Sunday 8th August 2021 to Sunday 15th August 2021
Shetland is a place where exceptional wool and textile heritage meets beautiful scenery and fascinating history.
Join us on the holiday of a lifetime, which will give you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in all aspects of Shetland life.
Your local qualified guide will show you around the wonderful sights of Shetland. You will have the opportunity to learn from some well-known local knitting tutors.
There will be one week dedicated to Fair Isle Knitting and one week dedicated to Lace Knitting. You can choose which one you attend, or better yet, stay for both weeks.
What Is Included - Fair Isle Week
- Transfers within Shetland on arrival and departure*
- All tours with a fully qualified tourist guide and experienced driver
- 7 nights accommodation at a Lerwick guesthouse
- Breakfast every day at the guesthouse
- 5 lunches at a variety of venues
- 6 dinners in some of Shetland’s finest food establishments
- Workshop and talk with Viveka Velupillai from Uradale Yarns
- Fair Isle Workshop with Janette Budge
- Steeking Workshop with Barbara Cheyne
- Knitting Talk with Hazel Tindall
- Visit to Wilma Malcolmson’s workshop
- Garths Croft Bressay tour
- Uradale Farm tour
- Visit to Jamieson and Smith Wool Brokers
- Trip to Mousa Isle
- Visit to Hoswick, Sandwick
- Visit to the Eshaness Cliffs and Lighthouse
- Visit to Busta House Hotel
- Free time to explore Lerwick and visit some local yarn stores
- An evening “Makkin and Yakkin” with the former MRI Makkers
- Shetland Wool Heritage Talk at the Shetland Museum and Archives
- Entrance to:
- Scalloway Museum
- Tangwick Haa Museum
- Shetland Textile Museum
- Burra Bears
- Red Houss Studio
* Guests will be required to make their own way to Shetland to begin the tour.
Make your way to Lerwick and check in at the Breiview Guesthouse. Located in the residential area of Lerwick, this lovely guesthouse is owned by Dieter and Christine Glaser, who have been looking after guests to Shetland for a long time. The guesthouse is located close to the Sands of Sound beach, the Clickimin Loch and the Clickimin Broch, a 2,000 year old Iron Age tower. Perfect for a stroll if weather permits.
In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner and an overview of the days ahead. This will give you the opportunity to get to know your host, guide and fellow knitters.
Take the 7-minute ferry from Lerwick across to the island of Bressay, where we will meet up with Chris Dyer at Garths Croft. Chris will introduce us to his native breeds of sheep and show us around his croft, before taking us on a tour of Bressay itself.
Lunch will be in the Speldiburn Café, which is also home to a textile designer, artist and good-as-new shop.
We will return to Lerwick, where you will have free time in the centre of Lerwick for some retail therapy. Your guide will of course point out all the knitwear shops including Jamieson’s of Shetland and other local yarn stores.
We then pay a visit to Jamieson and Smith Wool Brokers before heading out for an early dinner. Upon our return to the guesthouse, we will be joined by the former MRI Makkers, who will knit and chat (Makkin and Yakkin) with us for a while.
Make our way to Uradale Farm and join Viveka for an interesting talk about Shetland Dialect and terms used in knitting. Viveka will also give us a Fair Isle project to work on while we are there, using the lovely organic Uradale Yarns. Hear more about the working practice at Uradale Farm, while you knit and enjoy lunch in this charming farmhouse.
After lunch, head to the former capital of Shetland, Scalloway. Here you will get the chance to explore this picturesque village, see the 400 year old Scalloway Castle and visit the Scalloway Museum.
We will have an early dinner in the village before returning to the guesthouse.
Today, will be spent at the Islesburgh Community Centre where we will be joined in the morning by Janette Budge. For anyone who doesn’t know Janette, she is a local Fair Isle designer and tutor. She has taught classes for Shetland Wool Week, various visiting groups and has also attended other festivals throughout the UK. She will give you a Fair Isle project (which will require some prep work) and talk about Fair Isle Knitting in general.
We will have a break for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will have a steeking class with Barbara Cheyne. Many people are terrified of the idea of cutting their knitting, but Barbara will show you how to steek confidently.
After the classes, you will have the evening to yourself. Your guide will be happy to help with dinner arrangements depending on what you would like to do.
Today, we will drive to Sandwick and take the Mousa Boat across to the island of Mousa. On Mousa, we will have time to walk to the Broch and see some of the wildlife. Because there are some areas of the walk that cover rough terrain, we recommend sturdy footwear.
On our return to Sandwick, we will head to the Hoswick Visitor Centre for lunch. You will also have some free time in Hoswick to visit the two knitwear shops: Nielanell’s and Laurence Odie’s and Karlin Anderson’s bespoke jewellery workshop.
Afterwards, we will drive to Cunningsburgh and join Wilma Malcolmson (2020 and 2021 Patron of Shetland Wool Week) and hear her talk about using colours and enjoy seeing the wonderful displays in her workshop.
Conveniently located next door to Wilma’s workshop is Laxdale Yarn, one of our new Shetland wool producers. We will have the opportunity to pop along and see what they have on offer.
We will stay in Cunningsburgh for dinner that evening, which will be at Mackenzie’s Café and Farm shop. The Mackenzie family produces Aister Oo, one of the newest lines of Shetland wool.
Today, we will travel to the Northwest corner of Shetland. Here will see the spectacular cliffs at Eshaness. We will have time to look around and take photos of this dramatic coastline, which was formed through volcanos and ice ages.
We will visit the lovely Tangwick Haa museum, which is located inside the house of a former Laird (landlord). There is also a display here about the Gunnister Man. It is an intriguing story about remains found in a peat bog and what is believed to be the earliest examples of knitwear in Shetland.
We will have our lunch in the beautiful and historic Busta House Hotel. Hazel Tindall, the world’s fastest knitter and local designer, will join us for lunch.
After lunch, Hazel will talk more about her experiences of growing up surrounded by knitters. We will have free time to knit and chat together or if you wish, you can walk around the peaceful grounds at Busta House.
Upon our return to Lerwick, we will visit the Shetland Textile Museum. Volunteers will be happy to tell you about the displays available, which cover many aspects of Shetland’s textile heritage. The building itself is also of interest. It is the birthplace of Arthur Anderson, who was a cofounder of the P&O shipping company.
We will head back to the guesthouse for some free time before heading out for our evening meal.
In the morning, we will visit the five-star Shetland Museum and Archives. Here we will be joined by a member of staff who will give us an in-depth talk about the Fair Isle heritage and displays that are available. You will have free time to look around and browse the gift shop.
We will head back to the Lerwick town centre where you will be able to grab some lunch, do some exploring and for the people leaving us tomorrow, make some last-minute purchases.
The group will come together again and we will head out to Burra. Our first stop will be at Burra Bears. See the beautiful bears that Wendy Inkster creates with recycled knitwear. Close by is the workshop of Mike Finnie, a local artist and jewellery maker. He is known for his lovely Fair Isle embossing on pendants as well as art, which takes its inspiration from the local scenery.
We will visit another part of Burra and see the wonderful fence knitted by Anne Eunson. Those of you staying on for Lace Week will get the opportunity to meet Anne and her sister, who are both beautiful lace knitters.
We will head back to the guesthouse for some free time before heading out for our evening meal. This will be our last meal together for those who are leaving tomorrow.
For those of you leaving us today, you will check out of the guesthouse and begin your return journey.
For those of you who are staying on for Lace week, please see the Lace Week itinerary for further details.
Please note: Itinerary may happen in a different order as advertised, subject to availability.
£2,250 per person
£100 deposit payable at the time of booking.
Remaining balance payable 2 weeks before starting the tour.
Please ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance before undertaking this trip.
Island Vista Assurance
The above holiday is covered by The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992. Island Vista also have public liability insurance and professional indemnity cover.
Should Covid restrictions prevent the tour from taking place in August 2021, an alternative date will be offered in Spring 2022.
As it is likely that you will need to be fully vaccinated before flying internationally, participants should ensure that arrangements are made for both vaccines to be completed at least 2 weeks before the tour begins.
Two Tour Discount
For anyone wishing to join both Fair Isle Week and Lace Week, there will be a £200 per person discount.