Burravoe Ladies Hol and Heoganess

This circular walk takes around 2 hours. Starting at the Marina in Burravoe it takes in spectacular cliff and sea views with the possibility of seeing otters, seals and nesting seabirds. After your walk visit the Old Haa for a welcome cup of tea.

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Difficultly LevelModerate
Walk Distance5km
Duration2 hours
Height Gain70 metres

This walk begins at the Burravoe Pier and Marina where there are shower and toilet facilities and ample parking for cars. Pass through the white gate and follow the path along the edge of the voe. At the head of the voe veer to the left and climb steeply to the cliffs at Ladies Hol.

On the cliffs there are breeding colonies of tammie nories (puffins), weegs (kittiwakes), tirricks (arctic terns), tysties (guillemots), sea craa (razorbills) and skarfs (cormorants) from May through to August and the cliffs are a spectacular spot to watch the mallies (fulmars) wheeling around their nests.

Once you’ve taken in the sight, climb down the hill towards the sea, taking in views of the islands of Fetlar, Skerries and Whalsay on your left and the Burravoe marina on your right.

Keep to the coastline and walk around the Geo of Gardins and follow the coast around the Ness. The central area of the ness can be pretty boggy, even in summer therefore it’s advisable to stick to the coastline. This is a great area for spotting otters at the sea shore. There is usually evidence of otters’ spraint at Whal Wick. This is a great spot for a picnic and if you stop a while you may spot an otter or two. In summer there are numerous tirrick’s (artic tern’s) nests near the shore.

Continue around the Ness until you are opposite Burravoe. Here you can take in excellent views of the township of Burravoe. In particular note the Manor House, a listed building. The design of this house is very unusual, being a late example of a merchant haa with a remarkably shallow roof that appears to have been tarred like later croft houses in Shetland.

In the summer the shore is home to many wading birds including; whaaps (curlew), shalders (oystercatchers), plivvers (plovers) and ebbsleepers (dunlin).

You can then join the grassy road which will take you back to the head of Burravoe where you will find a derelict building which was a Methodist Chapel and Chapel House built in 1827.

Retrace your steps back to the car park at the Marina.

If you have time you may want to visit the Old Haa which was built in 1672. It was home for a succession of merchants for over 200 years. In 1984 it was taken over by The Old Haa Trust. It is now a local history museum and art gallery. It also houses a tea room and craft shop.

It is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am until 4pm and on Sundays from 2pm until 5pm during the summer months. The garden is also open to visitors.

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Difficulty Level

  • Easy Walks: under 4 kilometers, usually suitable for majority abilities.
  • Moderate Walks: under 8 kilometers, usually suitable for most abilities. Walks surface may be loose, uneven and muddy. Sensible footwear required.
  • Longer Walks: over 8 kilometers, usually suitable for those with a good standard of fitness. Walks surface likely to be more challenging, loose, uneven and muddy. Stout waterproof footwear with ankle support required.
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