Yell | Colin Nutt

Island Intro

The largest of Shetland’s trio of North Isles, Yell, is a fantastic place to visit if you want to experience outstanding wildlife opportunities and a variety of landscapes, from dramatic coastlines to moody moorlands and hills.

Ask an Islander

Helen Hart shares her insight into Yell’s distinctive landscape.

“With blanket bog and heather, you can walk for hours and not see another person. If you are looking for a long sandy beach, then be sure to visit Breckon Sands and the locals will point you in the direction of a secret Groatie Buckie beach or the hidden abandoned village of Heatherdale. Yell is also the otter capital of Great Britain! I love Yell and so will you.”

Yell has some fantastic island events too, as Helen tells us. “We like to make our own fun here and there is always something going on, whether it’s monthly quiz nights or yoga. Bigger annual events include the winter fire festival – Up Helly Aa – in February, Yell Yoal Regatta and Burravoe Carnival in June or the Yell Show in September. Yell is called the ‘Friendly Isle’ and I love living here.”

There’s also a thriving arts and crafts scene on the island. “The annual craft fair in November is where local craftspeople showcase their work including Oonique who makes bags and hats from Shetland and Fair Isle tweed, and Yala, made in Yell, Shetland who creates the most exquisite Shetland-inspired silver jewellery.  Be sure to drop in on Andy Ross at GlobalYell to see him weaving local Shetland wool into tweed and maybe give weaving a go yourself! Next door, there’s also The Shetland Gallery – The Northernmost Art Gallery in the UK, displaying contemporary art and high-end crafts.”

Getting Here

You can reach Yell via Mainland Shetland. Find out more about getting to Mainland Shetland.

Once you are on Mainland Shetland, take the ferry operated by Shetland Ferries from Toft to Ulsta on Yell.

Explore More

Want to find out more about Yell and explore more of our amazing islands?

Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:

  • discover your perfect island match,
  • find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
  • collect passport stamps for the islands you visit,
  • find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.

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.