COVID-19 update: Shetland is now reopen to visitors, as per Scottish government guidelines, but please read our guidance on travelling responsibly.

Sandvoe to Uyea Circular

One of Shetland’s wildest and most challenging walks.

Download Route:KML FileGPX File

Difficulty LevelChallenging
Walk Distance15km
Duration7 hours
Height Gain600m
Map DescriptionOS Explorer 469: Shetland - North Roe and Sullom Voe
Start Point Map ReferenceHU 363 908

Directions to Start

The start point of this walk is not accessible by public transport, so we'd recommend travelling there by car.

This is one of Shetland’s wildest and most challenging walks. The outward leg follows a dramatic coastline ascending and descending very steep slopes into and out of glaciated valleys. The return leg is in part along a track through a fabulous moorland landscape. Please note that it not considered safe practice to descend the cliffs and cross the sandbar to the island of Uyea.

The start point for the walk is the west end of the beach at the head of Sand Voe. From here follow the east shoulder of the hill north then west above the shore of Sand Voe. From the north shoulder of the hill there is a steep descent to the beach at the inlet of Roer Mill. Roer Mill beach is the only safe landing place along the ferocious coast between Uyea and Sandvoe. The ruined building is a Haaf fishing böd. Sixareens (open fishing boats) from Uyea brought their fish to Roermill where there was a better beach for drying the fish.

Nearby Sites of Interest

  • This walk is located at the top of the Shetland Mainland, and on your way to or from this walk you might want to stop along the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary a little further south. A wonderful haven where rescued animals such as seals and otters are cared for. Have a drink and a snack in Da Böd Café too.

From Roer Mill ascend Heoga Neap for spectacular views of both hill and coast, then skirting the cliffs above Raa Wick descend the broad headland of Grut Ness down to the inlets of Wilgi Geos. The rocks in the Sand Voe to Uyea area are 2500 million-year-old gneisses. Mostly granite-like in origin these rocks have experienced numerous upheavals in the Earth's crust or 'mountain building events’ that have deformed and metamorphosed the rocks. At Wilgi Geos these rocks have been spectacularly cut by later injections of magma to form the contrasting red and black composite dykes.

From Wilgi Geos ascend and descend Calder’s Head then follow the cliffs west around the north shoulder of North Hill passing the ruined croft of Brevligarth. A track takes you from North Hill down to the ruined crofting toonship of Uyea. In 1851 all 11 houses were occupied but most were derelict by 1906.

Leaving Uyea crofts head north past the cliffs of The Breck then west to the ruins of Uyea Haaf station lodges at North Wick. The sixareens left from Uyea but returned with their catches to Roermill. Follow North Wick around to Uyea Ayre. This is the sand bar (tombolo) across the mouth of Burrier Wick and is covered at the highest tides. Follow the cliffs south around The Ness to get great view of the opposite shore of Uyea.

For the return leg head south-east across the moorland to the Uyea crofts then pick up the metalled track that winds its way south-east across the moorland towards North Roe. This track will take you between Innis Loch and Mill Loch where you may encounter Golden Plover, Red-throated Diver and Arctic Hare. To the south is the red granite (granophyre) scarp of the Beorgs of Uyea where plug of magma forced its way into the metamorphic rocks some 360 million years ago.

Beyond Pettadale Water the track will take you across the Burn of Sandvoe and on towards North Roe. From North Roe follow the road north back to the sart at Sandvoe.

  • Belmont to Lund

    Time Required 3 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Breckon

    Time Required 4 hours 30 minutes (longer walk)
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Brough to Stobister Circular

    Time Required 4 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Burravoe Ladies Hol & Heoganess

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Circular walk round Ness of Queyon

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Culswick Circular Walk, West Mainland of Shetland

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy To Moderate
    View route
  • Deepdale and Sandness Hill Circular

    Time Required 6 hours
    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Eshaness Circular

    Time Required 3 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy To Moderate
    View route
  • Fair Isle - The South

    Time Required 3 to 5 hours

    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Fethaland Circular Walk

    Time Required 5 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Fladdabister Circular

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Funzie Ness, Fetlar

    Time Required 2 hours 30 minutes (short walk) or 4 hours (longer walk)
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Hamnavoe Circular

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy To Moderate
    View route
  • Hams of Muckle Roe Circular

    Time Required 6 hours
    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Hermaness Hike

    Time Required 3 to 5 hours
    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Hillswick Ness Circular

    Time Required 5 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Jarlshof to Sumburgh Head & Grutness Circular

    Time Required 3 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Ling Ness Circular

    Time Required 2 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
  • Mousa Circular

    Time Required 3 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy
    View route
  • Papa Stour Circular

    Time Required 8 hours
    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Sandvoe to Uyea Circular

    Time Required 7 hours
    Dificulty Level Challenging
    View route
  • Scalloway and Burwick Circular

    Time Required 5 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Skerries Circular

    Time Required 4 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy To Moderate
    View route
  • St Ninian's Isle Circular

    Time Required 3 hours
    Dificulty Level Easy To Moderate
    View route
  • Steens of Stofast Circular

    Time Required 2 hours (short walk), 5 hours (long walk)
    Dificulty Level Moderate To Challenging
    View route
  • Strandburgh Ness Circular

    Time Required 4 hours
    Dificulty Level Moderate
    View route
Add to
My Shetland
collection
My Collection 0
Close