Scalloway - The Former Capital of Shetland

Scalloway - The Former Capital of Shetland

Scalloway-Shetland’s former capital. Also known as the picturesque village and picturesque it most certainly is. I love Scalloway, but then I live there so it’s possible that I’m a little bit biased!

For a small village, with a population on 1,200 people, it has much to offer.

Let’s start off with the Scalloway Castle. Built in 1600, by the tyrant Earl Patrick Stewart. The castle is roofless and in ruins but can still be accessed and there’s various interpretative panels on the ground floor to give you more information.

Conveniently located next door to the castle is the four-star Scalloway Museum, where you can always be assured of warm welcome from the volunteers who take care of it. The museum was opened in its current location in 2012 by the Prime Minister of Norway.

Scalloway Museum

Why the Norwegian Prime Minister you ask?

Apart from the fact that Shetland used to belong to Norway (that’s a story for another time) then there were close links between Scalloway and Norway during World War 2. There was an undercover operation that took place called “The Shetland Bus”, where people left Nazi occupied Norway and sailed across the North Sea to Shetland in fishing boats. Boats could be mended at the shipyard in Scalloway before taking agents and ammunition back to Norway, in order to help the resistance movement taking place there. There’s a fantastic exhibition in the museum about “The Shetland Bus”.


Our walking tour of Scalloway also takes in the war memorial on the main street. This was constructed in 2003, in memory of the 44 men lost during “The Shetland Bus”. 

Scalloway is also home to the NAFC Marine Centre. This is a local college that specialises in subjects connected to the aquaculture industry in Shetland and maritime courses. Merchant Navy cadets can also do their land-based training here. The NAFC Marine Centre is one of two colleges in Shetland that form part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Da Haaf restaurant is also based at the NAFC Marine Centre if you’re looking for somewhere for a bite to eat.

Terry and Grace McCaffrey run The Cornerstone Café, which do lunches and coffees during the week and are open some evenings at the weekend.

If you’re out and about with the kids, there’s a well-equipped play area in Fraser Park. If it’s not a day for being outdoors, fear not, Scalloway has its own swimming pool.

We offer coach tours and walking tours of Scalloway. Get in touch if you would like to know more.