West Mainland

"West is best"

Skeld Marina enlarge Skeld Marina It's true - many a day when the east coast of Shetland is smothered in sea fog, the Westside is gloriously sunny. It happens particularly in summer, when south-easterly winds pick up moisture from the North Sea: as the clammy air passes over the hills of Shetland it warms and dries, clearing away the mist.

The West Mainland offers many miles of hill and coastal walks, excellent birding, seal-watching and otter-spotting, great angling and some fascinating historical and archaeological sites.

There are hundreds of freshwater lochs, most of them in hollows carved by glaciers out of the granite and sandstone rocks. The lochs and the burns linking them to the sea are home to trout, ducks, wading birds and plants such as Bogbean and white Water Lily.

This is a classic "drowned coastline", flooded by the sea at the end of the Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago. The shorescape varies from the dramatic cliffs of the outer coast to long voes (sea inlets), which extend far into the heathery hills and green croftland. Whatever the wind direction, you can always find a sheltered beach.

For additional information about the West Side please visit the following websites:

Aith Lifeboat Station


Download Our Brochure

For more information about West Mainland, download our free West Mainland brochure [.pdf approx. 1,5Mb]