East Burra | Calum Toogood

Ask an Islander

We headed north to Shetland where Dave from the Outpost is told us about all that East Burra has to offer. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do when you visit.

“Bring a picnic to The Outpost and feed the animals – there’s usually feed in the honesty boxes and you might even spy an otter in the water nearby – and then take a walk along the coastline or ramble out to the ruins at Symbister.

“Perhaps even a horse ride at Houlls Horses & Hounds (just past the community hall).

“You could take advantage of the views and wander the area, visiting the multiple arts and crafts places we have scattered across the east isle. There are lots of talented designers, artists, musicians, and writers such as Designs by Deborah at Kyrrhus, Trowie Knowe Crafts, Mike at Red Houss Shetland, Wendy’s Burra Bears, the Mam Houss kiosk, and don’t forget to check out poet and writer Jen Hadfield.”

We were keen to learn more about East Burra’s hidden gems. Dave tells us that the Meadows Road is often missed. “We hear fairly regularly from people that they ‘have never been on this road before’ and have often missed out on Meadows Road. When they do venture down, they are always pleasantly surprised and glad to have taken the little detour. On Meadows Road we have Burra Bears, The Outpost, and Red Houss Shetland. There’s also the new collaborative art kiosk at Houss, at the top of the main road just past the Meadows Road turn off.”

We were keen to find out what Dave’s favourite time of the year was in the island. “Summer time!” he says. “One of the best Sunday Teas anywhere in Shetland is at The Bridge End Community Hall which has been a highlight in summers past. The helpers and home bakers always put on an amazing spread with a wide range of superb grub.

“The walks around the East Isle are great and with the long summer days there’s no rush to get back before it gets dark which gives you plenty of time to take in all the beautiful scenery and wildlife the island has to offer.

“There’s the opportunity to go horse riding and pull up at The Outpost hitching post to stop off for a cuppa or some home brew.

“Also picnics and barbies at The Outpost are a ripper! Always good brews, good Aussie sweets, and the occasional bit of live music.”

Finally, we ask Dave what his favourite thing about island life is: “Serenity. Peace and quiet, the small friendly community and it’s a great place for kids growing up. Total peace of mind. Neighbours looking out for each other and giving a helping hand without complaint. You don’t ever have to travel far to find a bonnie place here and we have experiences and places on our doorstep that other folk can only dream of – we’re very lucky.”

Collect the stamp

The passport stamp for East Burra depicts Houss Haa. Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to start collecting!

Getting Here

East Burra is joined to Mainland Shetland via a series of bridges and causways linking the islands of Trondra, West Burra and East Burra. 

A local bus (Service 5) from Scalloway travels through Trondra and West Burra and then on to Houss in East Burra. The bus connects with Service 4 from Lerwick at Blydoit.

There is a ‘shopper’ bus service connecting the island directly to Lerwick every Thursday.

More information: getting to Mainland Shetland

Explore More

Want to find out more about East Burra and explore more of our amazing islands?

Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:

  • discover your perfect island match,
  • find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
  • collect passport stamps for the islands you visit,
  • find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.