View Hannigarth in a larger map

Travelling to Hannigarth

The first part of the adventure is getting there! We have included as many details as we can think of on this page. The excellent Visit Shetland website has lots of other information and also lots of links to the various travel operators.

You can use the aerial photo on the left to find Hannigarth on Google Maps.

 

The inter-island ferry

Aberdeen to Lerwick

There are two ways to get to Shetland: the overnight Northlink ferry (around 12 hours) and a flight from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness (between 1 and 1.5 hours + booking in etc).

Again, the Visit Shetland site has links to Northlink and Flybe so that you can find out current prices and book online.

We have tried out various different ways to approach the ferry journey, from treating it as a mini-cruise (en-suite cabin, meal in the restaurant, film in the "cinema") to roughing it on a reclining seat or bar settee. We have also slept on deck chairs on the deck - but that was a long time ago before the current posh ferries started operating. This year, we flew from Glasgow and hired a car; it seemed odd to be at the house on the same day that we set off from home!

Aberdeen from the ferry

Lerwick to Hannigarth - Travelling by car

Assuming that you are setting off from the ferry terminal, turn right onto the A970. Turn left if you want to go into Lerwick. The A970 travels North, taking you past the power station. If you are travelling from the airport at Sumburgh, take the A970 towards Lerwick which takes you into the centre past Tesco. If you don't want to visit the town, take the B9073 (Scalloway road) off the A970 just after Brindister to cut off the corner and rejoin the A970 further up.

Follow the A970 up through Mainland until you get to Voe. You then need to take a right turn onto the A968 which heads towards the first of the roll-on roll-off inter-island ferries at Toft. It carries you across Yell Sound. When you get to the ferry, park up in the appropriate lane and wait until you are directed onto the ferry. You can generally get across first time without booking however, you can find the booking phone number and timetables here. The current fares can also be found by following the link. The payment takes you all the way to Unst, keep the receipt to hand over when you get to the second ferry.

Once you have arrived at Ulsta on Yell, continue along the A968 through Yell to Gutcher where the ferry to Unst operates across Bluemull Sound. Again, you can book onto the ferry or take a chance. The ferry transports you to Belmont on Unst.

Once you are off the ferry, travel up the A968 (the only road). You will pass Loch of Snarravoe on your left as you go up the hill. After around 4 kilometres, take the first right - signposted to Uyeasound. Follow the road towards the harbour and turn left to follow the road that runs along the bay close to the sea. You will pass the village hall on your left and then Easter Loch also on your left. The road then cuts away left from the bay and heads towards Muness. You pass the church, primary school (now closed), a standing stone and then, just after you cross a cattle grid, take the left turn signposted to the Easting (Sandwick beach). Keep on this road as it passes a couple of crofts and a crofters shed until the road stops at a small car park with a bit of interesting signage telling you about the local history. Go through the gate to get onto the dirt track that takes you to Hannigarth. There is one more gate to open to get onto the parking area.

Sumburgh to Hannigarth - Travelling by car

Sumburgh airport is just about as far South you can go in Shetland. From the airport, follow signs for "North Isles" on the A970 heading North. This road takes you to Lerwick and it passes Clickimin Broch and Tesco on the way.

However, if you are keen to get on with getting to Unst, take a left on the B9073 just after passing a golf driving range and signs for Gulberwick and before getting to Lerwick. This takes you to the A970. Left takes you to Scalloway but right has you heading in the right direction for Unst.

At the next junction (the one with a largeish car sharing car park and a hill with wind turbines), turn left to take you past the golf course and then from there to Voe. Look for the right turn to join the A968 and stay on it until it ends at the first inter-island ferry at Toft.

Once you have arrived at Ulsta on Yell, continue along the A968 through Yell to Gutcher where the ferry to Unst operates across Bluemull Sound. Again, you can book onto the ferry or take a chance. The ferry transports you to Belmont on Unst.

Once you are off the ferry, travel up the A968 (the only road). You will pass Loch of Snarravoe on your left as you go up the hill. After around 4 kilometres, take the first right - signposted to Uyeasound. Follow the road towards the harbour and turn left to follow the road that runs along the bay close to the sea. You will pass the village hall on your left and then Easter Loch also on your left. The road then cuts away left from the bay and heads towards Muness. You pass the church, primary school (now closed), a standing stone and then, just after you cross a cattle grid, take the left turn signposted to the Easting (Sandwick beach). Keep on this road as it passes a couple of crofts and a crofters shed until the road stops at a small car park with a bit of interesting signage telling you about the local history. Go through the gate to get onto the dirt track that takes you to Hannigarth. There is one more gate to open to get onto the parking area.

A typical bus stop on Unst!

Lerwick to Hannigarth - Travelling by bus

There is a bus service from the ferry terminal all the way up the islands. You don't have to book onto the service but a phone call to the operators to check is probably the safest option. The operators phone numbers and timetables can be found here. The cost all the way to Unst is around £6. The last stage takes you to Uyeasound which leaves you with a 2 mile walk. We suggest you have a chat with the driver on the minibus that takes you up Unst and ask if you can be dropped at Hannigarth.

 

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Richard and Jane King - 17/4/2017