Crofting townships fringe Yell's long and varied coastline but much of the island is uninhabited moorland, known as 'da Wilds o' Yell'. There are nationally important nature reserves such as the RSPB's Lumbister, the Yell Sound islands and the island of Hascosay. But the whole area teems with wildlife, especially during the summer, so there's always something to delight birdwatchers, hill walkers or casual strollers. You never know when a Whimbrel, a Red-throated Diver, Golden Plover, Common Seal or Otter may put in an unscheduled appearance - and that's just while you're still sitting in your car.
Peter Guy’s series of books entitled Walking the Coast of Shetland are classics - and essential companions - as you explore Yell and other islands. South of Mid Yell, at Otterswick, a short walk takes you to the figurehead known as 'Da White Wife' from the 1924 wreck of the 'Bohus', a German sailing vessel. Some of the locally-produced trail leaflets can be downloaded here.
Yell offers some lovely coastal walks and, thanks to the locally-based author and rambler Peter Guy, it's exceptionally well-documented.