Greetings to the Unst Walkers are Welcome experience

a(This website is now being managed by Gardiesfauld Hostel, Uyeasound, Unst, a trustee-run hostel for all ages, with Hostel, camping and caravan/motor home facilities.


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Unst Shetland is the most northerly island in the United Kingdom. There is no better time to visit Shetland and Unst in particular should be visited by everyone. The dramatically beautiful windswept island of Unst is a splendid example of the diversity of the British Isles. All walkers will understand the beauty of the seasons but at 60 degrees north the light on Unst in autumn and early spring will remain with you for a lifetime.Visitors to Unst and Saxa Vord Self Catering Cottages can be treated to a display of the Northern Lights from September onward.


In October 2011 Unst became the 71st Walkers are Welcome community and the first island to achieve this recognition. At 60 degrees north, Unst, the island above all others, lies on the same latitude as Anchorage Alaska, Southern Greenland and St Petersburg Russia.


In addition to being known as the island above all others Unst has a growing reputation as the activity island of Shetland. Walking, fishing in sea & loch, cycling, canoeing, bird and wildlife viewing, photography, painting and Shetland Geopark sites are all popular. Unst is 47 square miles in area,  almost 12 miles long and 5 miles wide and has 60 miles of coastline.


Unst has some of the very best walking in Europe.

In midsummer Unst has 19 hours of measured daylight.

Over 60 miles of amazing coastline.

Thousands of years of heritage history.

More Viking sites than anywhere else in Europe.

420 million years of Geopark history.

10 sandy beaches.

120,000 seabirds.

650 people.


In March 2017 The Unst Walkers are Welcome Centre opened a joint Walkers are Welcome and Unst Tourism room inside the  RAF Exhibition area at Saxa Vord Resort. There is a dedicated room for walkers with a seating area and all the information you will require to make the most of your stay on Unst.


Unst Walkers are Welcome have selected 20 walks to provide visitors with the widest possible choice from a simple 1 hour nature walk to a serious full day clifftop walk. If you have the time and the commitment, the  whole coastline can be walked as it was by RAF groups each year up to 2004.  Some walks are waymarked, some will need compass and navigation skills. Our neighbouring island of Fetlar, with a population under 70, has a further 6 identified walks over moorland, clifftop and seashore. The Shetland Islands Council inter-island ferry service links Unst, Fetlar and Yell.         


Unst WAW have taken every precaution to ensure that all walkers are provided with safety information. This  is available at as many locations as possible and our information has been read and approved by our local police and coastguard.


Unst Walkers are Welcome.    Unst Partnership     Unst Community Council.

Gardiesfauld Hostel


The above bodies and organisations do not and will not take responsibility for anyone who gets injured or lost in the process of walking or completing any of the WAW Unst walks or trails. All visitors and residents are responsible for their own safety, having the correct clothing and navigation skills. Always be prepared as the weather can change quickly here.


Walkers are Welcome are supported by :-


The RAF Saxa Vord  Museum, Officers Mess,  Saxa Vord, Unst ZE2 9TJ.

Unst Partnership, Hagdale, Unst, Shetland, ZE2 9TW.

Gardiesfauld hostel Uyeasound, Unst, ZE2 9DW.



Walkers are Welcome Information Centre.


You can also find walking information and facilities at the Gardiesfauld Youth Centre in Uyeasound.


Large information boards have been positioned on the walls at the RAF Saxavord Museum, Officers Mess area, with safety information, walks, maps, wildlife information and photographs of Unst. The centre also has a WAW reference book which  visitors can sit with at a table. Additional information provided includes details of visitor attractions and what's on in Unst, Fetlar and Yell . There are OS maps and Walking guides. 


Car, Train, Boat or Plane

The Northern Isles of Shetland.


Getting to the Northern Isles is easy: Loganair have daily flights into Sumburgh  from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. Connecting flights are available from many UK Airports. 


Shetland has a very extensive Car Hire sector and you can arrange to collect your chosen vehicle at the Airport.


For visitors who wish to bring their car or campervan, Serco Northlink Ferries provide evening cruise class sailings from Aberdeen each evening. You can also connect with the Shetland service at Scrabster in the North of Scotland and come to Shetland via Orkney. Caravan hook ups are available at the Gardiesfauld Hostel and the harbour in Uyeasound. 


Dogs are most welcome guests on Unst and Serco Northlink Ferries will allow your special friends to travel in the comfort and safety of your vehicle. There are kennels onboard if you prefer. 


The beaches on Unst are dog friendly.  You are just requested to keep the beach 

clean for everyone to enjoy and that everything you bring to the beach is removed when you leave.