New Features for Visitors in 2016
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve will open its doors for the visitor season on Friday 25th March, to coincide with the Easter weekend. This year will see a number of new additions and changes to enhance the visitor experience, including a cafe facility.
The building previously known as the Education Centre has undergone a name change, to become the appropriately titled, ‘Stevenson Centre’. Named for the designer of Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Robert Stevenson also designed 15 other lighthouses around the country. The name is an acknowledgement of Stevenson’s dedication to maritime safety and the contribution he, and other generations of his family, made to the network of lighthouses that protect our shores.
Opening day celebrations will include the ceremonial blowing of the Foghorn, restored during the recent refurbishment of the site. The horn will be sounded from 12.00noon.
Artist-in-Residence for March, Jackie Lakely, will show an exhibition of her work in the café and will also be on hand all weekend to speak to the public about her residency and her art.
All new in the Engine Room, is the installation of a screen which links to the Global Positioning System, showing the position and speed of ships in the area. Visitors can monitor shipping traffic and learn more about modern satellite technology as a navigations aid – a kind of lighthouse for the digital generation!
All the usual displays and Visitor Centre facilities will be available to season ticket holders. The live stream from webcams on the cliffs will be shown in the Marine Life Centre – ideal for Puffin watching even in bad weather. Prices remain the same as 2015 and season tickets are valid for entry all year.
Tours inside the Lighthouse Tower will be available once more, from Friday to Sunday each week. There is an additional charge for these tours, and tickets can be purchased at the Gift Shop.
The Visitor Centre facilities will be open every day from 11.00am to 5.30pm, with later evening openings to be advised on the website during summer months and for events. The pop-up Café, based in the Stevenson Centre, will be open every day from 11.00am to 4.30pm serving coffee, speciality teas, and cakes made by local artisan bakers. Visitors should note that the café will not be open on Wednesdays while the room is used for educational events.