In May of this year Denise and I went to the Shetland Islands to explore their rich history and maybe explore the coastline a bit if we had the time and the weather, when I was researching walks I discovered that Ronas Hill is the highest hill on the islands and decided that this would definitely be worth a go, because " it's there" and all that, and also, to me, being a bloke, the "bragging rights" would be established within my group of friends.
So here goes, I hope it's o.k. and reasonably accurate.
Ronas Hill is on the Northmavine part of mainland Shetland, a very beautiful and hilly area, it's isolated, almost an island in itself.
The best and easiest way to start Ronas Hill is to drive up the service road for the transmitter station and park up, this service road is easy enough to find off the A970 near the small settlement of North Collafirth. There is room for quite a few cars so parking is no problem.
There's an information board for Ronas Hill here, it describes the flora and fauna of the area and briefly describes the route, in good weather the way is obvious. As you walk away from the transmitters there's a slight descent then an easy ascent to the first little hill, Mid Field. There is no path but the going is easy and pleasant, slightly boggy in parts. From the slight dip off Mid Field you start climbing Ronas Hill making note of the large boulder/cairn you can see from here which is more or less the summit and just head uphill towards it.
The going is really very easy and pleasant with views of Collafirth opening up behind you and the islands of Yell and Unst beyond, south over mainland, north the rest of Northmavine and the sea all around.
On the summit there is a large cairn said to be a prehistoric burial site and a shelter a wee bit further away. This shelter has a trig pillar within and also a metal box containing a visitor book arrangement with pencils provided so you can log your visit. We entered ours and noticed quite a few people get up here and the most popular comment was how windy it is, it was for us so it must be pretty general. There are lovely views all around, we had our butties by the shelter and spent a while taking in the views. After our lunch we returned the way we came but I think that this walk can be extended to be made into a fuller day.
The round trip took 2.1/2 hrs at a reasonably sedate pace, it's a nice afternoon excursion, one I would recommend.
I would say to anybody who is thinking of the Shetland Isles as a holiday destination, go and enjoy it, there's plenty to do and see.
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