Mid Yell - South Yell

Cycle Information

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cycle-distanceRoute Distance
38.5km / 23.9 miles
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From Mid Yell take the B9081 west to turn left onto the A968 at the head of Mid Yell Voe. This is the main route through Yell and can often carry fast moving traffic hurrying to catch the inter-island ferries at Gutcher or Ulsta.

A short distance beyond the junction up on the hill top to the right there is the impressive ruin of Shetland’s most haunted house, Windhouse. Nearby is Windhouse Lodge Böd; one of Shetland Amenity Trust’s network of camping böds (camping barns).

From Windhouse to West Sandwick the road is fairly straight for 3 miles (4.5km) with few climbs. The route takes the loop road to the right through West Sandwick and just near the far end of the loch there is an access track to the right that gives access through sand dunes to one of Shetland’s nicest sand beaches.

Rejoining the fast A968 south there are splendid views across the islands in Yell Sound and of Ness of Sound with its small lagoons lying between a double tombolo.

Ulsta has a well stocked shop and is the terminal for the inter-island ferry to Mainland with waiting room and public toilets. Here the road forks just before the shop to the single-track B9081 to the east, following the signs to Burravoe then onward to Mid Yell. The twists and turns of this narrow single-track road make for more interesting cycling than the wider and straighter A968.

The local Museum and Exhibition Centre at Burravoe is housed in the Old Haa which dates from 1672 and includes a tearoom, gallery and craft shop. It houses a permanent display of material depicting the history of Yell and you can relax in its garden and admire a joint project between Old Haa and Geopark Shetland, which is a series of stone figures built in the style of Inuit 'inuksuit’.

To the north of Burravoe the road climbs to give great all-round views from Lunna Ness in the south to the high cliffs of Fetlar in the north and west across the wild moorland and small lochs that covers much of Yell. The opportunity to explore the side roads is another good reason to take this route. The beautiful sandy beach at Gossabrough is almost a 1mile (1.5km) diversion off the road north and offers views over to Fetlar. A similar distance off-route will take you to a path leading to the shore at Otterswick. Here you can see the figurehead known as the White Wife o’ Queyon which came from the Bohus, a German training ship which was wrecked on the Ness of Queyon in 1924.

From Otterswick take the loop that passes North and South Aywick to Mid Yell. This final section is possibly the highlight of the day. The climb on the Hill of Vatsie offers truly spectacular views over the nearby Loch of Vatsetter and the more distant Fetlar, Hascosay and Unst.

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