A Visit to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

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On a grey but bright Thursday Me (Ella) Oliver and Sophie who’s with us this week at J&S for Work Experience took a trip down to the very tip of the mainland of Shetland to Sumburgh Head. The reason for our visit was to see in place the carpets we have supplied the brand new Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Visitor Centre.  As well as seeing the carpets we got a great tour of the whole place from Angela Hunt, the Operations Manager.

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The Sumburgh Head Lighthouse was designed by world famous lighthouse designer and engineer Robert Stevenson, the lighthouse was constructed in 1821. Over 150 years Stevenson and his descendants designed most of Scotland’s Lighthouses, 7 in total in Shetland. in fact the Fair Isle South Lighthouse, designed by the Stevensons was only automated in 1998, the last  Scottish lighthouse to be manned.

Over the past two years the Lighthouse has undergone a £5.4 million revamp by the Shetland Amenity Trust and we are so proud to provide the 100% Shetland Wool carpets and mats for the brand new Education Room and in the accommodation within the Lighthouse.

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We began our tour in the Education Room which provides a panoramic view of the South End of Shetland. When we arrived they were setting up for a school visit and it was great to see.

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The Education will host School Groups and Tourist in the Summer months and Angela told us about plans for different classes to be held in the room in off peak season, and how it can be hired for private functions. Imagine the sunsets!

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The carpet looked really great. We worked with our Carpet Layer Robin of Nort Trow flooring and he made a really fantastic job. Derek who usually can be found in the Woolstore went down to give Robin a hand in laying them.

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We then moved onto the accommodation, which can be let by anyone. You can find more information about staying in lighthouses in Shetland here.

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The buildings have been carefully restored and sensitively decorated. Our carpets were featured again in the impressive staircase

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We hand-finished a lot of mats for the sides of beds, these were made from the off cuts of the carpets. Nothing is wasted! The building is floored in beautiful stone floors and having a wool mat at the side of the bed really warms up the room (and your toes!)

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We also have a number of our 3 Sheep Logo mats, a few of which were hand finished by Jan who works in the Woolstore

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And there is one lovely large 3 Sheep Mat in the Living Room which really makes a great centrepiece.

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A really lovely place to stay!

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We then went through all aspects of the visitors centre, which covers everything from being a lighthouse keeper to the nature all around Sumburgh Head.

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One of the most interesting areas to me was the Radar Hut which highlights the role of Shetland and Sumburgh Head during World War Two. They have recreated how the hut would have looked in the War

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The engine room has been carefully updated and gives you a timeline of the history of the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

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Of course we had to climb the steps around the freshly painted Fog Horn and see the view..

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And we had our eye out for Sumburgh’s most famous residents..

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puff2Lovely Puffins! Luckily Oliver had his big fancy lens so we got some great photos!

It was so brilliant to see the Visitors Centre open and see how many Tourists were around, we are so proud and happy to have a small part in it.

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Thank you to Angela for showing us around, we had a great morning!

Speak soon and happy knitting,

xx

6 thoughts on “A Visit to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

  1. Christine June 26, 2014 / 9:24 am

    Thank you for a fascinating post. Definitely on my list of places to visit! Your carpets and rugs are beautiful too.

  2. curtthesheep June 26, 2014 / 9:44 am

    A wonderful restoration and I am looking forward to seeing it myself as soon as possible. The lighthouse was recently opened by HRH The Princess Royal and she was presented with a Real Shetland wool numnah on behalf of the Shetland crofters.
    Real Shetland wool is fast regaining its former glory and is once again being recognised around the world for its unique qualities. Not everything you see that is called shetland wool is made from wool grown on the Islands. Always look for the registered trade mark, the 3 Sheep Logo. We want to protect the Shetland crofters whose livelihoods are under constant threat from incorrectly labelled or described products.

  3. Janet Major June 26, 2014 / 2:24 pm

    Great post, thanks.

  4. stashdragon June 26, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    Thanks for this beautiful virtual tour.

  5. Elaine June 27, 2014 / 1:17 am

    Oh, how beautiful is all of this!! I wish I could see it in person. Thanks so much for sharing, Ella.

  6. Felicity Ford July 12, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    I love Oliver’s Puffin pictures and am so happy to see that there is so much Shetland wool involved in the new visitor’s centre!

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