Nesbister Böd - Local Attractions
Whiteness and StromfirthHeading west the road takes you over Wormadale Hill for a spectacular view across the small isles in Whiteness Voe as far as Foula 25 miles to the west, and even Fair Isle 50 miles southwards.
The Loch of Strom with its strong tidal race has a small, ruined “castle” still just visible on a tiny island. The “empty valley” of Stromfirth is worth exploring by turning right at Whiteness Primary School.
WeisdaleThe main west road takes you into Weisdale where visitors are welcome at the silversmith, next to Loch of Hellister. Across the voe stands a tree-shaded churchyard, next to the birthplace of John Clunies Ross, who became the 19th century “King of the Cocos Islands”. The main road goes up the Scord of Sound for another of Shetland’s finest views.
The head of Weisdale Voe is an excellent spot for watching wading birds. Here a road leads north past attractive Weisdale Kirk and the beautifully restored Weisdale Mill, Shetland’s largest corn mill. It was built in 1855 allegedly out of stone from 300 local crofts cleared for sheep. Now the building houses Bonhoga Gallery which shows a series of exhibitions of local, national and international art and crafts.
Kergord and GirlstaCarry on up the valley through fertile pasture to reach the largest stand of trees in the islands, which attract woodland birds rare elsewhere in the isles. Trees surround the farmhouse of Kergord, formally known as Flemington, which served as the Special Operations Executive’s wartime HQ for the Shetland Bus operation.
From Kergord the road winds through the hills to Sandwater, another fine trout loch, and the former Sandwater Hotel, now an isolated private house. Rejoining the main road south will take you past Girlsta Loch, traditionally named after a young Norse girl called Geirhilda who drowned here a thousand years ago.