Papa Stour History & Community Group


Papa Stour has some of the most impressive sea caves and reefs in Britain,

which support a range of marine flora and fauna. For that reason, it has been designated as a marine Special Area of Conservation. The full force of the Atlantic Ocean has carved the western cliffs into beautiful arches, stacks and caves – the most famous of which is the Kirstan Hol. In calm weather, kayakers can enter this labyrinth of magnificent caves where a riot of submarine life carpets the cavern walls.

Shetland's extensive and accessible coastline offers endless opportunities for sea kayakers.

You don’t need a licence to paddle in Shetland. As part of Scotland, we offer the ‘right to roam’ under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act of 2003. Uninhabited islands, deserted beaches and countless sea caves are all waiting to be explored around Shetland by kayak. Enjoy awesome cliff scenery, stacks, arches and sheltered inlets, as well as the chance to view wildlife from the water. Look out for large colonies of seals and seabirds along the coastline, as well as whales, porpoises and the elusive otters.


The weather in Shetland can be changeable. We recommend you only kayak in open water if you are experienced and are fully equipped with life jackets and the appropriate safety gear. Less experienced paddlers should hire equipment and paddle with an experienced guide.

Find out about Shetland sea kayaking events and trips from:

Text and images shared from the Shetland website here.