Paddleboarding the Burra Firth – Shetland

When looking for places for paddleboarding adventures a glimpse of the Burra Firth from satelite imagry will have you looking for ways to make it happen. The lure of the huge sandy beach at the southern end of the firth looked ideal as a launch location but upon arriving we found parking a little difficult.

Travelling north towards the Hermaness Nature Reserve we found an entry point and parking near the Ness Light house. Entering from this location meant paddleboarding across the middle of the Burra Firth landing us on some picturesque pebbly beaches at the base of the stunning red and orange cliffs.

The Main Points

  • Location – Burra Firth, Unst, Shetland
  • Cost – Free access from carpark
  • Conditions – Salt water bay
  • Other users – Tourists
  • Entry Point – Rocky beach
  • Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Village of Haroldswick 5km south east



Paddleboarding across the Burra Firth

One of the good things about paddleboarding across the Burra Firth from the launch spot that we chose was that the prevailing wind was from the north meaning that if we should be blown off course we would easily head towards the great sandy beach. The weather at this end of Unst can get quite wild and woolly. Even though we paddled on a relatively calm day the water was still choppy. Caution as always is advised especially in unknown waters.

There was a lot of bird life joining us for our paddle, some cute little puffins kept diving into the water to fish. If you are wanting to see puffins this is one of the best places. Prior to our paddle we walked out along the cliffs of the Hermaness National Nature Reserve which is home to thousands of the cute wee things. You can read more about our visit at this post.

Watch our video paddleboarding across the Burra Firth here

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