Mavis Grind

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Mavis Grind, looking south

Mavis Grind (Old Norse: Mæfeiðs grind or Mæveiðs grind,[1] meaning "gate of the narrow isthmus"[nb 1]) is a narrow isthmus joining the Northmavine peninsula to the rest of the island of Shetland Mainland in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is just 33 metres (108 ft) wide at its narrowest point.

It carries the main A970 road to Hillswick in the north west of Shetland and is about two miles west of the settlement of Brae.

Mavis Grind is said to be the only place in the UK where you can toss a stone across land from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is a regular crossing point for otters, which in Shetland are sea-dwelling. In 1999, local volunteers successfully helped to demonstrate whether Viking ships could be carried across the isthmus, instead of sailing around the end of the island.[3]

Remains of a late Bronze Age settlement have been found close by.[4]


  1. ^ The Norse components are maev "narrow"; eid "isthmus" and grind "gate"[2]


  1. ^ Kongelige Nordiske oldskriftselskab (1849). Mémoires de la Société royale des antiquaires du nord. p. 111.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Shetland: The Inhabited Isles" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 854.
  3. ^ "Ship pulled by Norse power". BBC News Online. 28 June 1999. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  4. ^ S Cracknell & B Smith (NOSAS), Glasgow Archeological Journal vol.10, 1983 in "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2009-11-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 60°23′53″N 1°23′06″W / 60.3980°N 1.3850°W / 60.3980; -1.3850