Walking in the Shetland Islands

Walking in Shetland is an experience like no other. Wherever you go in the region you will never be more than 5km from the sea, so you are bound to see the dramatic coastal scenery as well as its quiet inland lochs and gentle heathery hills offering some of the finest walking in the world. Discover countless routes that take in ancient historic sites and the wonderful countryside wildlife.

Get out and discover Shetland’s wondrous natural landscapes on follow one of the region’s many scenic walking routes taking in heather-clad hills, glistening sea lochs, spectacular coastal scenery and fascinating historical sites. Shetland is a Geopark where you can walk on an ancient ocean floor or explore an extinct volcano. What better way to get some fresh sea air than a walk along some of its 2700km of coastline and 138 idyllic sandy beaches. You can even walk over to St Ninian’s Isle on the UK’s largest active tombolo.

Here are two of our favourite walks around the Shetland Islands, the Hermaness Circular route starting off in the Hermaness National nature Reserve, follow the way-marked path to the start of the long ascent to the top of Hermaness Hill, with its surrounding bog having over 7000 years of vegetation history. Enjoy stunning views from the top of the hill, particularly of Muckle Flugg and its lighthouse. On the descent from you’ll spot the colony of thousands of gannets on the Greing. The Hams of Muckle Roe Circular gets its name from Old Norse and translates as the Havens of the Big Red Island. The stunning walk is made even more so on a clear day with fabulous panoramic view from Saxa Ford to Fitful Head.

So if you’re planning a walking holiday in the Shetland Islands why not stay in a pub? Pubs are a great alternative to hotels and traditional B&B’s giving visitors a special experience incomparable to your average hotel. Pubs don’t just offer a warm comfortable bed after a long day walking but also offers delicious food and drink combined with the chance to socialise with locals and other walkers.

With all the modern features such as flat screen TV’s, Freeview, WiFi, comfortable bedding and tea and coffee making facilities you’ll be able to sit back and relax in your room after a long day out. In the evening choose from a range of home cooked dishes, from pub classics to meals with a twist. Meals are prepared by excellent chefs who use only the freshest locally sourced ingredients to give you a real taste of the Shetland Islands with fish caught earlier that day.

In the evenings there’s plenty to keep you busy, with pubs offering a warm fire in the winter or a beer garden in the summer you can relax after dinner with a pint of real ale. Staying in a pub in the Shetland Islands offers walkers the chance to find their own piece of paradise with many areas untouched and unspoilt. 

To access a range of wonderful walks around the UK visit iFootpath by clicking below.

(Photo: ©VisitScotland/ScottishViewpoint)

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