The principal settlement and port of the Shetland island of Whalsay, Symbister has a frequent ferry link with the Mainland of Shetland. There is a lighthouse at Symbister Ness and the granite Symbister House was built in 1823 by the Bruce family. Since the 1960s, Symbister House has formed part of Whalsay Junior High School, which serves the educational needs of pupils aged 4 - 16. The sheltered harbour remains busy with small fishing boats and pleasure craft as well as large ocean-going trawlers. It includes a seventy-berth marina. Symbister also benefits from a post-office, several shops, a community hall, police station, doctor's surgery and there is small museum in the pier-house which tells how the German merchants of the Hanseatic League controlled trade.

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