Sunday 15th August 2021 to Sunday 22nd 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
- Lace Workshop with Anne Eunson and Kathleen Anderson
- Lace Workshop with Elizabeth Johnston
- Whittle your own shawl pin with Cecil Tait, Paparwork Furniture
- Trip to Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island
- Coffee and cake at the Old Haa, Yell
- Uradale Farm tour
- Visit to Jamieson and Smith Wool Brokers
- Trip to Sumburgh Lighthouse Visitor Centre and RSPB Nature Reserve
- Explore Jarlshof, one of Europe’s most important archaeological sites
- Visit to Burra and view Anne Eunson’s knitted fence
- Visit to St Ninian’s Isle
- Free time to explore Lerwick and visit some local yarn stores
- Shetland Wool Heritage Talk at the Shetland Museum and Archives
- Entrance to:
- Scalloway Museum
- Old Haa Museum
- Unst Heritage Centre
- Sumburgh Visitor Centre
* 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.
Today, we will depart for Sumburgh Head. Here we will have the chance to take in the beautiful views and visit the fascinating Sumburgh Lighthouse Visitor Centre. You will have free time here to walk amongst the various exhibits, including the marine life centre.
From here, we will make our way to the Sumburgh Hotel for lunch.
After lunch, we will visit Jarlshof, an archaeological site which gives us an insight into life from 4,700 years ago all the way up to the 1600’s. Your guide will introduce you to the highlights of Jarlshof and then you will have free time to take some photos.
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 will have an early dinner before returning to the guesthouse.
We will spend the whole day at the Islesburgh Community Centre where we will be joined by Kathleen Anderson and Anne Eunson. Anne and Kathleen are sisters and have both been brought up surrounded by wonderful lace knitting. They will show you examples of lace work that has been passed down through the generations and conduct a workshop covering some of the finer points of lace knitting (pun intended!). There will be a break for lunch.
After the class, we will head out for dinner before returning to the guesthouse for the evening.
Make our way to Bigton and join Cecil Tait from Paparwork Furniture, who will teach you how to whittle your own shawl pin. Cecil is well-known in the knitting community as he also makes jumper boards, glove boards and nostepinnes. He is a regular at Shetland Wool Week and owns a croft so is no stranger to wool.
After the class, we will have some lunch before moving on to the stunning St Ninian’s Isle to stretch our legs. The spectacular beach is a tombolo and connects the mainland of Shetland to St Ninian’s Isle. Your guide will tell you all about the St Ninian’s Isle treasure.
Afterwards, we will return to Lerwick and 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.
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 Lace 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 Hamnavoe in Burra to view Anne Eunson’s knitted fence. Afterwards, we will travel 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 is going to be a busy day as we head to the very north of Shetland (and the UK) to the island of Unst. The journey will involve a lot of time in the bus and requires two ferries there and two ferries back.
On our way there, we will stop over for cake and coffee in the Old Haa Museum on the island of Yell. Nita makes some of the best cake in Shetland. The museum itself houses a lot of local history and has a textile display.
From here, we continue to Unst, where we will have time to view Bobby’s Bus shelter and the Viking Unst project before lunch. Viking Unst includes a Viking longship and example of a Viking longhouse.
Lunch will be at the quaint Victoria’s Vintage Tearoom, where there are also craft items for sale.
After lunch, we will spend time in the Unst Heritage Centre and learn more about crofting, fishing and knitting traditions from Unst. Some of the finest examples of Shetland lace knitting comes from Unst.
We will make our way back to the Shetland mainland and have dinner in Frankie’s, which is the UK’s most northerly fish and chip shop.
Afterwards, we will head back to Lerwick and relax for the rest of the evening.
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 lace 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 make some last-minute purchases.
The group will come together again and we will head out to the Islesburgh Community Centre.
Here we will be joined by Elizabeth Johnston, who will take us through a lace knitting workshop. This class will be suitable for beginners but also for people who have a lot of experience in lace knitting. Elizabeth spins her own yarn and has featured on both the 2020 and 2021 Shetland Wool Week patterns with her colourways.
Afterwards, we will head back to the guesthouse for some free time before heading out for farewell evening meal.
Today, you will check out of the guesthouse and begin your return journey.
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.