Two ferry crossings are involved in travelling from the Shetland Mainland to Unst, but it’s a very straightforward journey.
- On the Shetland Mainland, follow the A968 road to Toft;
- Take the car ferry across Yell Sound from Toft to Ulsta on the island of Yell; the crossing takes 20 minutes.
- Drive north across Yell to Gutcher; allow 25 minutes without stops.
- Take the car ferry across Bluemull Sound from Gutcher to Belmont on Unst; this crossing takes 10 minutes.
The ferries between the Mainland and Yell run every hour or half hour during the day and evening. Those between Yell and Unst are also frequent, but bear in mind that some journeys from both Gutcher (Yell) and Belmont (Unst) are to the island of Fetlar, indicated by the letter H (for Hamars Ness) in the ferry timetable. It’s important to note that all the times shown are departure times.
It’s not always essential to book these ferries in advance but we recommend that you do. The telephone number for the booking office is shown in a panel on the timetable; you’ll be asked where you’re going, the sailing you want to use, your name and your car registration number. You pay on the ferry on the outward journey only.
A morning bus service leaves from Lerwick at 7.50am, going past the ferry terminal. There is an afternoon bus as well, leaving at 2pm at weekends and 2.30pm on weekdays (timetables can be found here).
It is possible to make a day trip to Unst but, if time allows, we would recommend that you stay a few days to explore this fascinating island.