The Visitors' Comments Book

Your hostess is ...
Sarah McBurnie - click to zoom

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A small selection of Shetland sunsets.
'You lookin' at ME???'

Some of my past tour guests have written to me ...


Lee Allen from
Darwen, Lancashire:

(Unst Tour, May 2006)

< photo to come >


   Speechless! How do you thank someone who has given up a day of their time (when they didn't have to) to chauffeur you around one of the most picturesque and beautiful Scottish Islands on a one-to-one basis? Thank you is not nearly enough.

   As I don't drive, I was finding it very difficult to locate tours on the Shetland Isles that did not require my own transport. Luckily, I had seen Sarah's site on the web before I arrived, read the fantastic reviews (well deserved) she had received and kept the tour at the back of my mind as I arrived on Shetland.

   After a couple of days sightseeing, I found Sarah's number and rang more in hope than in expectation (it was early May - the tours were not due to start for another week). I explained my plight to Sarah, who immediately offered to pick me up from the Belmont ferry terminal, on Unst, the next day

   When I arrived, Sarah waved to me and introduced herself. We then set off for a fantastic tour that took in all the sites on Unst (Heritage Centre, Boat Haven, Muness Castle, Hermaness etc). During the tour, Sarah divulged a wealth of fascinating information on Unst and introduced me to many friendly local people. We had dinner at Baltasound Hotel (Britain's northern-most) and all too soon we had to depart back to Belmont for the late afternoon ferry.

   I cannot express how magical this tour is. It should be included as a MUST on any itinerary for the Shetland Islands. If you cannot see the information in the Tourist Information office, find the number in the Phone Directory. I found Sarah to be very friendly, down-to-earth and happy to answer any questions I had.

   So, thank you Sarah for an experience I will never forget.

Lee Allen
Darwen, Lancs

Students from R/V Håkon Mosby,
University of Bergen
, Norway

(Half Day South Mainland Tour, April 2006)

Johnson Rutsinda wrote to me and sent photos:
   I bring greetings from my family. Am one of the students you gave a chance to tour Shetland. Thank you so much for the opportunity you gave me.

Hopefully you will like the photo. Bye untill then God willing.

With regards from,
Johnson Rutsinda (3rd from right).
The Håkon Mosby tour guests - click to enlarge

Mike and Marilyn Leviton were two of my tour guests, on July 14th 2004. Here's a copy of the correspondence that passed between us, quoted with their permission:

From: Sarah Mcburnie []
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 2:42 PM
To: Michael E. Leviton
Subject: Re:tour

Hi Mike,

Tom & Ann Campbell and two friends have joined the tour and will look out for you onboard.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all, hopefully our weather will hold out it has been beautiful since Friday.

See you on 14th at 12pm at the Tourist Info.



Subject: RE: tour

Hi Sarah! Oooo – this time tomorrow we will be on our way! Got your last two communiqués. Re: time we need to be back at the ship: I am looking at the cruise ticket and it says, “JUL 14 WEDNESDAY LERWICK, U.K. 8:00 am 6:00PM.” As far as we are concerned, however, getting back at 4 is okay. (If you wanted to start even a little earlier than 12, it would be okay too.) We will take care of our own lunch before we disembark. I do not know if the ship docks at Holmsgarth (which I assume is a district of Lerwick). I also assume the Tourist Info is near the ship and easy to find. (Especially for seasoned world travelers like us!) Looking forward to meeting the Campbells (sounds Scottish!) and will look for them on board. I will check this site once more for emails tomorrow morning (it is now 4pm here on Wednesday). Looking forward to meeting what now seems to be shaping up as “Sarah’s gang.” Regards, Mike

P.S. We got divvies on the front seat!!!

From: Sarah Mcburnie []
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 2:23 PM
To: Michael E. Leviton
Subject: Re: tour

Hi Mike,

Front seats saved for you.

If we start at 12pm we can always get back a bit later if 5pm is the deadline.

I can't wait to meet my gang, hope the weather holds out.

Happy cruising and I'll see you on 14th.



From: Sarah Mcburnie []
Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 2:32 AM
To: Michael E. Leviton
Subject: Re: tour

> Sarah – just got back two days ago and no time to answer mail fully. But suffice to say your trip was a highlight. Will send more later. Mike and Mairlyn


Lovely to hear from you, hope you had a fantastic holiday.




We keep telling our friends about the fabulous Shetlands and the equally fabulous Sarah. What we can’t get over is – NO TREES! We have searched the photos we took but can’t find any. The puffins were great. We will definitely recommend you to our friends who are heading anywhere near the Shetlands, trees or no.

Best regards, Mike and Marilyn Leviton

Click to visit Tourist Information

Shetland Islands

"We are delighted to have recently received very favourable comments about your exceptional tours and hospitality from Mrs. Helen Leitch.

We would like to add our own compliments to you for taking so much trouble and extending such friendship to ensure that our visitors enjoyed their stay.

A satisfied client is one of Shetland's very best advertisements and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Tavish Scott MSP:

Click the icon to download a PDF copy of a letter from Tavish Scott MSP.

Hi Sarah!

    We took your tour back in May 2003 and wanted to email you to thank you for such a wonderful time!
It's been very busy after coming back from travelling and I was just
reminded of your website while looking through pictures of the trip the other day!

Donna and Manuel with the tour bus at Skaw, Unst.

    I have a little brochure I wanted to 'snail mail' to you, so if you could get back to me with an address I could send it to that would be great! I entered a photo contest and one of the Shetland pictures from when we were on your tour got put in brochures across Canada!! Thought you might like to take a peek. ;)

    We would love to come back to Shetland again someday and we will definitely look into another tour with you! Thank you very much!!

Donna McKay and Manuel Browne

ps... I've enclosed a picture of us for a little reference of who we are... not sure if you'll remember us since you get so many people but it's worth a try. :)
If there's any email address I can send more pictures to in case you want more for your website, let me know!

pps... have you started advertising as "The MOST Northern Tour" yet?? :)

Ronas Hill and Voe from Heylor - click for an enlarged image (860 kB - long download, please be patient).
My tour guests from the Norwegian motor-yacht S/J 'Anne Margrethe' enjoyed their half-day visit to Scalloway and parts of the North and West Mainland on July 3rd 03. Click the image below for a Real Player video-clip of Ronas Voe, with Ronas Hill in the background, shot from the old fishing-station at Heylor.

Click here for a Real Player video-clip of Ronas Hill and Voe.

Mary wrote:

Sorry it has taken so long to thank you for introducing me to Shetland in such a friendly and delightfully informal and informative way a fortnight ago. I have spent many hours since returning home going over our travels and hope I shall be able to continue the exploration before too long: the west and Fetlar have still to be seen, and I see from yesterday's Scotsman that things are moving on in Mousa too. All good wishes for the rest of the season - and I hope the missing part for the van has turned up!

Click here for the full panorama.

Jennifer, Michelle and Mary:
North & South Mainland Tours
27th/28th June 03


Michelle wrote:

Hi Sarah,

Jennifer and I survived Edinburgh and are safely back in San Francisco. Jennifer is off to Hong Kong next week for further adventure and I'm firmly ensconced behind my desk working away.
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful tours of Shetland - North and South. Your wonderful sense of humor and strong opinions kept us laughing and informed through out the tour. You were very organized and got us to many sites in one day but at the same time you were flexible and willing to go down a road that had caught our eye or stop at a knitting shop we wanted to wander through. You will always be a part of our Shetland memories. I'm trying to talk the husband into attending Up-Helly-Aa next year. Little does he know it's just a prelude to talking him into moving to Shetland. I'm completely smitten with Shetland. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Michelle (and Jennifer)

P.S. Please add me to any mailing list you might have.

The Unst Eclipse Tour
30th/31st May 03

BBC Radio Shetland's reporter interviewed Nicole, Robert and Judith - three of our tour guests - for their comments on the event. Click their names to hear RealPlayer sound-samples.

Students from R/V Håkon Mosby,
University of Bergen
, Norway
(Email via Form)

(Half Day South Mainland Tour, 16 May 03)

Thanks, Sarah, for an awesome trip yesterday! We just had to take the time between trawls out here in the North Sea on our way back to Bergen to say that we had a very memorable day in the gorgeous weather. It WAS just like driving inside a National Geographic magazine! :)

We will recommend your tour to our friends.

Ms. A. C. Mertei:
Ontario, Canada.

(Xmas card, photos & letter)

So much enjoyed our trip to Unst - just had a blast.

Beverley Hall:
Nantucket Island.

Thank you for the best day of my trip to Shetland, it was really one of the most splendid days of this whole three weeks! I will spread the word as far as Nantucket!

Mary Hickmott:
Bristol, UK.

I must say the expedition which you organised was the highlight of my short visit to Shetland.

Jean & Erich Heuser:
Westmount, Canada.

(Postcard & photos)
At last I am sending a few snaps of our 4 tours with you in July. What wonderful trips you gave us. We talk about it often and remember the kind people we met. It's a wonderful place to visit, we hope you like the pictures and have a lovely Fall.

Hiroko Masuda:
Tokyo, Japan.

(Letter & photos)

I really enjoyed staying in Shetland, especially your guided tours made my stay in Shetland enjoyable a lot.

Joyce Woodall:
Red Oak, Texas.

Many thanks for the wonderful tours, without you I wouldn't have seen so many lovely Shetland sights. I keep particularly remembering St. Ninian's Isle and the white sand tombolo. But I loved it all and hopefully will be back.

Mr. & Mrs. Bill Hagan:
Portland, Ontario.

(Letter & photos)

Enjoyed our craft tour. I thought these photos of you came out well; of course the subject makes the photo.
Thanks for adding to a wonderful visit to the Shetlands.

Jan Conway: Eyemouth

Just to say another huge 'thank you' for making our trip such a success. We loved every minute of it. Come and visit if you venture off Shetland. Map enclosed.

Celestine Growden:
Valley View, South Australia.

(Letter & photo)
Thought you might like the photo, it reminds me of a very enjoyable stay in the Shetlands. If you ever get out this way, please look me up and allow me to return the hospitality shown to me whilst in the Shetland Islands. Hope business is flourishing. Good luck & thanks for 2 very interesting days.

Joan Houston:

Scarborough, UK.

(Letter & photo)

I'll be returning to Shetland in June,
for another
tour! See you then ...

Bob and myself want to thank you so much for the wonderful experience we had in the Shetland Islands. We really enjoyed meeting you, and your tours were highlights on our trip. We hope to see you again next year. We are thinking of trying to come during the end of January for your festival. We also want to come back and travel to some of the other islands and maybe onto Iceland.

Barbara & Bob Smith:

We regrettably returned home yesterday. We had to fly from Lerwick to Kirkwall and then ferry to Scrabster and bus down to Edinburgh.

The countryside on the bus ride was incredible. We spent two nights in Edinburgh and then HAD to leave.

Again, thank you for your time and expertise- you're the BEST. We will highly recommend you to others.

Timo & Marlieke:

Hey Sarah,

Do you remember us?

Well, we just want to thank you for the tours, it was very interesting and nice.
Now back in Holland, we know why we were on holiday on the Shetlands.

Bye bye,

PS If you want to use the picture for your leaflet or other things, no problem!

After our return to London for an additional happy 3 days, and our flight home a week ago, we have been frantically engaged in processing mail, materials and trying to return to normal, now allowing a thank you message to you.

We did so very much enjoy and appreciate what you told and showed us about the Shetlands, a lovely and beneficial experience. Your obvious competence and charm were just what we needed.

If anyone inquires about assistance on the Shetlands, they will happily be provided with your access information.
Ted and Carolyn Leutzinger:

Trusting that you will not mind our doing so, we have also give the information, along with laudatory (entirely deserved, of course) remarks, to Peter, the operator of

Scots-American Travel Advisors, for any future use he might need. His location is 1140 7th Court, Suite A, Vero Beach, FL 32960 USA - web-site:

All of the train, ferry and hotel reservations he made for us worked out perfectly. He was raised in Glasgow, and emphasizes Scotland rather than the Shetlands or Orkneys.

It was a pleasure to meet and to tour with you. Becoming acquainted was also a pleasure. We are not apt to be back there, but if you are ever headed in this direction we would be very pleased to see you, and at least have you up for dinner in our humble hovel in the hills of Hollywood.

With best personal regards,

Ted and Carolyn Leutzinger

At Belmont, Unst,  30 April 04
At Belmont, Unst,  30 April 04
At Belmont, Unst,  30 April 04

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