Westerwick, Shetland

Our youngest has a thing for maps at the moment. He absolutely loves them. So when the sun came out in Shetland for the third day in a row yesterday we decided that when our youngest had finished nursery we’d get him to find a place on the Ordinance Survey map 467 for us to explore for the afternoon.

In preparation I packed us a quick picnic lunch, and when nursery finished our youngest led us to Westerwick, a little visited but very scenic area on the west side of Shetland.

This beach is about a twenty five minute drive from our house, and since we were trying to teach our youngest about map reading I had the OS map open on my lap. We missed the turn-off to Westerwick because I was too busy staring at a standing stone atop a hill in the distance (note to self: must return there for a closer inspection!). Poor navigating skills, that! We pulled over to the side of the road to turn around and another car came up behind us. A woman approached us, a tourist, who was a little bit lost trying to find her way to the creamy (the Shetland Cheese Factory in Skeld is the most northerly cheese producer). She asked if we were tourists and we said no, but with neither of us with Shetland accents and an OS map spread out on my lap I think she was a little bit sceptical! Nonetheless, we pointed her in the right direction and headed down the correct road to Westerwick.

Westerwick displays some very dramatic sea stack and cliff scenery, and there are plenty of areas to explore on the easily accessible beach area. The tide was out so there were rock pools to explore, and nesting fulmars to watch. We sat and ate our picnic lunch in a sheltered area and the feeling of the hot sun on our faces was a very welcome change from the relentless winter gales we’ve experienced over the last few months. It was pure heaven!

After our lunch we headed up the steep hill to our right to see what was on the other side (as you do!). We were speechless when we saw what was there – absolutely stunning sea stacks and a cloudless view overlooking the sparkling North Atlantic.

On the way back to the car we found a post with an Access Shetland sign on it indicating that this area was one of Walk Shetland’s routes, namely the Silwick and Westerwick Circular. The whole walk is a 9 mile hike and should take around four hours, the Walk Shetland website says. I’d love to return one day, perhaps without a small child in tow. Small children near cliff edges gives me the heebie jeebies, even if the cliff top edges are fenced off!



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. Tracy Nixon says

    What a pretty place! My dad has been all over Shetland several times and I have yet to visit! The photos are stunning!

  2. Isabelle says

    Wouaouh, what a beautiful post ! As mentioned in the recent comment I made in the “adventure & craft” section, I would love to go to Shetland islands, and I can imagine that you will contribute to increase the number of visitors in the next summers … Both your food and travel posts are very nice. Thank you.

    • says

      Thank you for your wonderful comments Isabelle! I’m sorry I missed your first one – my blog is under a massive spam attack at the moment, so real comments are getting missed. I hope my posts do inspire people to visit these beautiful islands :) Thank YOU! x

  3. says

    wow when the sun shines you really do make the most of it – such beautiful scenery – I love that your little one loves maps – learning to read them will hold him in good stead one day (just so long as he doesn’t get distracted by standing stones – though who could blame you)

    • says

      The weather is not always the best here in Shetland, so when the sun shines we do try to make the most of it, especially after a long dark winter! :) I’m really chuffed he’s into maps and such things. We’ve just ordered him his very own compass to try and encourage him. One could be distracted by worse things than standing stones! 😉

  4. says

    what stunning views and how nice to just drop everything and get out in the sun, much more educational Lucky children.
    Tilly than sitting with a games machine or t.v.

  5. Anonymous says

    oh to be in Shetland now that Spring is here………….
    wonderful post – I applaud your young man for being interested in his maps – long may it continue –

    • says

      What a shame you aren’t here to enjoy the sun now that it has finally made an appearance after all these long dark months! I hope you are having a lovely time away nonetheless :)

  6. says

    What a lovely place and good on your son for his interest in map reading. I think there are many similarities between your landscape in Shetland and ours here in North Cornwall. I love the rugged empty hamlets round our coast too, real gems to explore. A stunning day to capture there with that rich blue sea and sky. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

    • says

      I’d love to visit Cornwall one day. Isn’t the wonderful outside world magical! I’m hoping our son’s map reading will stick – we’ve just bought him a compass to play with too *fingers crossed*

  7. says

    Lovely photos and of course beautiful scenery. That hiking route also sounds good, although it seems a bit short. Well, then you have more time to enjoy things. Anyway, that would be something I would love to try one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge