Getting Here

Although situated on the most northern extremity of the British Isles, on the wild and rugged outer edge of Europe, Unst is surprisingly easy to visit.

Location

Where is Saxa Vord? See our location on Google Maps (centred on Valsgarth, near Saxa Vord), or on our Shetland map.

Step 1 - Getting to Shetland

Fly or get the overnight ferry to Shetland.

Click here to see a PDF map of the different routes you can take to get to Shetland.

Flights

Daily flights from Scotland’s major cities and twice weekly flights from London land at Sumburgh Airport, Shetland, and from there a magnificent drive takes you north to Unst. Find out about Loganair's flights to Shetland here.

Ferry

Alternatively, you can take the Northlink car ferry to Lerwick, Shetland’s county town, either from Aberdeen or from the North Coast of Scotland via Orkney. Find out more about the ferry to Shetland here.

Transport Options in Shetland:

Car Hire

A number of car hire firms operate in Shetland, including:

  • John Leask and Son
  • Bolts Car Hire
  • Star Rent A Car

All of these companies can have cars ready for you to collect on arrival at the airport or ferry terminal.

Public transport:

Bus Service

The bus service from Lerwick to Baltasound, Unst, runs 3 times a day and takes 2hrs 25mins, including the 2 ferry crossings. See Shetland Bus Services.

Inter Island Ferry Service

Shetland Islands Council’s ferry services operate throughout the day, so that travel to Unst, or any other islands, is easy and smooth. Find out more about Shetland's inter-island ferries here. We would strongly recommend booking ferries in advance of travel in the summer months to avoid any unnecessary delays. To book a ferry journey, contact the booking office on 01595 745804.

However you choose to get to Unst, you will be richly rewarded with magnificent views and a journey to remember.

Step 2 - Getting To Saxa Vord From Air or Ferry Port

The drive from Sumburgh Airport on the southern tip of Shetland to Saxa Vord at the northern tip, a journey of 78 miles, is a wonderfully memorable trip in itself.

The roads, recently modernised, are very easy to drive and the wide, open vistas are spectacular: everything from rolling pasture and small farms to wild, exposed heathery hills, and mighty, rocky coastal headlands to small sheltered bays: and hardly a tree to be seen anywhere. There is so much to explore on Shetland and you have all the time in the world, so don’t rush – relax and enjoy it!

Lerwick, Shetland’s county town, and location of the main Ferry Terminal, lies 22 miles north of Sumburgh and is well worth a visit. In particular, a walk round the fascinating and informative New Shetland Museum and Archives, which opens in Spring 2007, will prepare you beautifully for your stay on Unst. See Shetland Museum And Archives.

The two ferries linking Mainland to Yell and Yell to Unst are another great treat. Look out for otters, porpoises and other cetaceans – and the hot chocolate in the vending machine on the Mainland to Yell ferry is highly recommended! Find out more about Shetland's inter-island ferries here.