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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Cafe to reopen for the season on 2 April

Published: 22 March 2022

Join in the celebrations at Sumburgh Head on Saturday 2 April as the site reopens for the 2022 season. The foghorn will be sounded to mark the start of the season and members of the public will get the chance to win a competition to be the lightkeeper’s assistant on the day.


The ticket office opens at 10.00am, and all ticket holders are invited to an outside guided tour at 11.00am, followed by the customary blast of the foghorn with the help of Retained Lightkeeper Brian Johnson at 12 noon.  A ticket includes access to all the site facilities for the season, including the Marine Life Centre, Radar Hut, Smiddy and access to the Engine Room to watch Brian starting the engines. Katja Stübiger’s popular ‘Unken Kaffee’ will also be open, serving her coveted coffees, Belgian hot chocolates, homemade cakes and light lunches.

Jane Outram, Sumburgh Head site manager said: “Since last season the lighthouse and surrounding buildings have been painted and everything is looking bright and fresh ready for the start of a busy year. The blasting of the foghorn always attracts a good crowd and our lucky competition winner will help Brian to open the final valve to sound the foghorn whilst the three runners up will each be be given the opportunity to help to start one of the engines. All the details on how to enter the competition are on the Sumburgh Head website and social media pages. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 30 April.”

The team at the Visitor Centre is looking forward to adding to its ‘sightings’ board, which keeps a daily and seasonal record of seabird and sea mammal sightings. Puffins are expected on the waters off Sumburgh from the beginning of April and back on the cliffs shortly after.

Alison Moncrieff, chair of Shetland Amenity Trust added: “We would like to thank everyone who has supported Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre over the years and especially during Covid. Sumburgh Head is entirely funded by tickets sales and charitable donations. It is an outstanding spot with so much natural and cultural heritage to enjoy, and the small team there does an incredible job to ensure that the site remains a world class visitor attraction in Shetland. In order to help our team continue to maintain this fabulous site for everyone’s enjoyment, we encourage people to buy a ticket, which is reusable, and will gain them access to all aspects of the site throughout the season.”

A programme of events and activities is planned for the Easter holidays and for the rest of the season.

Opening times: The Visitor Centre and Unken Kaffee will be open five days a week, Thursday – Monday, 10.00am – 5.00pm.