Sands of Breckon

The Sands of Breckon is a white sand beach in the North of Yell, which has the largest area of shell sand dune and dune grassland in Shetland.  This beautiful beach is sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds and provides a wonderful view of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.  Traces of Viking and pre-Viking settlements can be found around the beach.  The beach is in a rural farming region and access to the beach can be steep in places, but it is well worth the walk.


Yell has been inhabited since the Neolithic times, and a dozen broch sites have been identified from the pre-Norse period. Norse rule lasted from the 9th to 14th centuries until Scottish control was asserted. The modern economy of the island is based on crofting, fishing, transport and tourism.

Natural Space

The beach is surrounded by a SSSi and the island claims to be the "Otter Capital of Britain" and has a diverse bird life including breeding populations of great and Arctic skuas.


The beach is sheltered by spectacular sand dunes, providing a wonderful view of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Access to this beach is a five minute walk from the car park. 

Getting There

The nearest town to the Sands of Breckon is Cullivoe in the North East of Yell. From Lerwick take the A970 North and follow signposts to the North Isles ferry terminal at Toft.  From the ferry, follow the A968 through the Island of Yell, turn left onto the B9083 to Cullivoe (this is a single track road with plenty of passing places) and follow the road signs to Breckon, from there take the signposted walk downhill to the beach.  An alternative footopath to the beach is available from the car park of the Cullivoe graveyard.  The route down to the beach is across working farmland and the area is designated an SSSi therefore please stick to these routes only.   There is a bus service from Lerwick to Cullivoe which runs several times a day, see local bus timetables or visit www.shetland.gov.uk/transport/ for details.  The ferry service to the Island runs throughout the day, for further details see the local inter-island ferry timetable or visit the website above.

Water quality information

This beach is not a designated bathing water site. Bathing water quality is not monitored at this site.

Contact details

Yell Community Council

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