Skaw, Unst

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The beach of Skaw
Skaw is located in Shetland
Location within Shetland
OS grid referenceHP657163
• Edinburgh348 mi (560 km)
• London644 mi (1,036 km)
Civil parish
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtZE2
Dialling code01806
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
60°49′30″N 0°47′28″W / 60.825°N 0.791°W / 60.825; -0.791Coordinates: 60°49′30″N 0°47′28″W / 60.825°N 0.791°W / 60.825; -0.791

Skaw is a settlement in the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, located on the island of Unst. It is located north of Haroldswick on a peninsula in the northeast corner of the island, and is the most northerly settlement in the United Kingdom.[1] The burn (stream) of Skaw flows from the uplands to the west through the constellation of small crofts that make up Skaw, and then east into the Wick of Skaw, a bay of the North Sea. A sheltered sandy beach lines the coast of the Wick of Skaw.

During World War II, the Royal Air Force built a Chain Home radar station at Skaw. A combined Coastal Defence U-boat and Chain Home Low station was also built at Saxa Vord; after the war this became a ROTOR radar station. RAF Saxa Vord continued as a radar station after the end of the ROTOR programme.

The unclassified road (Holsens Road) from the B9087 to Skaw is the most northerly road in the UK road network.

Walter Sutherland (died c. 1850), a former inhabitant of the northernmost cottage in the UK, was reportedly the last native speaker of the Norn language.


Skaw is derived from the Old Norse "Skagi" meaning a cape, headland, promontory or peninsula.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview of Skaw". Scottish Places. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  2. ^ Jakobsen, Jakob (1993). The Place-Names of Shetland (reprint of 1897 ed.). Orkney. p. 96. ISBN 978-1112000461.
  3. ^ Stewart, John (1987). Shetland Place-names. Lerwick. p. 246.

External links[edit]