This is a journey worth taking. Head north from Lerwick. Pass the ferry terminal, the museum and the fish shop and keep going until you see a sign for the Tingwall airstrip. Follow that road up and down many hills and around many lochs until you get to Bixter. You’ll know it because you will pass a small shop, two diesel pumps, and the UK’s most northerly Landrover franchise. Turn right towards Aith and just before you get there you will see a sign to Vementry. Follow it for 2-3 miles. At first there will be houses. After a mile or so there will be none. You’ll be on Vementry. Pass the lochs of Hostigates on the left (medium sized trout) and the small Mill Loch on the right (good for teaching children to fish). And you’ll see the farm ahead of you.
The main house at Vementry was built in the early 1900s and is exceptionally pretty: it is reputed to be designed by the famous Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer and comes with some of Shetland’s best views. If you stand in front of it you look out to the Isle of Vementry and Swarback’s Minn. On a sunny day – or a stormy day – there is little better. The cottage isn’t quite so pretty. It is a traditional single story Shetland cottage with two bedrooms, one bathroom and an eat-in kitchen. But what it lacks in immediate glamour in gains in its cozyness(we believe in heating) and its own stunning views (3). Stand in front of the cottage or sit in its sweet glassed in porch (if by any odd chance it should be raining) and you’ll see Criba Sound, a whole load of Shetland sheep and the odd seal. It’s very nice.
What will you do while you are with us? You can fish for hard fighting wild brown trout on our isolated lochs (tiny ones from the Mill Loch, bigger ones from Clousta, Aithness, Vaara and Hostigates). We’ll also arrange for you to have a license to fish the rest of Shetland should you so wish. Ask us nicely and we’ll also tell you where we last had a big catch of sea trout. You can bird watch and walk for hours on end andwe can also arrange for you to go and visit our seals (two large harems have made our beaches their home).
We can also load you into our boat and take you to our island to see the sights there (1). These include one of Shetland’s best preserved prehistoric heel cairns and some fabulous WWI guns which once guarded the entrance to Swarback’sMinnback in the days when it was used as an anchorage for the North Atlantic fleet. Look at the angle of the guns’ elevation when you go and see if you agree with us: we’re not sure they would have been of much use if push had actually come to shove. If you are lucky you’ll also spot an otter or two on land and a puffin pair on the journey over.
What won’t you do when you are with us? Anything to do with telecommunications. There is no phone, no TV and no broadband (2). We hope that’s the way you’ll like it. The cottage gets booked up early (and quite right too) and we are prone to nabbing the best weeks for ourselves in the big house if we think we can get away with it so contact us as soon as think you want to holiday in Shetland and we’ll reserve your weeks for you.