Explore the Island of Yell on Foot

Standing amidst other islands in the North Isles of Shetland is the second largest, Yell. A quick ferry ride from the Toft and you will arrive on the stunning island of Yell, where you can get to know the local inhabitants which include the ever present otters and abundant birdlife. Shetland's Yell offers visitors a marvelous island adventure.

Yell is shaped in a somewhat rectangular fashion measuring 7 miles in width and 17 miles in length. Surrounding the island of Yell are the Walfirth voe, Mid Yell voe and Basta voe, sea lochs formed by ice many centuries ago. Inland from the sea, Yell’s soils mostly consist of peat that extends as deep as 10 feet. The land has not really been cultivated and the majority of crofting townships lie along the coast. The largest village is that of Mid Yell. Here you will find the leisure center, a pier and a secondary school.

The island of Yell boasts a beautiful coastline, ideal for long strolls. Residents don’t mind if you explore the island, so long as you leave everything as you found it. Just to the south of Mid Yell you will come to Otterswick which is home to the ‘Da White Wife’ figurehead, which was retrieved from a German boat that was wrecked nearby. As you continue walking southwards you will arrive at Gossabrough. The delightful sandy beach of Gossabrough is a great spot to stop at for a while. If you manage to reach Burravoe, you can tour the Old Ha’ Museum and Heritage Center which gives insight into the history of Yell as well as local folklore. Temporary Scottish art displays can often be seen here too.

If you had decided to travel northwards from Mid Yell, you will likely come across the renowned Gloup Memorial. This is a reminder of the 58 fisherman who lost their lives in 1881. Move onward from there to Burgie Geos and you will see the remnants of a fort dating back to the Iron Age. In North Yell is the village of Cullivoe with its marina, shop and community hall.

Shetland‘s Yell is home to many animals including otters, common seals, golden plovers, whimbrels, puffins and others. Certain sections of the island have been designated as reserves to protect the important wildlife of Yell. Otters are frequently seen on the island as there are many ideal areas in which they can reside. You can view wildlife photographs taken in Yell at the Old Ha’ Museum. Indeed, if you enjoy a healthy walk in the great outdoors, then Yell is for you.

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