North Mainland Tour
A tour to the north-west of Shetland gives you wild and rugged scenery, majestic cliffs and magnificent views.
Passing through Mavis Grind (‘Mavis’ a Norse word for narrow piece of land and Grind meaning gate) it is the narrowest part of the Shetland mainland and it is said you can throw a stone from the Atlantic Ocean into the North Sea. (you would need a strong arm!)
Beyond the 'Gate', and into north (Northmavine) you will notice a dramatic change in the surrounding landscape, this area of igneous intrusive rocks is dominated by Shetland's highest point, Ronas Hill, 1,486 feet (450 metres) above sea level. It is formed from a very distinctive red granite. Ronas Hill is home to some rare alpine plants. The steep, southern slopes drop abruptly into Ronas Voe, one of Shetlands two fjords.
We will then visit Heylor, on the southern shore of the voe. At one time this was one of the most important herring stations in Shetland. It is also a good place for Otter spotting!
From Heylor, we travel west to the district of Eshaness, here we take in the most majestic cliffs and sea birds. This is a good place to stretch your legs and enjoy the breath-taking views. The road ends here at the Eshaness lighthouse. Along the coast and clearly visible are layers of ash, lava and agglomerate from an ancient volcano.
A popular spot for photographers is the 'Dore Holm', a natural arch made of the volcanic rock andestite. Nearby is the picturesque Beach of Stennes, one of the main 'Da Haaf' (Deep Sea) fishing stations in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A visit to the Tangwick Haa Museum will give you a flavour of Shetland life, history and culture and introduce you to a character from the past known locally as 'Johnny Notions', We then head back south to Lerwick and on the way catch a glimpse of the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, the second largest in Europe.
Along the route you will see open rugged landscapes, derelict croft houses from times gone by beautiful lochs and the ever changing ocean.
Ruth can arrange to book lunches/snacks at the Braewick Café but cost is not included in package.
As with any tour of Shetland, flexibility is inbuilt, not least because of the weather. A good pair of walking boots is advised for this trip as well as warm, waterproof clothing.
Please be aware that when walking in some areas there may be rabbit holes and the terrain can be uneven.