East and West Burra are thin rocky islands which stretch down the west coast of Shetland, accessed by bridges from near Scalloway on the Shetland mainland. The islands have spectacular views towards the west, with the island of Foula on the horizon and to the south where you can see Fitful head and, on a clear day, Fair Isle. To the east is the ridge of hills on Shetlands South Mainland. This ridge influences our weather giving distinct differences between the east side of Shetland and the west. Here on the west we tend to get more sun and less fog.
While being centrally situated with easy access to all areas of Shetland the islands of East and West Burra offer spectacular coastal scenery and sandy beaches. We have easy walks over the short coastal grass where you can explore clifftop scenery and both sandy and rocky beaches. You can walk from your door at Holmfield around the uninhabited southern peninsula of East Burra. The open croftland teems with nesting birds in the early summer and the meadows have a succession of wild flowers. Across on West Burra there is a large sheltered sandy beach at Minn and the smaller, popular, sandy beach at Meal. You can paddle or, if you are brave, swim.
Holmfield is a short 3.5 mile drive to the nearest village, Hamnavoe, where you’ll find our well stocked local shop. There is also a garage on Burra where you can top up on petrol and diesel. From the busy little harbour at Hamnavoe with its fishermens houses there is a walk over rough ground and rocks to the lighthouse.
Scalloway is only 7 miles away and it has two shops, a hotel, cafe and a great local museum as well as the old Castle and a thriving harbour with working shipyards. Lerwick, Shetlands capital, is 15 miles away.
Scotland has free access rights over most land, so you are able to walk almost anywhere provided you respect the interests of other people, care for our environment and take responsibility for your own actions.