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Hillswick is a small village on the Mainland of the Shetland Islands. It's the main settlement on the Northmavine peninsula, connected to the rest of Mainland by the road along Mavis Grind, the narrow isthmus by the village of Brae - so narrow you can almost hurl a stone from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea side.

Get in[edit]

Hillswick is around 35 miles north of Lerwick along the A970, and is best reached by car.

A bus runs 3 times daily between Lerwick and Hillswick. There are a couple of other services involving a change in Brae.

Get around[edit]

Hillswick is a tiny village, but you'll need wheels (eg bike) to reach the other sights around the peninsula.


  • Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, The Booth, ZE2 9RW (next to shop and hotel), +44 1806 503348. Cares for injured seals, otters and other wildlife.
  • 1 Esha Ness has dramatic cliffs, notched by the deep "Calder's Geo". There's a Stevenson lighthouse nearby. Offshore is the islet of Dore Holm, with a great natural arch that makes it look like a horse drinking deeply from the water. The other low-lying islet is Stenness.
  • 2 North Roe is the north tip of the peninsula. There's the wreck of a Potez 840 which had a wheels up landing in 1981.


  • Walk around. There are some lovely walks just beyond the town.
  • Climb 1 Ronas Hill, the highest peak in Shetland at 450 m / 1480 ft, a "Marilyn". There's a Neolithic chambered cairn near the summit. These moors are the only place in the UK with Arctic tundra.


  • Hillswick Shop, ZE2 9RW (opposite hotel). M-Th Sa 09:00-19:00, F 07:30-19:00, Su 12:00-17:00. This store sells a selection of groceries, other necessities and fuel. Friendly staff can order in meat and fish on request.


  • St Magnus Bay Hotel (see "Sleep") has a good Sunday carvery.


  • St Magnus Bay Hotel (see "Sleep") has a bar, packed on some evenings, deserted on others.


  • 1 St Magnus Bay Hotel, Hillswick ZE2 9RW (follow A970 to its end), +44 1806 503372, . A century-old hotel which was built in Norway then transported for an exhibition to the mainland before being dismantled and then set up here. Decent restaurant and bar. B&B double from £120.


Mobile phone signal is patchy at best.

Go next[edit]

  • You have to return through Brae to reach the rest of the Shetland Islands.

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