Inhabited until World War II, and now a National Nature Reserve, Noss is a popular day-trip from Lerwick. Sloping gently into the sea at its western end, and plunging vertically for more than 500ft at its eastern end, the island has the dramatic outline of a half-sunk ocean liner. The cliffed coastline is home to vast colonies of gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, razorbills and fulmars. As Noss is only one mile wide, it’s easy enough to do an entire circumference in one day. If you do, keep close to the coast, since otherwise you’re likely to be dive-bombed by the great skuas (locally known as “bonxies”). Boat trips from Lerwick to Noss include those run by Seabirds and Seals. It’s also possible to take a ferry to Maryfield on Bressay; from here it’s a two-mile walk to the landing stage where a Scottish Natural Heritage RIB can take you to Noss.

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