Explorer Stephanie and Storm went on a BIG adventure this summer to the dog friendly Shetland Islands. Read on for travel inspiration and some of the dog friendly places they found along the way.
Due to everything going on in the world right now. We decided to do a staycation this year after our holidays abroad were cancelled and we decided to visit friends in the Shetland Islands, and we wanted to bring Storm along too.
We were a little worried that Shetland wouldn’t be as dog friendly as places we are used to where we live. Research didn’t help to ease these concerns but when we arrived, our worries were eased when we found a few spots that all allowed your furry friend to join you.
In order to get there we boarded North Link Ferry and Storm went down to the kennels. We had ordered a big one for her and it was very spacious but if the kennels are not for your dog then North Link Ferries has just announced they have limited pet friendly cabins on board.
We found plenty of dog friendly accommodation on Shetland which are now listed on the Dog Furiendly Website to browse through. We were staying with friends so were lucky not to have to need this.
Our first day was very busy, we settled into our cottage and headed off to Sumburgh to try and spot some puffins and we did manage to find some but not very many… We later found out that the best time to spot them in the summer is in the evening as they come back from feeding and being out at sea to nest. We had gone in the morning but were lucky enough to see some.
We then continued our journey back towards Lerwick and stopped at Aithsetter to grab some lunch at MacKenzie Farm shop and café. We had some really great food and some really nice cake. If you do go hear be sure to try some of the cake. Your dog is allowed to join you but only if you sit outside. The outdoor seating area offers some amazing views of Shetland I do recommend having a browse around the farm shop too. It offers some amazing Shetland delicacies; we highly recommend the Shetland shortbread.
We wanted to go to St Ninians Isle we did manage to get some stunning pictures, but it was very busy with a full car park and with the current Covid situation we decided it was wise to give this one a miss.
Instead we headed to Tingwall and went to Plantiecrub, a garden centre. Storm made friends with the CEO of the garden centre Jarl. They have a great selection of plants and ornaments, the even have a little pet section for your furry friend to pick out something for their-self.
Boat Ride Adventures
Day 2 we took a walk along the sea front in Lerwick, it offers some stunning views across the sea. There is plenty of options for walking in Lerwick ranging from hiking trails to walks by the sea front (one of our favourites) and walking around the local loch. One thing we did find was that a lot of the local parks were very anti dog and didn’t allow them into them.
Our friend took us out on their boat, and this was a fab way to see Shetland from a different perspective. Storm loved the boat… She was made for boating life. We tried to dock on an island in order to have a BBQ, but this ended not so well when the pier was too busy to dock, so instead we had the BBQ on the boat. I would recommend hiring or chartering a boat as this is a completely new way to see the island.
Day 3 we woke early to get a ferry over to one of the smaller islands that are part of Shetland. Yell was beautiful but due Covid all the coffee shops and little eateries were closed. We did find a shop to grab some drinks and just drove around. We found a tiny slither of beach to explore and play fetch on. We continued our drive and took the ferry back to the main Shetland island.
We grabbed lunch at The Cornerstone Café and Bar in Scalloway. Dogs are allowed to join you for your stay but only in the outdoor seating area. We had the most amazing lunch. We highly recommend the macaroni and cheese.
We headed back to Lerwick and had a stroll around the Broch of Clickimin if you’re in Lerwick this is a must visit.
In the afternoon we strolled down to the town centre had a wander around the shops. We then headed into The Dowry and grabbed some drinks. Storm was welcomed with friendly staff and offered a water bowl for her stay we had a window seat that was far away from all the other tables.
Day 4 was a slightly more chilled out after lots of busy days. After speaking to some of the locals and being a little upset that we didn’t manage the visit to St Ninians Isle. We were advised of a beach exactly like it, but it was a little further of a drive. We went to Banna Minn Beach and it did not disappoint.
White sand and turquoise water connecting two parts of Shetland together exactly like St Ninians Isle and we had the whole beach to ourself it was so quiet and the perfect photo spot, as you can see by Storm’s Photos.
We had a chill afternoon exploring the town centre and enjoying the sun at the little cottage.
Day 5 sadly our last day on the island. It was another chilled day too. We took a slow walk down to the town centre, we took a wrong turn and ended up in Fort Charlotte. It is in a preserved artillery fort. This offers some stunning views across Lerwick Town Centre.
To finalise the trip, we went along our favourite walk in Lerwick along the front we went down onto the beach to give Storm her last time on the beach and headed back to the cottage collected our luggage and headed down to and boarded the ship. Storm went happily into her kennel and slept off all her adventures
When I went down at 9pm to collect her for her evening walk she was sound asleep.
Would We Visit Shetland Again?
Shetland has been an amazing holiday for us all but especially for storm as it was her first ever holiday away with us… it certainly won’t be her last. We will definitely be back to Shetland as its incredibly dog friendly and we just didn’t manage to visit everywhere we wanted to.