“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 ….”
The rest of this article is available as ‘See Shetland Tours‘ on the Articles and Reviews page.
How do I get to Unst? Loganair (part of the Flybe group) fly from Aberdeen, Belfast, Benbecula, Birmingham, Campbeltown, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, Kirkwall, London (Gatwick), Manchester, Manston (Kent), Newquay, Norwich, Southampton and Stornoway to Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of mainland Shetland. Or, you could travel by Northlink ferry from the ferry terminal in Aberdeen. To get to Unst, you need to travel to Toft in Northern Shetland. From here you then catch the inter-island ferry to Ulsta on Yell. Travel through Yell onto Gutcher, which is on Yell’s north-eastern coast. From here catch the ferry from Gutcher to Belmont on Unst. There is a daily bus service all year round from Lerwick to Unst.
How do I get around Unst? There are buses from where the ferry comes in at Belmont, that takes you up to Uyeasound, Baltasound, Haroldswick, Saxa Vord and Norwick on Unst. Taxi hire is available from P & T Coaches in Baltasound. Tours are available from Sarah McBurnie at SeeShetland Tours. Click on the link for a review of SeeShetland Tours.
What’s worth visiting on Unst? Lots! For an island of its size, there is an awful lot to do on Unst. It is the most northerly island in Britain. Therefore, there is a raft of ‘Northernmost’ titles before a lot of the places of interest. An example of this is Skaw Beach, which is the northernmost beach in Britain. Sat just behind Skaw Beach is the northernmost House and northernmost settlement in Britain. Also worth visiting on Unst is Muness Castle located in South Eastern Unst. You can collect the key for this at the nearby cottage. Around Haroldswick are the Unst Boat Haven and Unst Heritage Centre, which have fascinating artefacts from bygone times on Unst. For all those with a sweet tooth, there is Foords Chocolate Factory. You can see chocolate being made and then you can stop that craving by heading for the gift shop! The cliffs of the Hermaness National Nature Reserve rise to 170 meters at the Neap. They are home to over 100,000 breeding sea birds including half the population of the Great Skua – or ‘Bonxie’ as they are known in Shetland. Finally, there is the famous Unst Bus Shelter, known locally as ‘Bobby’s Bus Shelter’. The Bus Shelter is decorated each year in different colours by a band of volunteers. In 2009, it was even turned into a two person cinema as part of the Shetland film festival Screenplay!
Where can I stay on Unst? Baltasound Hotel, which is Britain’s most northerly Hotel. For Bed and Breakfast there is Clingera B & B and Westerborough B & B in Baltasound . Also, there is Prestegard B & B in Uyeasound and there is also Gerratoun B & B, which is the most northerly B & B in Britain, just outside Haroldswick. Other accommodation on unst includes Gardiesfauld Youth Hostel, located in Uyeasound. You can also camp here. Also, there are self catering Holiday Houses and Hostel accommodation at Saxa Vord, in the north of Unst.
Any other information on Unst? The unclassified road from the B9087 to Skaw, at the northern end of Unst, is the most northerly road in the UK road network. For more information on Unst please read the article on the Unst Regeneration Growers Enterprise (U.R.G.E), my Shetland Diary and a review of SeeShetland Tours.