass Bain’s beach on our Lerwick Walk tour, which happens to be next door to Jimmy Perez’s house 😉
If you’re planning a visit to Shetland, it is a wonderful place to take kids (“bairns”) – and the long, light nights in summer means extra playtime.