Castles and brochs, great views, plenty of pubs too!
A prominent feature of the Loch of Clickimin at the start of the route is a broch and longhouse. The water level was higher before the 19th century and the broch was originally on an islet. Some interesting things were found there including a Roman glass bowl which was made in Egypt around 100AD. The site is now looked after by Historic Scotland.
After Clickimin the climb is steep but the views over Lerwick and towards Bressay are superb. After this there is an undulating section then a smaller descent to the A970 west of the Bridge of Fitch.
Just south of Tingwall (if you go that way), at the head of the loch you will pass an information board for Law Ting Holm a Viking assembly place. There are standing stones at the south end of the loch near the golf course.
Scalloway has shops and pubs as well as quite a lot of interesting buildings in various states of ruin. This might be a good place for a pub lunch, but after that certainly have a look at the castle. If you have time the stately house of Old Ha is worth seeing. The central part of Scalloway is a place of winding streets and old buildings with great atmosphere - spend a little time wandering around.
The three islands of East and West Burra and Tronda once had a large fishing community but this is much reduced. Trondra is green and empty but North and East Burra are more populated with low cliffs and some attractive beaches.
This is an attractive route but the northern circular part is probably not suitable for children as the area around Lerwick will have quite a lot of traffic. The start of the route is very hilly.
Start at the Lerwick tourist office in Market Cross and travel south on the A970 for a mile to a roundabout. Turn right to North Clickimin Centre Campsite, then follow a track climbing steeply up Staney Hill. This becomes Ladies Drive, turn left, pass radio masts then descend to the A970 where you turn left.
You have a choice at Bridge of Fitch - to go to the B9074 then via Tingwall (3 extra miles) or to continue south on the A970. Continuing south after two more miles there's a great view of West and East Burra, then you descend steeply towards Scalloway - turn left just before Scalloway to the B9074. If you decide to go into Scalloway, possibly for a cup of tea, you might also look at Scalloway Castle.
Continue south on the B9074. Just before entering Hamnavoe turn left for West Burra. The road eventually runs out just over a mile before the southern tip of West Burra. There is a footpath but it doesn't go all the way. There are food shops at Bridge End and Hamnavoe.
Return is the way you came to Scalloway, but a mile after that fork right on to the B9073. Apart from the West Burra leg most of the route is part of the North Sea Cycle Route.