New winter opening times at the Shetland Museum and Archives

The Shetland Museum and Archives have announced new opening times that will come into effect on Saturday 28th November. The aim is to provide more flexibility for locals to visit and enjoy the Museum’s facilities safely over the winter months.

Sandy Middleton, Head of Engagement, said: “One of the main changes is that the Museum will now be open on Sunday afternoon, from 12noon to 4pm, and booking is no longer required on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Rather than having to book in advance, we are keen to give people the opportunity to simply drop in over the weekend to see the new exhibitions and enjoy the new family activities and picnic area.

“As well as clear social distancing and a one-way system throughout the museum we have introduced staggered entries and will conduct spot cleaning throughout the day to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff.

“We have kept our booking system in place throughout the week to allow visitors to have exclusive use of the Museum if they wish and we are providing longer slots to give people time to browse at their leisure. This service is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm. The Museum will now be closed to the public on Mondays.”

The archives will be open two days a week, on Thursday and Friday from 10.15am – 4pm and booking is still required, if these days are unsuitable alternative times are available on request, email All bookings are free and can be made online or by calling 01595 695057.

Alastair Hamilton, Chair of the Shetland Amenity Trust, commented: “We reopened the Shetland Museum and Archives to the public back in July, with a new booking system in place and we have worked hard to make it a safe and enjoyable experience for all. We have been delighted by the response from visitors and locals alike.

“In the winter months, our main visitors to the Museum and Archives are local people, so we work hard to put on new exhibitions, displays and activities to encourage them to visit us regularly. We are keen to make it as easy as possible for people to pop in to the Museum, so removing the need to pre-book at weekends is very important. At these times, we use one-way systems and staggered entry into key areas instead.”

Sandy added: “Although we are unable to host our usual winter programme, we feel we have a great offering this year for all the family to enjoy.”

She continued: “The already popular Fair Isle Chairs exhibition by Eve Eunson in Da Gadderie is not to be missed. An exciting range of children’s activities associated with this exhibition is available, including designing your own chair. Families can also get into the festive spirit with our Christmas Gallery Trail and make use of the picnic area situated in Hay’s Dock Café.

“Another display which will be installed next week, and is well worth a look, is that put together by Curator of Collections Jenny Murray; it’s a fantastic display of colourful Skovi Kapps (Russian wooden bowls) brought home by Shetland seamen in the Baltic trade.”

There will also be the return of the popular photographic display of Christmas images from the photo archive. Visitors are encouraged to come along and help identify faces so that the details can be recorded.

The Shetland Museum shop also has a selection of Christmas gift inspirations, including beautiful traditional wooden toys and locally-made gifts. There’s also the facility to browse, online, through a specially selected range of vintage black and white images from the Shetland photo archives and prints can be ordered and collected in time for Christmas.

Shetland Museum and Archives Winter Opening Times 2020.

Monday – closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – open 10am to 4pm, booking essential
Friday, Saturday – open 10am to 4pm, no booking required
Sunday – open 12noon to 4pm, no booking required

Thursday and Friday, open 10.15am to 4pm, booking essential
* If these days are unsuitable alternative times are also available, email

Related Posts

Shetland Museum closed Saturday (6 Aug) afternoon

Shetland Museum is closing at 2.00pm this Saturday 6 August.

Read more

Da Wadder

The weather is never far from conversation here, and it hasn’t been a great summer. Some good days though, and on July 19 the ...

Read more

Maggie Helen Under Sail

The Maggie Helen was under sail last night for the first time in over 100 years.

Read more

Temporary diversion at the Museum as the Maggie Helen is on the move

There will be a temporary car park closure and access diversion in place at Hay’s Dock at the Shetland Museum and Archives from the ...

Read more

Land of Straw Art Exhibition

Opening today, Berenice Carrington’s exhibition at the Shetland Museum and Archives focuses on the agricultural cycle of growing ...

Read more

The Laurel

The Shetland Times, 12 October 1907 reported an important event at the Ness. Harry Irvine of Glenfield got a Fifie fishing boat, the ...

Read more

Join the guest list for BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions at Shetland Museum and Archives

It’s your chance to ask a question and influence the debate as BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions is coming to Shetland Museum and ...

Read more

Shetland's jubilations (Part 2)

2022 is the third time in twenty years there’s been a Royal Jubilee, so you might think they come around often. In fact, it’s in ...

Read more

Shetland's jubilations (Part 1)

2022 is the third time in twenty years there’s been a Royal Jubilee, so a body might think they come around often. In fact, it's in ...

Read more

Johnnie Notions Project

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from The Royal Society to make a film on 18th Century Shetland pioneer, ...

Read more

Hay’s Dock by the Dowry now open

Food and drink is back on the menu at Shetland Museum and Archives, with the much-anticipated opening of ‘Hay’s Dock by the ...

Read more

Crofthouse Museum open for the summer

The Crofthouse Museum at Dunrossness will be opening for the summer season from Sunday 1 May. The site has been closed for the last ...

Read more

Restoration work to begin on Maggie Helen at historic Hay's Dock

This week Shetland Museum and Archives will welcome traditional sail vessel the Swallow to Hay's Dock with its crew of shipwrights ...

Read more

Gunnister Man Coins

Over 70 years after his discovery in a Northmavine peat bog, Gunnister Man continues to intrigue. Last week Shetland Museum curator, ...

Read more

We are hiring - Cultural Heritage Manager

We have an exciting new position for a Cultural Heritage Manager to lead our work in protecting, enhancing and promoting Shetland’s ...

Read more