This campsite is really hardstanding in a car park next to a cafe. But the view is out of this world along the cliffs and staacks of escherness, probably the most spectacular in shetland. A walk along the cliffs by the lighthouse is a must. The toilets are shared with the cafe so this is not ideal. Do eat in the cafe. My wife had four huge shetland lamb chops with trimmings for £9!. Fantastic views from the cafe.
We stayed here for one night in May 2013 but had also spent three nights previously on our 2009 Shetland tour. As others have said, the hardstandings are basically a glorified tarmac car park [slightly sloping] but none the worse for that. The facilities are fine with showers and toilets. We didn’t get to frequent the café itself this time though.
The views are superb and are probably the best from a campsite on the island. There is a short walk down to the shoreline from the corner of the site.
If you are really organized you can dance in front of the webcam on the building facing the sea and tell your friends about it as they will be able to see you on the Visit Shetland webcam!
One minor niggle is that there appears to be no pitch reservation system. On our arrival there were only 2 other vehicles on site so we put our cable & blocks against two “front row” pitches and moved on to Eshaness light house to walk the stunning coastline [wrap up warm as there is invariably a gale blowing!]. We then returned to the site only to find a small tent pitched on the grass between our two pitches and using our hook up! As we had left our cable & ramps on this pitch we assumed that we had “reserved” it! Apparently the actual pitch had been taken by a VW campervan [booked via the internet!] but no one had put a “reserved” sign up! We only found this out after the owners son had come over and explained this to us after we had got set up! No great problem as we just reversed back to the bays behind and saved ourselves £2. 00! [The “front row” was £16 per night, whereas the “back row” was only £14!].
I pitched below the hard standing, so had uninterrupted views of St Magnus Bay, and had no trouble parking nearby while I pitched and struck. I don't then mind walking 60 yards to the car.
It is exposed - keeps the midges down, but I wouldn't wnat to camp there is a South Wester. The shower block is new and well kept, but there's nowhere indoors that you can sit - other than the cafe which was only open 10 - 4 when I was there in August - which is a shame.
It is wonderfully placed for walking and cycling round Esherness, but you need a car to get an evening meal - St Magnus Hotel in Hillswick will fill you up, I guarantee!
We've just spent three nights here in our three-man tent. Braewick is an excellent base for exploring Eshaness.
We arrived on a Tuesday, and the cafe is closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday. And when the cafe is closed, the staff are absolutely nowhere to be found with no contact details. So although we had wanted to use the washing machine (token) and the wi-fi (password) we were unable to do so. It appears that the cafe owner lives just 200 yards away so I'm sure a one-hour 'evening rounds' could be on their rota.
The toilet block is very clean and very modern. There are three showers: the two on the left are rubbish - luke-warm (or cold) and you have to press a button every twelve seconds to get water; the one on the right (baby changing room) is excellent - hot with a good flow and a normal shower tap! Well worth waiting for the baby-care room if you want a shower. All the shower rooms (plus baby room) have toilet and sink.
The kitchen area has a microwave and kettle, and the aforementioned washing machine (and drier), but no seating area - a shame for campers like ourselves as it meant we had to stand by the sink to eat breakfast, but as they are primarily a cafe I guess it makes sense for the business. The toilet block is also a public toilet, so you do find cars arriving and leaving at odd times.
There's a lovely walk down to the beach from the site, and there's a straightforward 9-mile walk around Eshaness. Also, a 4. 5 mile walk around the headland at Hillswick is well worth doing, as you get lovely views of the sea stacks (The Drongs) from the opposite side to where you view them from the campsite.
The nearby community-run shop at Hillswick (approx 5 miles) is superbly stocked. We expected to find jars, tins and long-life bread rolls, which is often the case with island shops. Yes it has these, but also fresh bread, fresh fruit and veg (including broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and avocados) and an excellent selection of fresh meat (burgers, mince, sausages, steak) and fish (fresh, smoked, hot-smoked, peppered) from Shetland. We purchased fresh whole plaice and skate wings for the barbecue! The shop is open long hours, seven days, and is a real gem when you're so far from Lerwick.
We know Shetland is windy, but Braewick seems to be a wind tunnel. The site has excellent views of the bay, but seems to attract strong winds from every direction. Strong enough to blow down our windbreak! The strong winds actually became really tedious as there was no respite.
One negative point for the site management. There was a strong sewage smell around the site, and a campervan owner commented that there was a sign on the septic tank advising owners to not empty their caravan waste tanks into it as it was full. We appreciate that Shetland is a group of islands and that it takes time to organise things, but we can't help feeling that the site owners took their eyes off the ball and allowed the septic tank to get too full, with the consequences of the surrounding site smelling horrible. This wasn't good for the campsite, and probably wasn't great for the cafe either.
We would stay there again, but we think the site owners should focus on the cafe AND the site; instead the site seems to be a sideline and it needs some attention to detail.
This site has become very successful, and now also boasts wigwam accommodation. The cafe is also very popular for evening meals. While obviously good news for the owners, it does mean that (unusually for Shetland!) it is very busy at peak times.
It is also worth mentioning that most of the hard standings are pretty close together, which does make one feel a bit claustrophobic. If you are a stickler for a C&CC distance between units, you won't find it here.
We also experienced some problems with allocation of pitches. Nothing serious, but we did have to move once having inadvertently gone into a booked space (having been told to just go anywhere) and found a space booked online had been given to someone else.
That being said, the site is close to a beach, has wonderful views and is a good base for exploring Eshaness.
Fantastic site. We really enjoyed ourselves. The site facilities are 5* Food well worth going for alone. Area most interesting with Eshaness nearby, but campsite well positioned for touring whole of north of Shetland. Local shop we used was Hillswick which stocked most things you could ask for. Tangwick Hall good little museum. Great family beach at WEST SIDE of Hillswick, ask to be shown the path as it is a little hidden gem! See you again next year. Best site in Shetland by far.
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