On the way north to Lerwick, the western route via Spiggie leads to Bigton, starting point for a visit to St Ninian’s Isle, which is linked to the mainland by a spectacular sand tombolo. On the east-facing slopes of the island stood a chapel where, in 1958, a Shetland schoolboy was helping with excavation of the site. He lifted a slab marked with a cross and found 28 items of Pictish silverware that included jewellery, various bowls and weapons, apparently hidden here to escape the attention of Viking invaders; replicas are in the Shetland Museum and the originals are in Edinburgh. You can visit the chapel freely at any time, except when – as happens during high tides in winter – the tombolo is flooded.
Taking in all of these sites isn’t possible in one day, so we suggest you might consider visiting Clickimin, Scalloway and Mousa on one day and Old Scatness, Jarlshof and St Ninian’s Isle on another. However, the south mainland has much more to offer; you certainly won’t want to miss Sumburgh Head and time spent at other sites, such as the Croft House Museum, Quendale Mill and the Ness of Burgi, will be well rewarded.