West Voe Beach

At the other side of Sumburgh Airport from Grutness, the West Voe of Sumburgh is one of the four Shetland beaches that have won a Seaside Award from Keep Scotland Beautiful. A crescent of white sand around the voe’s turquoise water, it’s backed by steep dunes clad in marram grass. It’s not only the beach that is spectacular, though. To the southeast, there’s the striking outline of Sumburgh Head, an RSPB reserve famed for offering close encounters with puffins. The headland is topped by Sumburgh Lighthouse, built in 1821 by Robert Stevenson, who was Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather. Close to the beach, there are two outstanding archaeological sites, Jarlshof and Old Scatness. There’s car parking, too, and food and drink is available not far away, at the nearby hotel or the airport. West Voe is an ideal place for stretching legs or, on fine days, simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings.