Walking

Shetland is, quite simply, a great place for walkers of any level of fitness.  

You might want to explore our 1,697 miles of spectacular coastline, as Peter Guy has done.  He’s written a series of detailed and really helpful guidebooks.  On the coast, you’ll encounter a rich variety of scenery, from cliffs and caves to glorious sandy beaches.  There’s a wealth of wildlife, too: you’ll almost certainly encounter a seal and, with luck, you may also spot an otter.  

Inland, on heather moorland, you might find a mountain hare or birds such as golden plovers.  Our grassy meadows are studded with an amazing variety of wild flowers.  

If you like a challenge, you might want to tackle some or all of Shetland’s 19 ‘Marilyns’.  A ‘Marilyn’ is a hill with a drop of at least 150 metres (almost 500 feet) on all sides.  Shetland’s highest point, Ronas Hill, rises to 450 metres (over 1,500 feet).

Most of the time, you’ll have all of this to yourself.  

If you’re not familiar with the law and customs relating to access in Shetland (and Scotland), it’s important to realise that you’re welcome to wander at will, provided you act responsibly and don’t, for example, disturb the privacy of householders or damage crops.  We recommend that you consult the Walk Shetland website, which includes advice on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. 

You can also request a copy of our walking guide.

Walkers Welcome in Unst

Unst was the first island in the United Kingdom to become a ‘Walkers are Welcome Community’. Unst offers more than 100 miles of coastal paths, trails and moorland walks in stunning scenery. There’s no shortage of amazing wildlife viewing and there are Geopark and Viking sites to visit, too. Twenty trails have been devised for walkers of all abilities.

A Walkers are Welcome information centre is open daily from 10am until 5pm at Foord’s Café & Chocolate Experience, Saxa Vord, from mid March until the end of October. There’s more information about the island at www.unst.org.

What Next?

On This Site

  • Learn about the areas of Shetland, all of which are open to walkers
  • Shetland is home to some stunning beaches, ideal for a leisurely stroll
  • Combine a walk with a spot of bird watching

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