This route follows the signposted Route 1 of the National Cycle Network for 19 miles (30km), with a further 3 mile (5km) spur added from Laxo to Vidlin.
The first 4 miles (6.5km) of the route through Tingwall to Veensgarth junction are pretty gentle and a very pleasant ride through a green valley made fertile by the limestone bedrock. The B9074 runs along the shore of the Loch of Asta with its prehistoric standing stone by the golf course then past the Loch of Tingwall. Nearby is Tingwall Kirk bult in 1798 on the site of a medieval Norse kirk believed to be the ‘mother church’ of Shetland.
Just beyond Veensgarth the route follows the A970 north for almost 6 miles (10km). This section is not the greatest for leisure cycling; the road is quite straight and the traffic can be fast. By taking a small loop diversion via Strand and Laxfirth past the pretty Strand Loch, which will add just 0.5 miles (1km), you can avoid 3 miles (5km) on the fastest section of the main road. This option is recommended; cross the A970 at the Veensgarth junction and follow sign for Strand and Laxfirth. This option does mean a right rurn onto the main A970 road further north.
Leave the fast A970 at the junction just north of the Loch of Girlsta which is Shetland’s largest loch. The single-track B9075 to Nesting is a stark contrast to the section which preceeds it; immediately from the turn-off the landscape and the road become much more pleasant. The B9075 ‘Nesting Loop’ winds through North and South Nesting, an intricate landscape of sheltered inlets and scattered crofts; it is a great cycling road, with constant twists and turns and scenic surprises around many.