Baltasound - Muness Castle

South of Baltasound there is several options to make detours from the route to Muness.

Distance: 25km / 15.5 miles  (Circular route)

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The first option of a detour is 4 miles (6.5km) south on the A968 by taking the road to the right for Westing. After 0.5 mile (1km) take the junction to the left for a short distance to the prehistoric standing stone; this is Bordastubble Standing Stone and is the largest in Shetland. You can continue along this road for 1 mile (1.5km), passing through several farm gates, to the cemetery car park that overlooks the golden sands of Lund beach. The ruins of the 12th Century St Olaf’s Kirk are within the cemetery walls.

Continuing south on the A968 for about 0.5 miles (1km) take the B9084 to Uyeasound; home to the Gardiesfauld Youth Hostel, one of Shetland's most popular youth hostels. Follow the narrow road around to the waterfront this is Britain’s most northerly one-way system. Uyeasound was once a busy herring fishing port during the 19th Century; today it is a centre for fish farming operations.

There is 2.5 miles (4km) of single-track road to Muness and just beyond Clivocast you will pass a standing stone on the right; made of schist and covered in lichen it look more like a tree stump. From here there are excellent views across the water to Uyea and the high cliffs of the East Neap of Fetlar. The ruined Muness Castle at the road end was a 16th century fortified house built in 1598 by Laurence Bruce and was designed by Andrew Crawford, who also designed Scalloway Castle.

Returning towards Clivocast there is an option to make a right turn and take the single-track road 1 mile (1.5km) to the croft at Hannigarth. From here it is a short walk down to the long sandy beach at Sand Wick. A team of archaeologists and volunteers spent four seasons (2004-2007) excavating a prehistoric building eroding out of the dunes before it was claimed by the sea. Beyond the beach is a ruined chapel, probably pre-Reformation, standing within its burial ground.

Entering Uyeasound you can take the side road along the west shore of Easter Loch to rejoin the A968 for the 5 miles (8km) run back to Baltasound.

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