Accessibility at Sumburgh Head

Summary accessibility statement

How to get here

By bus

The bus runs between Lerwick and Sumburgh Airport. The reserve is located approximately 2 miles (3.5 km) from the airport.

By road

The reserve is on the southern-most tip of Mainland Shetland. On the A970 about 0.3 mile (0.5 km) east of the turn off to Sumburgh Aiport, turn right at Grutness and carry on for about 1.25 miles (2 km) until you reach the main car park. From there it's a 0.3 mile (0.5 km) walk to the lighthouse. For less mobile visitors, there is a small disabled parking area near the lighthouse.

Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.

Other ways to get there

By boat: Shetland can be reached by ferry from Aberdeen or Thurso, via Orkney, to Lerwick. Contact Northlink Ferries on 0845 6000 449. 

By plane: Flights from Orkney, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow operated by Loganair and Flybe.

Access to facilities

Visitor centre

Sumburgh Head visitor centre does not belong to RSPB. For further information regarding access visit

Car parking
2 Blue Badge spaces

Tarmac surface.

Nature trails access
  • Uneven, unimproved paths alongside boundary walls and fences. Two stiles along coastal trail.
  • One bench midway up to the lighthouse.
  • The path is too steep for wheelchair users but two disabled car parking spaces are available beside the lighthouse. Please contact the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Visitor Centre on 01950 461966 (April - September only) if you require more information.
Viewing points

Two wooden viewing platforms with steps and external interpretation.


This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. We encourage responsible dog walking, and ask you to keep your dog close to you, preferably on a lead, when near livestock, cliffs and especially between 1 April - 15 August during the breeding bird season.