The sunny side of ShetlandCliff scenery at Sandness

"West is best". 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 the mist away.

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 the 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 sea lochs, or voes, which extend far into the heathery hills and green croftland. And, whatever the wind direction, you can always find a sheltered beach.

Voe House Camping Böd Sketch
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