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13 Best Places to Stay in the Shetland Islands

Located 62 miles north of the Scotland mainland between the Faroe Islands and Norway, the Shetland Islands offer some of the most spectacular landscapes in the United Kingdom and a wealth of things to see and do. Discover prehistoric sites and Viking heritage through fascinating Norse settlements, and enjoy abundant wildlife from seals and orcas to puffins, along with the archipelago’s famous Shetland ponies. To explore it all, you’ll need a great base, and while the islands may be remote, you’ll find some great family-run hotels, B&BS, and Airbnb vacation rentals, including these.

Hotels in the Shetland Islands

Belmont House - Unst Belmont House, Unst, Shetland Islands
Credit: Belmont House, Unst, Shetland Islands by Belmont House

Belmont House - Unst

Belmont House is one of the finest Georgian homes in all of Scotland. It was built in 1775, and while it was immaculately restored, it still retains its original features. There are individual B&B rooms available, or you can rent the entire house for a self-catering stay. Located at the north end of the Shetland Islands in Unst, you’ll have easy access to the region’s many attractions, like Hermaness National Nature Reserve and the Skidbladner Viking ship. A wide range of facilities is included in your stay, such as Smart TVs, a DVD player, a full kitchen, a BBQ grill and smoker, a washer/dryer, and items for entertainment like CDs, DVDs, books, games, and even toys for the kids.

The Cornerstone - Scalloway The Cornerstone, Scalloway, Shetland Islands
Credit: The Cornerstone, Scalloway, Shetland Islands by The Cornerstone

The Cornerstone - Scalloway

Located in the heart of Scalloway, just seven miles from Lerwick, this intimate B&B hotel offers five rooms, four doubles, and one single, all en-suite. A family-run property, it includes an outstanding restaurant/cafe with a full bar and a fireplace. All rooms are well-appointed and include coffeemakers and tea-making facilities and TVs with access to Netflix (used with your personal account).

Brae Hotel - Brae Brae Hotel
Credit: Brae Hotel by Brae Hotel

Brae Hotel - Brae

Located in the village of Brae, 23 miles north of Lerwick, the Brae Hotel makes a great place for exploring the northern region of the Shetland Islands. It offers a B&B-style stay with delicious full breakfasts served everything morning. The coffee lounge offers light bites, coffee, and tea, while the restaurant features a daily-changing menu for dinner featuring lots of local produce. After a day of activities, you can relax at the Northern Lights Bar, which includes some outstanding whisky options along with a pool table, darts, and Sky sports.

Maryfield House Hotel Ltd - Bressay Maryfield House Hotel Ltd
Credit: Maryfield House Hotel Ltd by Maryfield House Hotel Ltd

Maryfield House Hotel Ltd - Bressay

A small family-run hotel on the island of Bressay, just a 5-minute ferry ride from Lerwick, Maryfield House is surrounded by rolling hills, peaceful bays, coastal paths, and seabirds. You’ll also have easy access to the island’s many historical and archaeological sites while enjoying a tranquil setting with picturesque views. The hotel includes a bar and restaurant, with a special roast dinner hosted every Sunday, and a complimentary breakfast is included too. All rooms are en-suite and include spectacular views, flat-screen TVs with DVD players and DVDs, satellite channels, board games, and puzzles.

Aurora Guest House - Lerwick Aurora Guest House, Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Credit: Aurora Guest House, Lerwick, Shetland Islands by Aurora Guest House

Aurora Guest House - Lerwick

Although it’s located in the heart of Lerwick, just steps from many attractions, the Aurora Guest House offers a quiet setting in a townhouse built in 1900 that includes all the modern conveniences. There’s a large dining/lounging room for relaxing, while rooms include flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, and free Wi-Fi. There’s also a Scandinavian-style chalet with a private entrance and a kitchenette. Enjoy complimentary breakfast items in the morning, like fresh fruit, toast, cereals, yogurt, and fruit juice.

Busta House Hotel - Busta Busta House Hotel
Credit: Busta House Hotel by Busta House Hotel

Busta House Hotel - Busta

Busta House Hotel is located in the town of Busta, just outside the village of Brae, overlooking the sea inlet of Busta Voe. Look forward to magnificent views and an ideal base for exploring the Shetland Islands. The hotel has a long and storied history, with the earliest part of the house built in 1588 – not surprisingly, there’s also an interesting story about a ghost that’s said to still linger. The on-site restaurant serves breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and light bites throughout the day, and in the Long Room lounge, there is a collection of around 280 whiskies, ideal for a wee dram by the open peat fire. All rooms are unique, but each comes with satellite TVs and facilities for making tea and coffee.

Rentals in the Shetland Islands

Secluded Romantic Cottage - Yell Secluded Romantic Cottage
Credit: Secluded Romantic Cottage by Airbnb.com

Secluded Romantic Cottage - Yell

Enjoy an idyllic stay in Westerbrake, a secluded, romantic cottage that overlooks the Atlantic. It’s a charming croft home with Breckeon Beach, wildlife, scenic strolls, and fishing right out your door, perfect for those who want to be immersed in nature while being within easy reach of the mainland and more. It includes plenty of historic character with vintage and antique features along with modern comforts, including a washer and dryer. It sleeps up to three with one bedroom plus a living room with a traditional boxbed, great for one or two older children to share. The host has provided binoculars, maps, and a wide selection of natural and cultural history books about Shetland and the local area too.

Gorgeous Tiny House with Wood Burning Stove - Unst Gorgeous Tiny House with Wood Burning Stove
Credit: Gorgeous Tiny House with Wood Burning Stove by Airbnb.com

Gorgeous Tiny House with Wood Burning Stove - Unst

This tiny eco-friendly house is known as the Peerie Neuk and comes with all the essentials but in a compact size, sleeping up to two. It includes a double bed and a fold-out sofa, along with a small kitchen that has a cooktop (hob), kettle, mini fridge, and a wood-burning stove with an oven that keeps it nice and cozy. Plus, you can wake up to a beautiful view every morning.

Sea Winds, Lerwick Townhouse with Sea Views - Lerwick Sea Winds, Lerwick townhouse with sea views, Shetland Islands
Credit: Sea Winds, Lerwick townhouse with sea views, Shetland Islands by Airbnb.com

Sea Winds, Lerwick Townhouse with Sea Views - Lerwick

One of the highest-rated rentals available in Lerwick, Sea Winds is a 1760 two-story townhouse nestled at the south end of Commercial Street with views of Bain’s Beach. It’s just a short walk from the town’s many shops, pubs, and restaurants near the famous BBC series “Shetland” Jimmy Perez home. Look forward to gazing out at the beautiful views and making your own meals in the full kitchen with a dishwasher and small appliances like a blender, coffeemaker, and kettle. It includes two bedrooms, both with double beds, sleeping up to four guests.

Old Moorens - Tresta Old Moorens, Shetland Islands
Credit: Old Moorens, Shetland Islands by Airbnb.com

Old Moorens - Tresta

Located in the hamlet of Tresta on the west side of Shetland with a beautiful white sandy beach, the Old Moorens will put you just a tenth of a mile from the peaceful stretch with gorgeous sunset views. It’s nestled in a garden and offers lots of space with two bedrooms sleeping up to four guests. It includes a cozy sitting room with a wood-burning stove that’s wonderful to come back to after a chilly hike. There’s also a full kitchen with a Nespresso machine, a TV, and a washing machine.

Voortrekker Soothpunds Apartment - Lerwick Voortrekker - Soothpunds Apartment, Shetland Islands
Credit: Voortrekker - Soothpunds Apartment, Shetland Islands by Airbnb.com

Voortrekker Soothpunds Apartment - Lerwick

Ideal for a romantic couples’ stay, Soothpunds accommodates up to two and includes a lounge with spectacular views across Levenwick to the north and glorious sunsets with the colors splashed over Mossi Hill flowing into the bay. You’ll have a kitchenette, a 32″ HDTV with Netflix, and your own private spa area that includes a sauna and a hot tub for soaking with panoramic views across the Southpunds to the cliffs.

Spectacular Shetland Waterside Location - Brae Spectacular Shetland Waterside Location
Credit: Spectacular Shetland Waterside Location by Airbnb.com

Spectacular Shetland Waterside Location - Brae

Located in the heart of Shetland, Orwick Lodge offers an ideal central base for exploring while being close to quiet beaches. Enjoy picturesque views that include the occasional otter that passes the window and the shalders (oystercatchers) on the patio. The host offers complimentary mussels from their farm, and you’ll enjoy all the usual amenities like a full kitchen, TV, and washing machine. The eco-sustainable underfloor heating feels fabulous underfoot.

Traditional Cottage with Modern Amenities - Sullom Traditional Cottage with Modern Amenities, Shetland Islands
Credit: Traditional Cottage with Modern Amenities, Shetland Islands by Airbnb.com

Traditional Cottage with Modern Amenities - Sullom

This postcard-perfect traditional cottage offers gorgeous views of Sullom voe, an inlet of the North Sea, in a rural setting, ensuring peace and quiet. Lovingly restored, it has the look of days gone by but with modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen, a TV, and a washer/dryer. There are two bedrooms upstairs, one with a double bed and the other with two singles, sleeping up to four guests.

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