The road from Lerwick to Scalloway is only 6 miles (10km) but far enough to take you from the east coast to the west and to take you from Shetland’s modern day principal town to its ancient capital.
There is a long and steady climb for 2.5 miles (4km) south out of Lerwick on the A970. This is not the most pleasurable road for cycling, but there is a pavement running alongside the road for the steep hill out of town followed by a couple of sections of old road which can be used for cycling parallel to the main road.
There are views of Gulberwick where the route joins the B9073 which cuts through the ridge of hills that form the ‘spine’ of Mainland and crosses wild moorland to connect with the A970 once again. Suddenly the views of Scalloway come to the fore from the viewpoint on the hillside; a really wonderful panorama of picturesque Scalloway, its ruined castle and the many islands which lie to the south and west of the town.
At both ends the route starts and finishes at museums, where the linked routes to the north and south also begin. Both the Shetland Museum and Archivies in Lerwick and the Scalloway Museum are modern facilities which greatly enhance the story Shetland can tell to its visitors. Make sure you have time to visit.