Walls - Brae

This route links West Mainland with the north, with the section north of Bixter part of the National Cycle Network Route 1.

Distance: 38km / 23.6 miles  (Linear route)

Download Route: • KML File • GPX File

There is a choice of two exits from Walls to join the A971 to Bixter; either take the A971 direct to Bridge of Walls, or take the minor road north to join the branch of the A971 near the Neothlitic homestead and field system at the Scord of Brouster which is well worth a visit.

At Bixter there is a shop and toilets. From Bixter the route on the B9071 climbs again to give views to the west over Clousta and Aith Voe and the unspoilt wild moorland and hills to the east. The road becomes single-track beyond the settlement of Aith. About 1.5 miles (2.5km) further on the road crosses the Burn of Lunket where a singposted path follows the burn to the waterfall and is a gateway to some exhilarating hill-walking across the wonderful views beyond.

The climb from the Burn of Lunklet over West Hill of Burrafirth is a little bigger than those already passed and then the final climb from Gonfirth over Fielnadringa is bigger still. At 439 feet (134m) this is the highest point on the Cycle Shetland touring network. This long climb is compnsated for by some of the best wild upland scenery in Shetland.

West Mainland’s narrow but well maintained roads make for great cycling.
I just have to come back, simply love the nature and it's people. Felt very welcome.

It is a beautiful descent from the Loch of Gonfirth to the village of Lower Voe, nestled in its sheltered location at the head of Olna Firth where there is a bar and restaurant for the weary traveller. This is also the location of the Sail Loft which is one of Shetland Amenity Trust’s Camping Böds (camping barns).

From just above Lower Voe the A970 leading west to Brae is joined at the Loch of Voe. This road connects Brae and Sullom Voe Oil terminal with Lerwick so can often be busy with oil industry traffic, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when shifts change.

The activity of the oil industry, which has contributed to the shaping of modern Shetland, is well hidden so the district is still unspoiled with many amazing vistas. The scene from the main road viewpoint looking down on Lower Voe is one of Shetland’s ‘classic’ views and the interpretation panel tells local history and the village connection with Mount Everest.

The road from Voe to the larger and more modern village of Brae follows the shore of Olna Firth and Busta Voe for almost 6 miles (10km) passing Shetland’s newer industries of mussel and salmon farms.

Local Amenities in Brae:

  • Public toilets
  • Garage
  • Supermarket, shop and a post office
  • Cafes and fish and chip-shop
  • Leisure centre and swimming pool

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