Even those who think they know all there is to know about the art of knitting can pick up a thing or two while enjoying our Knitting in the Shetland Isles Shetland Isles, tour.
we’re not just talking about those pesky dropped stitches…there are workshops aplenty, both starting off our mornings and rounding off our afternoons.
These present the perfect opportunity to hone our skills — and perhaps even learn some new ones — under the watchful eye of experienced artisans who make a living selling their wares. We also tour the island, including visits to various wool-related outlets, such as Hoswick Woollen Mill and the elegant Nielanell Design Studio, as well as local sights like the archealogical site at Jarlshof and the spectacular sea cliffs at Sumburgh Head.
Knitting in the Shetland Isles Highlights
- Experience hands-on workshops with an expert tutor
- Visit the Textile Gallery of the Shetland Museum and Archives
- Explore Jarlshof and nearby Sumburgh Head
- See the Nielanell Design Studio at Sandwick
- Discover Scalloway and its ruined castle
- Return coach travel from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Perth, Dundee or Aberdeen
- 5 nights’ accommodation with dinner, bed & breakfast: 3 nights staying at the Busta House Hotel, Brae and 2 night’s on board the Northlink Sea Ferry (with outside cabins available at a small supplement)
- Three lunches
- Three knitting workshops with expert local tutor
- Explore the Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, a guided tour of the Textile Gallery of the Shetland Museum, visit Nielanell Design Studio at Sandwick and call at the Laurence Odie Knitwear outlet located at Hoswick Woollen Mill
- Comfortable coach travel and all ferry crossings
- Services of a professional tour manager
Single room supplement, if rooms available. Offer is subject to availability.
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Knitting in the Shetland Isles Itinerary
Departing by coach from our local pick-up points, we arrive in Aberdeen and board the Northlink Ferry for our overnight crossing to Shetland. From the time you step on board you’ll appreciate that these ships have all the attributes of a mini-cruise liner, including a restaurant where dinner is served in the evening. There is also a comfortable bar and lounge. Once we have finished getting to know each other as a group we are lulled to sleep in private en suite cabins by the motions of the North Sea.
In the morning we disembark at Lerwick, capital town of the Shetland Isles. From here we travel to the southern tip of Mainland Shetland, where we visit the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, with over three acres of remains, spanning 3000 years since the days of the Stone Age, including oval shaped bronze age houses, iron age broch and wheel houses, Viking long houses and medieval farmhouses. Nearby is the glorious Sumburgh Head, a windswept sanctuary, and migration route, for all manner of birds.
Returning to Lerwick where we have an opportunity for lunch (not included), in the afternoon we visit the award-winning Textile Gallery of the Shetland Museum and Archives for a guided tour to learn all about the knitwear that once supported the island’s economy.
Our next stop is the Shetland Textile Museum, where we find an inspiring collection of local pieces located within a restored 18th-century fishing station, or “böd”.
Following this we continue to our comfortable hotel.
After breakfast we are joined by our local tutor for the first of our interactive workshops to learn the basics of Shetland hand knitting.
After lunch in the hotel we depart for a visit to the Nielanell Design Studio at Sandwick, where we discover an inventive range of alternative knitwear, including hand-spun batts just waiting to be used.
We continue to Hoswick where we will call in at the Visitor Centre, housed in a former woollen mill. The Centre includes weaving machinery, local items and an interpretation of the Hoswick Whale case. We will also visit the Laurence Odie Knitwear outlet at Hoswick Woollen Mill.
Following breakfast we depart on a tour of the western mainland of Shetland with visits to Walls, terminus for the ferry service to the island of Foula, and the headland at Sandness, overlooking the island of Papa Stour. Here at Sandness we hope to visit the family-run firm Jamieson’s of Shetland at their factory. We will learn about the various stages of wool production, from grading to spinning. There will also be a chance to purchase some 100% Shetland yarn for your own projects.
We return to the hotel for lunch before settling down for the afternoon at the second of our hands-on workshops: a great opportunity to ask your tutor any burning questions, and hone your techniques.
A leisurely breakfast sets us up nicely for the last full day of the trip, as we spend the rest of our morning engaged in a final knitting workshop with a local tutor. After lunch, we check out of the hotel and head for visit to Scalloway, the original capital of Shetland. The castle built by Earl Patrick Stewart (not a man you would want to have crossed) still dominates the skyline. More recently Scalloway was the secret base for the heroes of the Norwegian Resistance and the wartime exploits of the ‘Shetland Bus’ form a courageous memoir.
We continue to Lerwick, where the remainder of the afternoon is free, our last chance to pick up some Shetland yarn and souvenirs, or perhaps simply take in the sights of the town.
This evening we board our return ferry to Aberdeen, with dinner served in the ship’s own restaurant, a chance to reflect on the sights we have seen and the knitting skills we have learned.
We dock at Aberdeen this morning, and after breakfast on board we join our coach and return to our original pick-up points.