The settlement of Walls (aka Waas) lies in the sheltered Vaila Sound, reached by single track roads on a journey enlivened by the occasional Shetland pony wandering into the road. Once a centre for fish curing, nowadays its lovely natural harbour is a magnet for pleasure craft in summer. Fishing boats also still use the harbour, and a ferry service runs from here to the island of Foula. There used to be three functioning churches in Walls, but one of them was converted into a bakery. One reason why Walls is so sheltered is that the islands of Vaila and Linga lie in the entrance to the Sound, providing protection from storms out at sea. In the late 1800s Vaila was bought by a Yorkshire mill owner, and he built an impressive mansion, Vaila Hall, on the site of an earlier house from the 17th century. The Hall is the largest house in Shetland. Walls is the starting point for the annual Round Foula Yacht Race, and there is also a Regatta held every year.
Map of the area.
© 2004 Colin Park, via Wikimedia Commons