Isle of Noss, Shetlands

The Isle of Noss is a small, previously inhabited island in Shetland, Scotland.

It has been run as a sheep farm since 1900 and has been a national nature reserve since 1955.

Noss is separated from the island of Bressay by the narrow Noss Sound. Noss had a population of 20 in 1851 but has had no permanent inhabitants since 1939.

The main focus of settlement on Noss was around the low lying west side of the island at Gungstie (Old Norse: a landing place). Gungstie was built in the 1670s and is currently used by the seasonal wildlife wardens. Another settlement at Setter, on the south east of the island was inhabited until the 1870s and now lies derelict. Among the few families living on Noss were the Booth family headed by Joseph Booth (1765–1847). Genealogical records indicate that he was occupied as a farmer and fish curer. Records show that he was resident on Noss as early as 1834.

The island is linked to Bressay by a seasonal ferry service, run by the wildlife wardens using an inflatable boat.

Attractions on Noss include a visitor centre, the Pony Pund built to breed Shetland Ponies, the Holm of Noss rock and the Noup cliff. The sandstone cliffs of Noss have weathered into a series of horizontal ledges making ideal breeding grounds for gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, Black-legged Kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and great skuas. Otters are frequently seen around the island.

The cruise season is from May to September to take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather. Weather during the cruise season is mild to warm and the days are long. However this is an area where the weather changes rapidly and you can experience a number of seasons in the one day. Cruise Lines often have advice on what clothes to take.

Information on this Web Site has been obtained from the Cruise Companies represented. However, the cruise industry is constantly changing and should be used as a guide only. We are unable to take responsibility for incorrect information and you must confirm all details at the time of booking.