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Shetland Amenity Trust sites open for the return of Up Helly Aa 2023

Published: 17 January 2023

The museum is the place to visit for all Up Helly Aa aficionados and will be hosting tours and a visit from the Jarl Squad.

Members of the public are invited to watch as the 2023 Lerwick Jarl Squad make their official visit to Shetland Museum & Archives on Tuesday 31 January at 3.30pm, and have the chance to see them perform their UHA song, chat to the squad and perhaps even get the chance to try on a helmet or hold a shield. This year will be a free, ticketed event with bookings in advance via the museum’s box office.

Additional photo opportunities include getting a close-up of the Junior UHA galley which will be positioned outside the museum at Hay’s Dock from 11:45 – 14:45 on the Tuesday.

For those curious to find out how the Up Helly Aa festival started and learn how it has evolved into the format that we recognise today, ‘Origins of Up Helly Aa’ tours will take place on Monday 30, Tues 31 January and Wednesday 1 February. Again, this is a ticketed event and must be booked in advance.

The waterfront Hay’s Dock by the Dowry café/restaurant will be open throughout the week for warming drinks and delicious meals using locally sourced ingredients.

Further afield, Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village will be opening its doors on Wednesday 1 February offering people a rare chance to visit out of season - as usually the site is tucked up for the winter months. There will be three guided tours throughout the day uncovering the myth and legend of this heritage site.

Visitors will be able to soak up the dramatic wintry views at Sumburgh Head too with the centre, lighthouse and nature reserve open for three days (Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 February, 10am – 5pm) together with the café with the cliff top views, Katja’s Unken Kaffee.

Alison Moncrieff, Chair of Shetland Amenity Trust said: “We’re delighted that UHA is back and that we’re able to open our heritages sites for this popular date in Shetland’s calendar.  It’s a great opportunity for folk to experience the sites at a different time of year; our knowledgeable teams will be on hand to answer all the questions and share information on Shetland’s amazing heritage, archaeology and nature.”

For further information on all events, opening times and details on how to book tickets pleaseclick here.