Silwick and Westerwick Circular

This is a coastal and moorland walk around a remarkable but little visited corner of Shetland. The coast displays some of the most dramatic sea stack and cliff scenery to be found anywhere. The coast is home to nesting seabirds, particularly Fulmar, Greater Black Baked Gull and Cormorant. Ravens also favour these cliffs for their nest sites.

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Difficultly LevelModerate
Walk Distance9km
Duration4 hours
Height Gain90m
Map DescriptionOS Explorer 467: Shetland - Lerwick, Papa Stour and Foula
Start Point Map ReferenceHU 292 422

Directions to Start

There are no public transport links directly to the start point of this walk, so we'd recommend travelling there by car.

This is a coastal and moorland walk around a remarkable but little visited corner of Shetland. The coast displays some of the most dramatic sea stack and cliff scenery to be found anywhere. The coast is home to nesting seabirds, particularly Fulmar, Greater Black Backed Gull and Cormorant. Ravens also favour these cliffs for their nest sites.

The walk starts at the road end in the settlement of Silwick above long abandoned crofts. A signpost to Lambigart will direct you west across a field. From the cliff top in lower corner of the field there are good views of a sea stacks in Muckle Geo. The cliff tops are fenced off for a good deal of the walk and it is advised that you stay inside the fences.

Nearby Sites of Interest

  • Shetland Cheese Ltd have their creamery located in Westerskeld, en route to the start point of this walk. Stop along if you fancy a bite to eat, and to sample some of the cheeses on offer.
  • If you’re green fingered, be sure to stop by Da Gairdins i Sand on your way to Silwick. The garden is home to an abundance of plant life, in a specially created area across several acres. A real visual treat!

From Muckle Geo follow the cliffs upward to get a view of a spectacular group of sea stacks in the Geo of Estiness. The largest of these is the flat topped Erne’s Stack once the home of the White Tailed Sea Eagle. These became extinct in Britain when the last one was shot in Shetland in 1918, but subsequently have been successfully reintroduced to mainland Scotland. Continue to the highest point of the cliff get a view of the long headland of Lambigart and the pointed Rooi Stack.

Follow the cliffs along the east coast of Lambigart. This opens up great views south-east towards Sil Wick across the bay with its many sea stacks, skerries, caves and natural arches. Continue around the headland now following the east shore of the next bay, which is Wester Wick. From the high neck of land between the bays you can frame magnificent views of the cliffs, stacks, skerries and beaches of Wester Wick.

Leave Lambigart and follow the cliffs above the shore of Wester Wick around and down to the beach below the settlement of Westerwick. The bay is often the haunt of seals, which haul out on the beaches, and otters can sometimes be seen fishing in the area. Westerwick is the birthplace of Vagaland, Shetland’s best known 20th century poet (Thomas Alexander Robertson 1903-1973).

Love this area so quiet and spectacular. It reminded me of New Zealand.

A steep ascent from the beach follows the cliffs to the highest point on the west shore of the bay and makes for a splendid view of the red granite cliffs and the red shingle beaches far below. Continue west along the cliffs around the deep inlet of Lambi Geo and the burn that drains Lambi Loch. Beyond Lambi Geo is the headland of The Nev and the offshore stack called Giltarump. This stack takes its name from its likeness to the rear quarters of a pig.

From The Nev follow the cliffs north to ascend the high ground of Drongi Field. The summit affords all round panoramic views, which on a clear day include Foula on the western horizon to Fair Isle in the south. From Drongi Field you can head east to the Loch of Westerwick then south to the settlement. From Westerwick you can return via Lambigart to the start point at Silwick.

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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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