Saturday, 26 May 2012


Northmavine is a peninsula in the north west of Shetland's Mainland. It is almost an island, but for the 100-yards wide isthmus known as Mavis Grind which connects it to the Mainland. The highest point of the peninsula, Ronas Hill with its chambered cairn, is also the highest point in Shetland. On a clear day the whole of Shetland can be seen from here, and even Fair Isle. There are numerous other ancient remains dotted around the peninsula. The stretch of water which almost separates Northmavine from the Mainland is Sullom Voe, which played a key part in World War II with both the British Air Force and the Norwegian Air Force operating there, the latter making use of "flying boats". Nowadays, its main role is as the location of the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, serviced by its own airport, Scatsta Airport.

With its wonderful views and scenery, some of the best walking to be had in Shetland can be enjoyed on the Northmavine peninsula. Meanwhile, birdwatchers should head for Eshaness, whose wild and rugged coastline is home to fulmars and puffins. The headland is accessible by car, well worth the journey for the amazing clifftop view. For those who can't bear to tear themselves away, the lighthouse at Esha Ness offers self-catering accommodation. To the north of the lighthouse are a series of blowholes carved out of the cliffs by the sea called the Holes of Scraada.

Map of the area.

© 2005 Ruth Sharville, via Wikimedia Commons

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