Scousburgh - Sandwick

This is a short section on the National Cycle Network in the south of Mainland. If you are doing a cycling tour, then you will wish to add this section to the adjoining routes from Scousburgh and Sandwick.

Distance: 11km / 6.8 miles  (Linear route)

Download Route: • KML File • GPX File

The first section along the B9122 after leaving Scousburgh is very scenic, with views over the Bay of Scousburgh, the small island of Colsay and the beautiful beach at Rerwick which is a popular sun-bathing spot for seals.

At the end of a long straight is the short diversion west to Bigton where there is a shop and toilets. A sign on the corner just past the shop will direct you down the tarmac track to the left where you can take in the spectacular view of St Ninian's Isle and the sand tombolo that joins the island to Mainland. Cycle touring offers many decisions about whether to press on along the route or to take a diversion to see the sites. Here there cannot be any debate; this is a 0.5 mile (1km) deviation rewarded with one of Shetland’s most iconic views.

St Ninian's Isle is connected to Mainland by the largest active sand tombolo in the UK; a 600 yard (500m) long sandy causeway which ensures this is one of the most beautiful of all the picture-postcard beaches to be found in the Scottish Islands. The island itself features the ruins of a 12th century chapel, where in 1958, a schoolboy attending an archaeological dig helped the island to become famous for more than its beauty by discovering a hoard of silver bowls and ornaments. The treasure, believed to date from around 800AD, is kept in Edinburgh but replicas are displayed at the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick.

After Bigton there is a climb over the hill along the B9122 and back to the east coast to join the busy A970 for the 2 miles (3km) north towards Sandwick. This section of the route ends at the junction overlooking the communities of Hoswick, Sandwick and Leebotten and the island of Mousa to the east.

St Ninian's Isle is connected to Mainland by the largest active sand tombolo in the UK

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