Unst is the northernmost inhabited island in Britain. Unst is home to a vibrant and welcoming community, golden beaches and a wealth of Norse heritage. And it’s little wonder why, with nationally-important nature reserves, golden beaches, a wealth of Norse heritage, and award-winning events.
Ask an Islander
We asked locals on Unst to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what they said:
Unst is a fantastic island to visit, with lots to see and do. There are many highlights, including Hermaness Nature Reserve, UnstFest and the island’s Viking heritage.
Overlooking Muckle Flugga, Britain’s most northerly point, Hermaness National Nature Reserve is a clifftop haven for thousands of breeding seabirds including fulmar, gulls, shag, gannet, puffin and kittiwake. This striking walk over open moorland and sheer cliffs is awe-inspiring and restorative.
UnstFest is an award-winning, week-long festival in July that celebrates all things ‘Unst’ with a huge variety of activities, events, walks, workshops and entertainment for all ages.
The island is home to the remains of at least 60 longhouses, this represents the highest density of rural Viking sites anywhere, including in Scandinavia!
Other highlights on the island include Bobby’s Bus Shelter, the Keen of Hamar and the island’s Up Helly Aa celebrations.
Bobby’s Bus Shelter is no ordinary bus shelter, having been decorated, furnished and equipped over a number of years now – each year a new theme is installed and there’s a visitor’s book waiting to be signed!
The Keen of Hamar Nature Reserve may look like a stony waste ground at first glance but look closer to be rewarded with a delicate carpet of tiny and often very rare plants, including Edmondstone’s chickweed, a plant endemic to Unst.
Unst boasts two Up Helly Aa fire festivals each year, at Uyeasound and at Norwick, complete with torchlit procession and galley-burning, before partying the night away in the local hall.
There’s a lot to love about heading north!