Papa Stour

This month we’re going to go a bit further afield with a trip to Papa Stour!

It’s an isle off the west side of Shetland accessed mainly by a 40 minute ferry ride from West Burrafirth Pier with day returns possible on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Ferry timetables can be found here.

It’s around 22km of walking to circumnavigate the island, further if you walk the coastline very closely, but you can easily cut off some of the headlands to make it shorter. There is a PDF of the route available here and a downloadable GPS file here.


The ground is generally good walking with some steep short climbs, but there can be the odd boggy bit. There are a number of stiles, and - it should go without saying - please stay back from the cliff edges, you’re a long way from any help.

Be aware that there is no shop on the island, but there is a very welcoming ferry waiting room complete with kettle and library and island information.

Whichever way you walk around the island you’ll see some amazing scenery. The North West coast is particularly stunning for stacks and arches like Aesha Head.


There are old watermills and causeways on Hamna Voe.

You’ll see birdlife galore including bonxies and, if you’re really lucky, there may be even an otter! 

In the settled part of the island there is the Kirk with local history information and nearby are the remains of a Norse 12th century homestead at The Biggings.

If you visit Papa Stour we hope you have a great trip and keep an eye on #shetlandoutdoors for more about outdoor access in Shetland.



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