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“Take an inflatable to a beautiful walk” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Noss National Nature Reserve

Noss National Nature Reserve
Level Contributor
78 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Take an inflatable to a beautiful walk”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2013

Janeywoo's review was spot on. I can add only a few things.

The rangers have a sense of humor. Don't miss the advertisements posted in the nature center. By the way, the rangers said that the lambs are taken from Noss across to Bressey in the fall in the small inflatable. That would be a sight to see!

Watch for incoming banks of fog. They can be so thick that visibility drops to five or six feet. If you encounter a fog bank, keep the stone wall that guards the cliff edge in sight.

As you circumambulate the island, keep an eye out for natural arches. Not all are marked on ordnance maps.

The last ferry back to Bressay leaves at 5 pm. Overnight visitors are not permitted.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank EFFor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Gannet planet!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2011

Noss is a small island, off the island of Bressay, off the Shetland mainland.To get there, you'll need to take a ferry to Bressay, and follw signs for Noss (about a three mile drive). From the car park, you walk down the track to the small jetty. You're spotted by the warden who comes to collect you in a small inflatable boat. The boat runs from May to the end of Aug, except Mondays and Thursdays. In Jule 2011, an adult return on the boat was £3, otherwise the reserve is free. There is a small visitor centre with reserve leaflets and other information. Water is sold, and there are toilets. Once there, you can see the remains of a medieval chapel, and the pony pund built for the Marquis of Londonderry who bred Shetland ponies to work in his mines. But the real reason to visit Noss is for the wildlife.

A circular walk around the island (you're asked to keep to the marked trail to protect sensitive areas) will take about 2 and a half hours at a steady pace - but far longer than that if you want to sit and watch the seals watching you in the Voe of the Mels, and the amazing gannet colonies (about 8,600 pairs). There are also guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, puffins, herring gulls, shags and black guillemots to see, as well as great and arctic skuas.

Noss is often refered to as the place to go if you can't be bothered to go up to Hermaness on Unst. However, I'd say a visit to Noss is no way second fiddle to its northerm sibling. There may be fewer birds here, but you're closer to them. I'd say this is the best place on Shetland to see gannets.

If you enjoy walking, and love wildlife, this is an essential part of a Shetland itinerary. Bring your binoculars!

Visited July 2011
9 Thank janeywoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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