Hello all. 

We are delighted to have a new addition to facilities for visitors at Sumburgh Head. Last week saw the conclusion of the main construction of the new "The Lookout" viewing structure in its prime cliff top location at Sumburgh. 

We hope to officially open it in the coming weeks, once we have finalised some further accessibility touches to round it all off. 

The new space will provide easy access for all visitors to watch the comings and goings of Shetland's incredible marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins to majestic seabirds, or simply to shelter and watch the weather roll in off the North sea.

The project was a collaboration of both local and national contractors to ensure all elements were covered. The superb new addition to the site was funded jointly by a very generous private donor and the fantastic Shetland Islands Council Coastal Communities Fund.

We would also like to thank the following people for their superb work in making this happen: Our friends at Gilleard's came up from south with the full construction of "the lookout", with everything from the extensive galvanised steel work, to the wooden structure itself. The three man team worked tirelessly to expertly construct the fantastic design. An additional thanks too to Jonathan who was very patient with my back and forth to ensure the design could be achieved.  The team at Gilleard's, who have installed a range of viewing structures all across the country, were also highly complimentary of the standard of the foundation plinth, which was installed along with the track and accessible parking bay by local contractor Maurice Sutherland, Maurice and his small team had everything ready for the structure arriving, and finished to an excellent standard. 

There are a raft of others to thank through the process too. Our structural engineering advice came from local company Arch Henderson , ensuring the design would meet standards for safety and practicalities. We also received valuable input and support from Ability Shetland and Tulloch's as well as from local wildlife enthusiasts, through the stages of development and with essential equipment. Thanks also to our site partners Shetland Amenity Trust for their support. 

Thank you too for the SIC planning authority and lastly to the support from Sumburgh farm.      

See below for images and descriptions of the design features.  

An accessible parking bay sits alongside the compacted access track. This joins the ramp access to the lookout. 

A side view of the accessible ramp, with some final adjustments at its threshold to still be completed. A rear bench to provide a sheltered seating spot with views north- a potential spot for enjoying the aurora. No doors or windows to help with airflow and access. 

Raised theatre style seating to provide elevated, sheltered views. A movable bench to enjoy in different positions. A second ramp- not intended for accessibility, but installed to provide a second entrance/ exit point for safety for those who may feel enclosed by one point of entry.

The movable seat and side view along the cliffs to the north.

Accessible viewing area which will provide close, safe access to the clifftop for all. We will make some last adjustments to railing height for the benefit of all wheelchair users. 

A view from the seating area. The elevated position means uninterrupted views over the top of the safety railings out to sea. 

Seating allows for easy positioning of a telescope to see over the railings and out to sea.  

We look forward to opening the lookout soon, and would welcome visitors feedback too.

Thank you.