The Hams O Roe Circular

With covid travel restrictions eased across Scotland this month we’re going take you out on a challenging walk along the stunning western coast of Muckle Roe, a small island near Brae attached to the mainland by a short bridge.


The circular walk is about 10.5km or 6.5 miles with the western half being along rugged and hilly coast where you will need to pick your preferred route in places; you’ll be rewarded with amazing views though! The central track is an easier walk, but with still some steep climbs along the way, but is a great way to get out to the Hams and back without being taxed too much and is popular with families and mountain bikes.

Please ensure you park responsibly, not blocking any tracks or gateways, and keep dogs on a lead as this area is well stocked with sheep all year round.

Map of Hams of Roe core path

You can download a PDF of the route to print off here or a GPX for mobile gps devices or apps here.

Whether you do the full route or go there and back via the central track this is the stunning view that awaits you at the North Ham…

Going clockwise along the coast from the small car parking area at Little Ayre you’ll follow a path to Muckle Roe lighthouse, sadly a modern version. The original now being an information point at the Sumburgh Head carpark.

From here the path is less clear and more rugged for the next couple of miles between the edge of the hills and coast until you reach a stile just past the impressive stack ‘The Spindle’ from where on the route becomes more distinct.

A path and track then leads you down to the coast via South Ham, where there are often seals hauled out, and on to Town Loch…

After a short walk along the loch you’ll arrive at the impressive and popular bay of North Ham…

Enjoy a picnic, take some photos and have a little well-earned rest before following the route back to the start is via the easy to follow central track.

The coastal section is a fairly challenging walk with rugged and steep ground and the need to ‘pick the best route’ in places after the lighthouse, so ensure you are prepared for that and have suitable clothing and footwear. If you feel that is a bit too much the central track, though steep in parts is easy walking and a popular mountain bike ride and only about 4km (2.5miles) each way.

Until next time, take care and enjoy #shetlandoutdoors on Twitter and YouTube

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