Scalloway - Burra and Tronda

This route is south west of Scalloway through the narrow chain of islands of Tronda, West Burra and East Burra. This is a route with low rolling hills, so although the route is seldom flat, never climbs to any significant height.

Distance: 31.5km / 19.6 miles  (Circular route)

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The topography of the area provides real interest at every turn, with a succession islands linked by bridges giving views to the small offshore islands and skerries on one side and the dramatic steep sided Clift Hills of Mainland on the other.

The B9074 crosses the first bridge and heading south on Tronda offers spectacular views at first down Clift Sound to the east then across Burland to Burra to the west. At Burland on Trondra the Croft Trail is open mid-May to September and is on a working croft dedicated to maintaining native Shetland breeds and is a great place to learn more about traditional crofting and crafts.

The bridge to West Burra affords a great view south Lang Sound between the islands. Past the garage there is a short steep climb to the road junction. From here continue straight on to the pretty fishing village of Hamnavoe. The village hall on the right also doubles as an occasional cafe and at the foot of the hill is the harbour and marina where there is the shop and post office. From the harbour you can walk to the lighthouse on Fugla Ness or take the longer circular walk along the cliffs to Meal beach and back down the road to Hamnavoe. Details from the Walk Shetland website: Hamnavoe Circular

Return to the junction and head south on the minor road towards Bridge End; around the steep bend beyond the junction is a car park and public toilets. This is where the path leads down to Meal Sand, which is one of the finest beaches in Shetland and can be an excellent sheltered picnic spot.

Further south along the narrow road on the hill ridge towards Toogs there is some of the best all round views in Shetland from Foula in the west to Stream Sound and Cliff Sound and the hills to the north and east.

At Bridge End the road forks at the War Memorial. The left route will take over the the narrow bridge across Lang Sound to East Burra. The Bridge End Outdoor Centre provides budget accommodation or a base for groups of between 6 and 26 people and is ideal for those with outdoor interests such as cycling, kayaking, walking and natural history. From here the route south to Houss gives excellent views of the imposing Clift Hills towering above the sheltered waters of Clift Sound. There is an excellent walk on Houss Ness to the ruined crofts at Symbister where there is one of the largest Bronze Age burnt mounds in Shetland.

Returning to Bridge End the road south trough the remainder of West Burra ends at Duncansclate where there is a fine example of a restored croft house with a thatched roof that featured in the BBC TV series ‘Restoration’. From the car park beyond, there is a track to another stunning beach at Banna Minn and a narrow isthmus leading across to Kettla Ness and the prospect of another fine walk around the headland.

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