Walls - Culswick, Westerwick and Easter Skeld

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

Distance: 48km / 29.8 miles  (Circular route)

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Beyond Bridge of Walls the route follows a sharp right turn for Skeld and takes the single track road south for 5 miles (8km) to join the B9071 at Hestinsetter. Although reasonably straight, this route has several long descents down, and long climbs up, as you cross the valleys associated with the tranquil inlets of Scutta Voe, Seli Voe and Olas Voe. The wide valley beside Olas Voe is heather covered peat-land and you will see many traditional peat cuttings by the roadside. In late summer the hills in this area turn a dark purple when the heather blooms.

At the Hestinsetter junction there are several options to explore the area. The first option is to follow the B9071 to the right then take the side road that loops around to Culswick, a distance of about 2 miles (3km). From here you can walk the track past the Methodist Chapel to one of the most dramatically sited Iron Age broch sites in Shetland set high on a hill overlooking the entrance to Gruting Voe and Vaila Sound. Details of this walk is on Walk Shetland website: Culswick Circular

A second option is to turn left along the A971 for the short distance to the junction that takes the road south to Wester Skeld, 1 mile (2km) from the junction. From here you can explore the two 1 mile long (2km) ‘dead-end’ roads that lead to Westerwick and to Silwick. Westerwick is one of Shetland’s most striking small bays with a pebble beach fringed on either side by high red granite cliffs that also form the picturesque sea stacks in the bay. The other road leads to the more open, but no less striking coast at Silwick. From the road here you can take the short cliff top walk to the headland of Lambigart from where there are amazing vistas of Wester Wick and the cliffs to the west or you can make the longer circular walk to Westerwick. Details from the Walk Shetland website: Silwick and Westerwick Circular

Returning to Wester Skeld take the minor road east to the settlement of Easter Skeld. Downhill at the marina there is a caravan and camp site with public toilets. There is a bird hide nearby where you can watch birds and seals in the bay. Easter Skeld is also the location of one of Shetland Amenity Trust’s network of Camping Böds (camping barns).

From Skeld marina there is a short steep climb past the cemetery to the side road to the right that takes a loop of 2 miles (3km) through Reawick. The climb up and around the Ward of Reawick is rewarded by great views across Skelda Voe that opens out to the east to give more splendid views across the many small islands to the Burra isles and Mainland. Reawick is a small settlement above a quiet bay with a beach of strikingly pink sand.

The loop rejoins the B9071 with a right turn for a long run of 5.5 miles (9km) over a relatively straight single track road with few climbs. The road follows the west shore of Garderhouse Voe with fine views across to Fora Ness and Sand and to the green swath of salt marsh to the Loch of Semblister. The route joins the A971 for a left turn and a 5 mile (8km) ride to Walls.

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