Hillswick Circular Walk

A classic Shetland walk around the Ness of Hillswick (CPPN06) in Northmavine.

Hillswick circular walk

This month we’ll take you for a classic Shetland walk around the Ness of Hillswick (CPPN06) in Northmavine.  It’s a fairly strenuous 7km route with steep and rough ground as well as some potentially wet bits, so take your boots and be prepared with a drink and snack. 

You can download a PDF for printing of the route here, and a GPX for handheld GPS and mobile apps here.

You can park on the coast opposite the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary where there’s a toilet and local shop.

hillswick map

We’re going anti-clockwise to get the bulk of the steep ground covered while we’re fresh, but no matter which way you go around the ness the views are dramatic.

From the carpark we’ll head west across the road and field to the shingly beach of Sand Wick, before following the coastal path south.

We’re on a coast of high and steep cliffs, so keep back from the edge and watch your footing on wet grass and earth.

There’s no end of interesting geos and stacks along here where you’ll see birdlife and seals, but without doubt the big draw is the famous stacks of The Drongs, sitting out in the sea from the Pund of Grevasand.

drongs photo

The route south continues to be a bit lumpy as we head to the modern lighthouse at Baa Taing.  You’ll see an old guide fence leading you to it.  Once you get there, if you haven’t already, it’s a nice spot to take a minute, have a bite to eat and admire the view south towards Muckle Roe.

lighthouse and cliffs

We’re now going to head back north on the eastern coast.  It’s much flatter, but also wetter going in parts.  As you get closer to Hillswick, keep an eye on the coast and in the small geos for otters. You may be lucky like I was on one trip.


Once back at Hillswick there’s the public toilet, shop and Magnus Bay Hotel if you need to relax or refresh.  Occasionally the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary is open for visitors too.

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


Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.