Papa Stour | Colin Nutt

About

Papa Stour’s coastline has been sculpted by the Atlantic Ocean to produce an unrivalled spectacle of cliff scenery, stacks, arches and caves, all of which support a range of marine flora and fauna. Popular with kayakers and divers, this peaceful island (which is the permanent home to fewer than a dozen people) also has plentiful birdlife, wild flowers and seals, as well as the more elusive otter.

Famous For

  • Its stacks, arches and caves, including the 360m Hole of Bordie – the fourth longest cave in the world.
  • The Papa Stour Sword Dance – a dance involving interlocking swords and described by Sir Walter Scott in ‘The Pirate’.
  • Producing Shetland’s oldest surviving document – a paper from 1299 that mentions a ‘stofa’ or Norse wooden house.

Ask an Islander

  • The stained glass window in the church was designed by Victor Noble Rainbird in 1921 and is the only surviving example of his work.
  • The island's historic Viking ‘stofa’, the only building of its kind in the UK, has been partially restored with interpretive panels telling the story of the island’s Viking heritage.
  • An excellent view of caves in the cliffs can be seen from the Shepherd’s Taing. The summit of Virdi Field gives great all-round panoramic views.

Accommodation

Check out the following accommodation listings to book your stay.

Visit Scotland accommodation

Shetland Visitor accommodation

More Information

You can find some additional information about Papa Stour at the links below

Promote Shetland

Shetland Heritage leaflet

COVID-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.

Getting here

Covid-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.


Scheduled ferry from West Burrafirth on Mainland Shetland operated by Shetland Ferries. Limited passenger space so booking is essential. The Dial-A-Ride bus service 18 connects West Burrafirth to Bixter and on to Lerwick. Find out more about Shetland buses.

Flights to Papa Stour from Tingwall on Shetland Mainland operated by Airtask. Generally once a week.

Find out more about getting to Mainland Shetland.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.