Belmont to Lund

This route begins at the ferry terminal in Unst. It is a linear walk, incorporating some of Unst's finest scenery and archaeological features. You may choose to return the way you came, or arrange for a lift back to the ferry terminal at the end of the walk.

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Difficultly LevelModerate
Walk Distance7km
Duration3 hours
Height Gain50m
Map DescriptionOS Explorer 470: Shetland - Unst, Yell & Fetlar
Start Point Map ReferenceHP 565 004

Directions to Start

Unst is accessible by inter-island ferry, and there is public transport available to the ferry terminal and through Yell to reach Unst; the bus timetable can be found here.

This route begins at the ferry terminal at Belmont. It is a linear walk, incorporating some of Unst's finest scenery and archaeological features. You may choose to return the way you came, or arrange for a lift back to the ferry terminal at the end of the walk.

The ferry terminal was constructed with rock from an adjacent quarry cut through serpentine rock. Walk north from here alongside the road to the track which turns west down to the sea. Follow the coastline to Hoga Ness. You will pass the recently restored Belmont House which may be open for visits, if you have time. The broch site at Hoga Ness is dramatic and well worth exploring, before you head north across the hill towards the ruined croft buildings on the skyline. An Unst heroine, Grace Petrie lived here once, famous for her daring rescue of the crew of a vessel in trouble in Bluemull Sound.

From here you head north again, where the huge scattered stones of a possible chambered cairn are worth examining. The ruins of Braeside are passed nearby and then you descend to the shore at Snarra Voe, and the empty shell of the former shop and side school. From here, the abandoned settlement is seen on the south facing slopes opposite, and further to the west, traces of prehistoric structures are visible in the turf. The route round the shore and up to the settlement can be muddy in wet weather, and you may need to keep to the shingle beach to start with. Look out for waders around the shore here.

From ruined Snarravoe the route heads uphill and north across the moors to Snabrough one of Shetland's best kept secrets. Keep to the west shore of the small loch here. With its massive broch ramparts and cluster of croft buildings this place has a wonderful atmosphere. There are fine views from the high ground to the south of Snabrough, right across southern Unst to Fetlar. To the north of Snabrough the ground falls away gradually and the whole of the rest of the route is laid out before you. Lund Kirk, the cemetery and the fine beach lie between the massive headland of Bluemull to the west and the gaunt remains of the supposedly haunted house of Lund to the east. Straight ahead in the far distance lie the heights of Valla Field and the Broch of Underhoull, with the excavated Norse farm site close by.

Descend to the Lund Kirkyard and look for the Hanseatic gravestones and the Pictish symbol stone in one of the ruined kirk window lintels. There is a good track up to the house, which continues to the main road. A very fine standing stone can be seen beside the road near the junction. If time and energy permit, detour towards the Westing and explore Underhoull Broch, built on a vantage point overlooking southern Unst and the northeast side of Yell.

Nearby Sites of Interest

  • Unst was the first island in the UK to become a ‘Walkers Are Welcome’ community, and their information centre can be found at the Foords Chocolate Factory, Saxa Vord.
  • Unst is home to a quirky and vibrant bus shelter – one like you’ll never have seen before! If you’re up for exploring the rest of Unst after your walk, this is definitely a highlight worth seeing.

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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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