Rerwick Beach in Dunrossness, Shetland, with the island of Colsay in the background

Rerwick and Spiggie Beach, Shetland

rerwick-beach-colsay-shetland-largeRerwick beach, located in Dunrossness, is a popular spot to stop and take photographs. Travellers on the Scousburgh to Bigton road (on the west side of the South Mainland) can get excellent views of both Rerwick bay and the beach at Spiggie.

The panoramic image above shows Muckle Sound – Rerwick bay is to the far right, and the island of Colsay in the background and to the left is Cloki Stack, at the northwest corner of Fora Ness. Further to the left but not visible on the image above would be the Bay of Scousburgh, Scousburgh Sand, Spiggie beach, Spiggie loch and Spiggie Hotel.rerwick-beach-seals-large

The Rerwick sand is located near the small village of Rerwick. As access to the beach is difficult, seals feel safe to haul out on the sand, sometimes in large numbers. Therefore, the road above Rerwick is a super spot for seal watchers!

Colsay is a small island, reaching 44m at it’s highest point, and approximately 600m long. There are the remains of a cairn at the highest point and as the land is fertle and green (farm land is at a premium in Shetland) Colsay is used for summer grazing of sheep. The sheep are transported by small boats from Spiggie beach to the only landing place at the far side of Colsay, called the “Owsin Gaet”.

Clocki Stack is a dramatic rock stack shaped like a bell lying on it’s side. It is possible the name is derived from the norwegian word Klokke, which means bell, and is pronounced exactly the same as in local dialect.

scousburgh-beach-shetland-largespiggie-beach-shetland-largeSpiggie beach and the nearby Scousburgh Sand are beautiful beaches and are popular spots for visitors during the summer. In the past, Spiggie beach was famous for being lined with Yoals – salted fish was an essential part of the Shetland diet. However, since Marinas were built in Shetland in the seventies and eighties, the sight of boats drawn up on the beach is now a rare one.

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