Brae - Muckle Roe

This is a gentle ride out of Brae with no great climbs of any significance along what can be a reasonably sheltered coastal road.

Distance: 16km / 9.9 miles  (Circular route)

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Heading west and then south from Brae, you will soon see the 17th Century Busta House, today a hotel, but historically associated with the tragedy of 1748, when Thomas Gifford’s four sons were drowned while rowing back from Wethersta. The eldest son had secretly married and so ensued a legal dispute over inheritance which eventually bankrupted the estate. During WW1 Busta House was the Admiral’s HQ when the sheltered waters of Busta Voe and Swarbacks Minn were a Royal Navy anchorage.

Beyond Busta is the island of Muckle Roe, linked to Mainland by a bridge. The road twists and turns as it mostly stays close to the shore and offers up views over the islands of Linga and Papa Little and along to island of Vementry with the naval guns that guarded the entrance into Swarbacks Minn.

From near the end of the public road at Cumle, and also at the road end, there are 3 miles (5km) of rough metalled tracks to the right that lead to the deserted crofts at the Hams of Roe. This track is unsuitable for normal road bikes. The ‘Hams’ are small bays fringed on each side by headlands of red granite cliffs and an amazing array of sea stacks.

An alternative way to visit the Hams is to take the track from Scarafataing, 1.5 miles (2.5km) from the bridge, to the cemetery and walk across the hills from there. Details from the Walk Shetland website: Hams of Muckle Roe Circular

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