Victoria Pier Live Cam

At the crossroads of the North Sea and the North-east Atlantic

Lerwick Harbour


Hosted by:
  • Lerwick Port Authority
  • Albert Building - Lerwick
  • Shetland ZE1 0LL - United Kingdom
  • +44 (0)1595 692991
  • [email protected]

Lerwick History

Lerwick is the largest town and capital of the Shetland Islands, an archipelago located off the north coast of Scotland. The history of Lerwick dates back over 400 years, when it was a small fishing village on the east coast of Mainland, the largest island in the Shetlands.

During the 17th century, Lerwick grew in importance as a trading center, with ships from Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands arriving to trade goods such as fish, wool, and salt. In 1708, the town was granted a royal charter by Queen Anne, which allowed it to hold regular markets and fairs, and to elect a council to govern the town.

In the 19th century, Lerwick's economy shifted away from fishing and towards the herring industry. The town became a major center for the processing and export of herring, with dozens of curing stations and factories springing up along the shore. The herring boom brought prosperity to Lerwick, and the town expanded rapidly, with new buildings and streets constructed to accommodate the growing population.

During World War II, Lerwick played a key role in the Allied war effort, serving as a base for convoys and patrols in the North Sea. The town was heavily bombed by German planes, but quickly recovered after the war ended.

Today, Lerwick is a thriving community with a population of around 7,500 people. It is known for its picturesque harbor, historic buildings, and lively festivals, including the world-famous Up Helly Aa fire festival, which takes place every January.

Lerwick Top Tourist Attractions

Lerwick has several top tourist attractions that visitors can explore. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Lerwick Town Centre - The town centre is a bustling area filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants. It's a great place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere of the town.
  • Clickimin Broch - Clickimin Broch is an ancient stone tower that dates back to the Iron Age. It's one of the best-preserved brochs in Shetland and offers a glimpse into the region's early history.
  • Lerwick Museum and Archives - The Lerwick Museum and Archives showcases the history and culture of the Shetland Islands. It has an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that cover everything from Viking history to the herring industry.
  • Shetland Museum and Archives - The Shetland Museum and Archives is a larger museum that offers a comprehensive look at the history and culture of the Shetland Islands. It's located in nearby Hay's Dock and has interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and a cafe.
  • Up Helly Aa Exhibition - Up Helly Aa is an annual fire festival that takes place in Lerwick every January. The Up Helly Aa Exhibition showcases the history and traditions of the festival and is open year-round.
  • Scalloway Castle - Scalloway Castle is a ruined castle located just outside of Lerwick. It was built in the early 17th century and was once the seat of the Earl of Shetland.
  • Fort Charlotte - Fort Charlotte is a historic fort located in the heart of Lerwick. It was built in the late 18th century and was once an important military stronghold. Today, it's a popular spot for picnics and offers great views of the town and harbor.

Lerwick Climate

Lerwick has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), which is influenced by its location in the northern part of the United Kingdom and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate in Lerwick is cool, damp, and windy, with mild temperatures throughout the year.

The average temperature in Lerwick ranges from around 4°C (39°F) in winter to 13°C (55°F) in summer. The warmest months are July and August, while the coldest months are December and January. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the weather patterns and prevailing winds.

Lerwick receives a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year, with an average annual precipitation of around 1,050 mm (41 inches). The wettest months are typically October and November, while the driest months are usually April and May.

The town is also known for its strong winds, which can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) during the winter months. However, the town is protected from the worst of the Atlantic storms by the surrounding islands, which helps to moderate the weather somewhat.

Lerwick Geography

Lerwick is located on the east coast of Mainland, the largest island in the Shetland archipelago, which is located off the north coast of Scotland. The town is situated on a natural harbor known as Bressay Sound, which is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by several smaller islands.

The terrain around Lerwick is rugged and hilly, with steep cliffs and rocky outcrops lining the coast. The town itself is built on a narrow strip of land that runs between the harbor and the surrounding hills. The surrounding landscape is characterized by peat bogs, heathland, and moors, with small crofts (traditional farming communities) scattered throughout.

The islands that surround Lerwick are also an important part of its geography. Bressay, which is located directly across from the town, is a popular destination for hikers and birdwatchers. It has several nature reserves and offers great views of the town and surrounding islands. Other nearby islands include Noss, Whalsay, and Unst, which is the northernmost inhabited island in the UK.

Overall, the geography of Lerwick and the surrounding islands is rugged, beautiful, and largely untouched by human development. It offers a unique and unspoiled natural environment that is a major draw for visitors from around the world.