Activities In Unst
Unst is wonderful walking country. You can enjoy everything from a short stroll along a wonderfully clean beach, to a hike along a cliff-top with the sea crashing many hundreds of feet below, to an invigorating hill walk, to a long-distance walk right around the island.
The views are always stunning and there is always something to catch the eye – a bird, plant, rock or stone, an archaeological remain…the list is endless.
While always wild, magnificent and invigorating, many of the walks are over rough ground on exposed slopes in isolated locations. Adequate protective clothing and stout footwear should always be worn and maps should always be carried.
Binoculars are a must, as is a good guide book. Peter Guy’s “Walking the Coastline of Shetland No. 2 – Unst” is highly recommended.
Note: the Unst Ranger also conducts guided walks of the Keen of Hamar and Hermaness National Nature Reserves.
Fishing is very popular on Unst and the island boasts 6 wild brown trout lochs, including Shetland’s largest, the Loch of Cliff. In addition, sea trout can be caught on 4 of the lochs, giving some great sport.
Loch fishing is restricted to fly and spinning only and only the Loch of Cliff has a boat, available for hire from the Unst Angling Club. Eels can also be caught in the Black Loch.
Sea angling from shore or boat is another very popular activity. Sea trout may be caught from beaches (wet fly or spinning) where fresh water enters the sea or a boat at Baltasound can take you out to some excellent spots offshore.
Fishing competitions are held during the summer.
Muckle Flugga Charters - Boat Trips
A trip with VisitScotland 4* accredited "Muckle Flugga Charters" is one of the must-do attractions of Unst. Operating from the Burrafirth Shore Station, close to the start of the Hermaness National Nature Reserve walk, Edmond Nicolson's "Julie Rose" will whisk you out to the Muckle Flugga lighthouse in comfort, passing magnificent cliffs teaming with bird life on the way. Muckle Flugga Charters is Britain's most northerly boat trip operator and you really will feel that you are on Europe's outer rim.
The Julie Rose is a 40ft Rodman 1250 Sports Fisher and sea angling is a popular option, as is diving (diving clubs only), for which she is also well equipped.
The Julie Rose is docked at Burrafirth Shore Station and his second boat is at Baltasound to ensure that boat trips are available in almost all weathers.
To find out more see: muckleflugga.co.uk
Cycling is a wonderful way of exploring the island. Bicycle hire is available from Final Checkout in Baltasound, about 2 miles from Saxa Vord.
The clear water and unpolluted sea mean that Unst has some wonderful dive sites, including that of the famous World War I submarine, E19. A dive boat operates out of Burrafirth - see Muckle Flugga Charters above.
Baltasound has a marina and can take a wide range of yachts, whether sailing from Norway, Scotland or further afield.
Baltasound was also home to the 2007 European Albacore Championships.
Although not an activity in a conventional sense, one of the great pleasures of using Saxa Vord as a base is the ability to hop from island to island – to Fetlar, Yell, Mainland, Bressay etc etc – on the ferry, enjoying all that each has to offer in turn.