|Location Map ( geo)
|Looking down the bill to Bressay Sound
Lerwick is the largest town and Island Capital for the Shetland Isles, and also the islands main ferry port. It is home to a good range of shops, supermarkets, college and hospital amongst other services. With a history dating back to the long Norse ownership of the Northern Isles, Lerwick has long been important to the islanders, and its growth as the most northerly town in the British Isles has been boosted in recent years by the North Sea Oil boom, which has massively benefited Shetland as a whole. The shelter afforded by the Isle of Bressay to the east also meant that Lerwick thrived as a port, and the long stretch of coast north of the town occupied by harbours, wharves and industrial sites is still busy today.
The Shetland Isles are a rugged, rocky place, making roads twist and turn as they try to connect the various towns and villages they serve. As such, Lerwick is not a hub like Kirkwall on the Orkneys, but rather just a place along the long and meandering route of the A970. The one concession given to the island capital is that the A969 forms a loop around the town centre, allowing the A970 to take a more direct route along the western side of the town. Within this ring, the B9072 follows a couple of streets in the centre of town, but it is the A970 which is the primary access to the port area to the north.
The only other classified road near Lerwick is the B9073, which cuts across the island south of the town, running from the A970 to its spur into Scalloway. Where, normally, such spurs would be given different numbers, there are, and have been several instances of roads on Shetland with lengthy spurs, the A970 having two!
Lerwick is, as mentioned above, also the main ferry port for the island. Ferries make the crossing from Aberdeen on the mainland, which takes 12-14 hours or longer in bad weather. Some crossings also stop at Kirkwall on the Orkneys. Smaller ferries sail from Lerwick to a number of islands in the archipelago, inclduing Bressay just across the sound and Fair Isle in the midst of the sea between Orkney and Shetland. A limited service also operates to the Out Skerries. Lerwick also forms a periodic stop on the ferries which sail to the Faroe Islands, so has occasional connections to the Faroes, Norway and even Denmark.
|forms a loop off the A970 serving Lerwick town centre.
|The North, Hillswick, Sullum Voe (B9076) (A968), North Isles (A968)
|Scalloway, The South (B9073)
|The South, Sumburgh Airport
|Walls, Sandness, Tingwall Airport
|via A970 (north)
|King Harald Street and Harbour Street
|Scalloway (A970), The North (A970), Burra (B9074)
|via A970 (south). Provides through route avoiding town.
|Error: Lerwick - Bergen Ferry does not exist
|Torshavn, Faroe Islands
|Error: Lerwick - Torshavn Ferry does not exist
|Error: Lerwick - Out Skerries Ferry does not exist
|Error: Lerwick - Fair Isle Ferry does not exist