Around the Westside
No part of the Westside is more than half an hour away. To the east, in Weisdale, the Bonhoga Gallery displays interesting work by artists from Shetland or farther afield and has a very lovely conservatory cafe, which often serves local produce. In Lea Gardens, at Tresta, you can see the very wide range of plants that can flourish at this latitude. At East Burrafirth, there’s a pleasant walk to a waterfall on the Burn of Lunklet.
On the other side of Garderhouse Voe, Reawick has a perfect beach of red sand, popular for bathing and picnics. The shoreline is dominated by Reawick house, a listed Haa house that dates from 1730.
Culswick’s spectacular coastline with dramatic sea cliffs and stacks make it an ideal spot for rambling. There is also a Broch, built of striking red stone; it has beautiful views all around, including Foula and Vaila isles, and fitful head and Fair Isle in the south.
Faces south with high cliffs on both sides of the wick. There is a small stony beach at the head, and the surrounding land is greener with fewer rocky outcrops than the usual Shetland scene. There are just a few houses here and the whole area makes for fine cliff walking.
With its picturesque beach of white sand, it makes for a stunning walk. Legend says sailors from the Spanish Armada built part of St. Mary’s, the pre-reformation chapel in thanks for deliverance from shipwreck on the off lying kirk holm. Only the chancel arch survives. The Haa of sand (1754) is a fine example of a Shetland laird’s house, reputedly built of stones from Scalloway castle.
The beautifully-planted Gairdins o’ Sand is worth a visit. It is an area which has been transformed from grazing and hill land into extensive gardens and woodlands.