Shetland TV Series Tour by Laurie Goodlad

Jun 20, 2023

A tourist experience dedicated to the famous Shetland TV Series.

Written By : Laurie Goodlad.  This article was originally published in Shetland Wool Adventures, Vol. 01.

Following in the footsteps of Jimmy Perez, experienced guide Laurie Goodlad, has developed a new tour based on the hit BBC crime drama. Now you too can join the murder trail!

Image of a stone building and blue boat showing a famous location from a the popular TV series Shetland.

Shetland is a TV Crime Series based on the Popular books by author Ann Cleeves.

The show, mainly shot in the isles, has become a worldwide hit, with visitors coming from far and wide to see the landscape that inspires the story.

The show was first aired in March 2013 and the fifth series was shown on British TV in 2019. Filming for series six was due to take place over the summer of 2020 but producers were forced to postpone due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. But viewers can be assured that they have not seen the last of *Shetland* yet!

Nevertheless, with over 20 episodes in the archive, there was plenty of viewing to keep us all occupied throughout lockdown as we planned our next Shetland adventure. The show features Douglas Henshall who, as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, alongside his colleagues, Toshand Sandy, is tasked with solving a numberof unexplained murders in the sleepy, island community of Shetland.

Visit popular locations from the Shetland TV Series

The tour company ‘Shetland with Laurie’ launched the new Shetland TV Series tour in 2019 amid growing calls from visitors to see, and experience, the locations used within the show. From dining at the Skellwick Hotel (Busta House Hotel), to standing by the infamous Pit of Biddista (Eshaness cliffs) visitors are sure to get a real sense of the drama created within the popular programme.

“The locations used for filming are literally scattered across the length and breadth of the islands, so it was quite a challenge to narrow them down and create a meaningful tour. I played around with various itineraries, trying to get as much in as possible, before finalising the tours that I offer today,” says Laurie who formed Shetland with Laurie in 2018.

“What I have ended up with is two Shetland- based tours” she explains. “One that explores locations in the Central and North Mainland, and the other that explores locations in the Central and South Mainland – so in theory, to get the most from the tour, it’s best to book a two-day experience or chat with me beforehand to see what it is that you want to see most.

Image of the Lerwick Lodberries showing a famous location from a the popular TV series Shetland.Image of a stone building, with iconic green door and blue boat showing a famous location from a the popular TV series Shetland.

For those wondering if you can stay in Jimmy Perez House?

“Both tours begin in Lerwick, our main town, where we weave our way through the narrow streets, taking in a number of filming locations along the way. Of course, guests are always most excited to see the Lodberrie – better known as the home of Jimmy Perez and daughter Cassie – and get that iconic photo standing outside. Who could blame them? The house is probably the most picturesque in Lerwick and among the most photographed, long before it shot to TV fame – I can never pass without a photo either!”

And yes, you can stay at this iconic building. Here is the Air BnB Listing

Image of a stone building, with iconic green door showing a famous location from a the popular TV series Shetland.

See the very best Shetland has to offer

Shetland is about 90 miles long with almost 1,000 miles (1,700km) of coastline, much of which is of outstanding natural beauty.

“One of the great things about doing these tours is that we are actually covering some of the best of Shetland anyway” Laurie explains. “The creatorsof *Shetland* have made the most of everything the islands have to offer, uncovering the best beauty spots to film. They are careful to choose new and exciting locations to use in each season, so there is a lot of ground to cover on both the tours.

“Although these tours are specifically themed around the tv series, that is by no means all we cover. Just like on any tour, we will speak about Shetland’s rich history and culture, the wildlife, and what life in Shetland is really like from an islander’s point of view. Because after all it’s our incredible culture and community which inspired Ann Cleeves to base her novels here in the first place.”

A bit more about Laurie, and how her Shetland TV Series tour came to be

Laurie, who was born and raised in Shetland, started her business following completion of her green badge tourist guide training from the Scottish Tour Guides Association. 

Giving up her day job at Shetland Museum & Archives where she had spent a decade immersed in Shetland’s history, she took the plunge and began offering guided tours. Laurie is also a writer, curator and pens a lively and informative blog about Shetland’s heritage and culture, getting under-the-skin of life in Shetland. In her free time, she loves all things outdoors, history and culture.

“I have always been a great advocate for all things Shetland, and offering tours seemed, to me, the best way to share my passion and the knowledge that I have built up over the years. It also ensures that I myself will never stop exploring!”

You can find out more about Laurie’s tours here.

To read more articles on what Shetland has to offer, from the comfort of your armchair, purchase your copies of Shetland Wool Adventures Journals Vol. 1-4

  1. Andrew John says:

    I love this TV series. The beauty and the cinematography were incredible. Every episode I watched I kept asking myself “how can people commit crimes living inside such beautiful surroundings”. I do realize crime exists everywhere but the stories were sad.

  2. Fred Snyder says:

    Interested in more information about this tour.


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