Sumburgh Head is an iconic landmark situated at the southern tip of Shetland.
enlarge Here the Atlantic meets the North Sea and the unique action of tides and wind promote a wealth of wildlife of which seabirds and seals, and occasionally whales and dolphins, are first to catch the eye. The seabird colony is among the most accessible in Britain and is an RSPB Reserve. From mid-April to early-August Puffins are, arguably, its top attraction, often sitting just a few metres away on the grassy cliff tops.
Straddling the Head is Shetland's first Stevenson Lighthouse, considered by Historic Scotland to represent one of Scotland's finest surviving pieces of early nineteenth century architecture. It was built by Robert Stevenson (grandfather of the famous author, Robert Louis) in 1819 and completed in 1821. The buildings are Category A Listed and set amidst superb seascapes with a spectacular view south to Britain's most isolated inhabited island, Fair Isle.
A World War II Chain Home Low Radar station, one of the earliest such buildings in Britain, is situated in close proximity to the Lighthouse and indeed, because of this proximity, was in contravention of the Geneva convention. Sumburgh Head was of strategic importance during the war and a great deal of wartime activity occurred in the Sumburgh area.
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