Travesty at St Ninian’s (Paul Meyer)

I fully agree with Jeff Merrifield’s horror (Readers’ Views, 7th June) when surrounded and affronted by noisy quad machines charging up and down St Ninian’s Isle beach tombolo.

The St Ninian’s tombolo is the largest geomorphologically active sand tombolo in Britain. The size (c. 500m long) and almost perfect symmetry of the tombolo is unique. The tombolo, composed of a shelly sand overlying a shingle base, is part of a dynamic and complex nearshore sediment circulation system.

Although tombolos are relatively common along submerged coasts such as the Shetland Isles, it is the exceptional scale, composition and dynamism of St Ninian’s tombolo that are of particular scientific interest. This interest is enhanced by the flanking windblown deposits of dunes and dune grassland.

Conservation of this key site for coastal geomorphology is of the utmost importance; any disturbance of the sediment dynamics of the system may be critical to the tombolo’s long-term existence.

In 2007 the St Ninian’s Isle tombolo won a Keep Scotland Beautiful Seaside Award. Allowing vehicles on to this beautiful and unique beach is a travesty and makes a complete mockery of both this award and in maintaining our tombolo as a place of great scientific interest. In addition, visitors to this major tourist attraction will be put off coming if these vehicles are allowed to continue their rampage.

Apart from passing a local by-law making it illegal for such vehicles access to the tombolo and by posting signs, in order to to reinforce this by-law, it would be a simple task to install a large lockable gate and associated fencing that would only allow the local crofter and other authorised accesses to the beach.

A smaller “kissing” gate could also be installed to allow person access – but not large enough to allow quads or other unauthorised vehicle access.

I encourage folk to lobby their local councillor and the SIC to immediately instigate such measures so as to finally stop this intrusion on one of the most unique beauty spots in the UK.

Paul Meyer


Add Your Comment
  • Sandy McDonald

    • June 14th, 2011 9:58

    I agree with Paul – as an alternative why don’t the quaders use the old sand quarry behind the beach at Quendale – it would be much more fun (as long as they stayed out of the quick sand!).

  • Colin Hunter

    • June 16th, 2011 12:27

    I also agree that no quads or off road bikes should be allowed on this beach and island unless in the pursuit of crofting business, This is one of Shetlands most unique, picturesque and visited attractions. Not to mention it’s fragility. It flies in the face of common sense, and public safety, to allow the use of these machines where families with small children may be enjoying a day at the seaside or just out for a walk. I have nothing against bikes and quads, having owned a bike (On “L” plates) while in my teens, and having had a few “shots” on quads I know what great fun it can be. Shetland is a big place with lots of wide open spaces, surely it shouldn’t be that hard to find an alternative venue where man and machine can co-exist in harmony. An old sand quarry has been suggested as a possible location, perhaps the more intrepid riders would see the quicksand as an interesting obstacle!

  • leslie sinclair

    • June 18th, 2011 14:05

    They shouldnt be allowed to use their quad bikes on St. Ninians Isle tombola.
    Shetlands beauty spots need to be protected.

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 18th, 2011 16:55

    I ask again, as my comments on a seperate letter on this same subject have not been responded to, but the same opinions and “resasons” for promoting them are being repeated here.

    What “fragility” exists at the site in question? The beach has been there for centuries without any protection from the very worst of anything and everything the Shetland climate and the western ocean could throw at it, anything that had any inherent “fragility” is already a very long time gone. I fail to imagine what a few motorbikes on an occasional weekend can possibly do to “destroy” something that has withstood lashing wind and rain, and driving sea for so long.

    As for public safety, I fail to see any particular problem. Those on bikes, being the faster travellers, tend to naturally select routes for their activity that give obstacles on which they do not wish to drive over, be they inanimate or otherwise, a wide berth. The name of the game is to attain a desired cruising speed and a long smooth run, not have to perform sudden unplanned swerves or emergency stops. Neither of which are condusive to an enjoyable ride, especially on a trike or quad.

    The beach is more than big enough for everyone, and visibility is perfect, any obstacles are vividly seen against the white sand from one end to the other in a quick glance. I’d argue you were far more likely to be hit by a car while walking along a single track road where visibility against black tar isn’t anywhere near so good, or have your ankles skinned by an erratic pushchair on the Street than be run down by a bike on a sand.

    From personal experience of the beach in question I’d argue your average pedestrian is far more likely to be injured there by suddenly finding a foot vanish in to a hole maybe a foot or even two foot deep that some kid has dug and then abandoned, which is virtually impossible to see in the sand on a day of sunshine until you’re right on top of it.

    Are horseriders, who make much more use of beaches and in far greater numbers than bikers, not at least equally “harmful” to the beach surface and “unsafe” to beach using pedestrians? Why no demends they are banned too?

    Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, and I have no real issue with folk wanting to “protect” so-called “beauty spots”, but in this case, from what, or whom are we talking about protecting it from? As I said previously, bikes of all descriptions have used the beach regulalry for at least 25 years, any “harm” they may cause has already long since been done, so we cannot be talking about prevention here. In which case, can someone point out where the “harm” is that has already been done by their quarter of a century presence, that assumedly they are advocating should be be prevented from continuing, as as far as I’m aware if any such “harm” exists, it is considerably less than obvious.

    Finally, can I ask what right one section of the public (assumedly the pedestrian users of a beach with public access) have to demand another section of the public (biker users of a beach with public access) are summarily thrown off said beach, and banned from it? ALL of the public have equal rights of access currently, and if the boot were on the other foot here, with those who ride bikes on the beach demanding pedestrians were banned as they were a “nusiance” to the bikers enjoyment, I just know the flood of “shock, horror and indignation” responses would be a flood.

    Where is the “live and let live” that is necessary for harmonious human co-existence, after 25 years of it working quite well, and no-one having been injured and harmed in any way, why is it suddenly “not working” and “wrong”?

  • Paul Meyer

    • June 21st, 2011 2:13

    Referring to Mr Garriock’s comments above, for his information, St Ninian’s Isle tombolo apart from being designated SSSI is neither public nor common land. Access rights conferred by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 do not extend to the use of motorised vehicles for recreational use – unless the landowner has granted strict individual permission.

    Unlike horses and pedestrians that neither create noise nor undue nuisance, quad & trail bikes are a modern day phenomenon and other authorities in Scotland have taken significant measures to stop their illegal usage on private land – where they do not have the landowner’s permission.
    See link:

    If the current landowner of the Tombolo continues to permit motorised vehicles bombing up and down the sands and the dunes on a Sunday (or whenever), tourists and visitors alike will no doubt be giving this popular destination a wide berth.

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 22nd, 2011 0:57

    Mr Meyer,

    Your reply largely misses the point I was making, and imparts additional information that at this stage is extremely premature at best, and only helps to confirm me to the opinion I had started forming from your original post. That your attitude on this issue is concerning, if not worrying.

    What “action” it may be possible to take, is irrelevant until it is established what action is appropriate, justified and necessary. Just because you are of the opinion bikes on the beach in question are “bad” and should be banned forthwith, it does not necessarily follow that you are either right, nor that the landowner or anyone else, unless the one or two writer’s of similar letters on here, support your opinion.

    You may also wish to research your chosen subject a little more deeply as well. Vehicular access to the sand by the general public was banned by the landowner in much the way you describe, for some years only a few years ago. Ironicallygiven the stance you take, it was representations by tourism related interests that negotiated full public vehicular access be restored.

    On the same subject, paragraphs two, three and four, which are straight copy/paste from SSSI or similar literature (without being acknowledged), should be, if you are open to a second opinion, taken with quite a grain of salt. Some of the information quoted therein, while perhaps not strictly incorrect, are not the full facts either. But that’s not surprising when such literature is complied by someone who informs themselves by what is visible on a site visit and what it is possible for their equipment to detect, and doesn’t enquire of local knowledge which has observed visually in progress much of what they choose to attempt to complie from very limited available “snapshot” evidence and data.

    While I acknowledge you do not specifically state either way whether or not the bikers you object to have, or have not obtained the landowner’s permission for their activity, your tone goes quite some way towards placing in the reader’s mind the assumption that permission is unlikely to have been sought or given. Can you please state categorically one way or the other that you know whether or not permission has been sought and given, and from whom you obtained that knowledge. Or for that matter if you have ever tried to find out if it has been sought and given?

    In your opinion horses may not cause “undue nusiance”, but I would put it to you that your opinion does not stand up to scrutiny. If you have one or two ridden horses walking very sedately along a beach, certainly they are virtually no musiance at all, but then again, one or two bikes chugging along at a walking pace can hardly be described as causing much nusiance either. However, if you have twelve ridden horses galloping towards you, or twelve ridden bikes approaching you at speed, I fail to see how the nusiance and danger factor from either isn’t virtually equal.

    Do you have verifiable evidence of bikers “bombing” over the “dunes”. It is my understanding that recreational bikers are self-policing insofar as they appreciate the sand and only the sand is available for their use. Personally I have never witnessed recreational bikers operating elsewhere than on the actual sand itself, at any speed. Not that there’s any significant “dune” area to be on anyway, at the east end what isn’t a car park is the remnants of a sand quarry and its access road which was abandoned in the late 70’s. Are you suggesting a slightly sand blown abandoned industrial site be “preserved”? The west end is little other than a steep sandy face unless for the access track to the isle, and much of the sand comprising it only got blown there within the last two centuries anyway, so is a later addition, the beach was there quite happily long before a significant part of that formed.

    So, back to the point. Ban bikers from the sand. Why?? Present a vaild case backed up with verifiable points of fact, and you may just be taken seriously.

    You state “[if bikers are allowed to remain] tourists and visitors alike will no doubt be giving this popular destination a wide berth”. What evidence do you have to back this up? Without supporting data it is just your personal opinion, and is only worth that. As I said above, I have first hand knowledge of bikers and visitors/tourists co-existing and enjoying the beach together that stretches back in excess of 25 years. What has occured in 2011 that stops bikers and visitors/tourists both co-existing on and enjoying the beach that wasn’t there in the previous 25+ years? Clearly the activities of bikers for the last 25+ years have not ensured visitors/tourists give the beach a wide berth, otherwise there would have been no letters here about how some visitors/tourists had disapproved on the bikers presence. What is it that bikers are doing this year exactly that they have never done before that is the problem? If they’re doing nothing new or different, then I would venture that the fault doesn’t lie with the bikers, but with the unrealistic expectations of visitors/tourists in 2011who would appear to be expecting to be provided with a perfect “exhibition standard” product at all times, and not what it really is, a piece of nature at its wildest, where just about everyone may be participating in just about any kind of activity at any time.

    Bikers did not descend on to the beach for the very first time the day you, or any of the other letter writers saw them. They have a longstanding tradition of using the beach, and as such “use and wint” comes in to play. Certainly they do not have a god given right to be there, but having been there for between two and three decades without causing the slightest harm or being involved in the slighest incident that I am aware of, it comes off as below the belt when a few “bike haters” insinuate much, but provide no back up proof, just to move the bikes and bikers “out of sight, out of mind” for apparently no other reason than their own selfish ends.

  • Ron Stronach

    • June 24th, 2011 12:42

    St Ninians Isle eco-system is accustomed to “Shetlands Weather” and conditions, it is not used to petrol engines, motor oil and the like being spilt, spread or otherwise placed into the sand/shore/grass or even atmosphere.

    A place of natural beauty and enjoyment whether you’er there for a walk, a picnic or dare I say “swim” whether fully clothed or otherwise. Not a place for quads! – unless you have 4 bairns!

  • Tom Williamson

    • June 25th, 2011 0:21

    Where was Michael Garriock when common sense was dished out? Racing around on a quad bike probably! Everyone knows it is not appropriate behaviour for quad bikes to be racing up and down the length of St Ninians Isle beach and into and around the car park, especially on a Sunday afternoon. Next he’ll be saying its ok for open boozing in the middle of the day in Commercial Street. I mean, what’s the difference really?

    Sunday afternoon for many people is the only time for family relaxation and St Ninians Isle used to be a popular spot for this. Not anymore as i won’t be going back. Give me the Mail beach at Burra any day.

  • Tom Williamson

    • June 25th, 2011 0:25

    One other thing, the Sunday in question was the first time i had seen so many bikers, they were everywhere and made access to the beach impossible, i couldn’t even drive into the car park as there was some moron there too on a quad bike.

    I have been a regular visitor to St Ninians Isle and this year has been the worst year by far. Taking over the beach on a glorious Sunday afternoon is not on Michael, you fool of a man.

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 25th, 2011 19:51

    Mr Stronach, What evidence do you have to prove petrol and oils are coming in to contact with the sand and/or grass as a direct result to bike activity, quads or oitherwise? Given the price of such commodities locally, I doubt spillages are either of note or even regular. That of course is not withstanding the fact that the sand is in the middle of a very productive working farm, and the sand has been used as an access route by motorised vehicles to the isle portion of the farm for at least in excess of 30 years, probably much longer, nor is it withstanding that the sand has been used as an anchorage and launching place for small boats fitted with petrol engines for a number of decades, nor is it withstanding that the sand has been used as a launching place for yoal races, with the motorised transport vehicles and motorised guard/safety boats that entials for events etc. Nor is it withstanding that for a number of years until the late 70’s there existed a sand quarry at the SE end of the beach, to which large diesel six wheeler tippers made many journeys to/from fully laden, and there was a large motorised loading shovel that remained on site to load them, and presumably was refulled and otherwise serviced and maintained on site. All of the above, and as I have repeatedly stated, bikes of all types have used the sand regularly for numerous decades, and as such I would argue that contrary to “not being used to petrol, motor oil” etc, as far as Shetland goes, it ranks quite high among non-public highway sites that are very used to the effects of petrol, oils etc. To be blunt there is far more oil contamination to the beach from oil from tar balls and on contaminated floatsam, not forgetting the semi-regular five gallon drum full of burnt diesel sump oil, dumped at sea from a neighbouring land mass, in one day’s NW or SW gale than in a year from human motorised activities.

    Quads, trikes and bikes have regularly used that and other beaches for in excess of 25 years, other motorised vehicles etc for several decades longer, if there is any truth in these dire warnings of “damage” from their wheels and whatever oils they may use, on either the physical characteristics of the beach, or on the ecology of either sea or land, will you kindly provide actual examples. As after 2-3 decades and more of constant activity, something with the potential to allegedly casue so much “harm” really must be providing tangible evidence by now to have any credibility.

    Otherwise, lets have some honesty here, and just openly admit that the real reasoning behind all this is a dislike of the sight and sound of bikes of any and all descriptions, and you want them banished out of sight and out of mind at all times. Of course, doing so, does your arguments no favours, but at least you’d score brownie points on the honesty front.

    Really, the way some of the previous rhetoric on this subject comes across, you’d think the beach was choc-a-bloc with hordes or bikers riding around as fast as they can all day every day, not just a few there for a few hours every week or so. I would feel sure just about everyone finds themselves having to share publically available facilities with others participating in other activities, they’d very much rather they didn’t have to, but thats the nature of such things. Its come to a pretty pass if someone visiting a beach for a short period cannot manage to co-exist with someone riding a bike past them, and to those who argue that the sound/smell/sight of bikes of the sand “spoils” the “beauty”, I would argue that if they can be distracted by such, let alone have their enjoyment “spoiled” by it, they cannot and very probably never will see the “beauty” of the place anyway. If they could see the “beauty”, the bikes, bikers, and everything else that didn’t directly contribute to that “beauty” would be “filtered out” of their sight and hearing.

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 25th, 2011 20:02

    Mr Williamson, I would be delighted to counter your many vaild points with arguments from the opposing opinion. However, I am a believer in the theory that (s)he who resorts to personally insulting someone who holds an opposing point of view to their own, has already lost the argument.

    So, having noted the opening comment in the earlier of your two posts, and the final comment in the latter of your two posts. That, is that.

  • Paul Meyer

    • June 25th, 2011 21:35

    Contrary to Mr Garriock’s assumption that I’m a ‘bike-hater’ could not be further from the truth. I have been riding motorbikes for the past 48 years – and still do! During the 60’s I even raced motorbikes at Brands Hatch and other circuits, have ridden the length of the USA and Europe, and have been a member of many motorbike clubs – some where leather jackets with eagles, etc., were emblazoned on the back.

    However, unlike ‘proper’ racing and bike scrambling tracks where safety to non-riders and spectators is paramount, we never rode on tracks that were protected as ‘special places’. I guess we had just too much respect to do that. However, the Tombolo at St Ninian’s which is SSSI is very much protected, and has been since 1972 – many years before you state motorbikes and now quads pervade. These special areas should not be utilised for such sport, and in fact according to SSSI documentation it basically states they should NOT be permitted.

    These SSSI documents (Site code 1475) are freely available as a download from and clearly indicate the following regarding the St. Ninian’s Tombolo:


    (there are eight citations including No.27 below)

    27. Motorcycling Scrambling

    Judging by Mr Garriock’s lengthy comments he is probably one of those bikers who uses the Tombolo for his fun and enjoyment. If so, I suggest his friends find a local crofter who has some nice bumpy land (that is not SSSI) where they do some REAL bike scrambling (along with their quadie buddies) on ground where they might at least get some proper thrills, spills and bruises – then they can at least say they’re ‘proper bikers’.

  • Colin Hunter

    • June 26th, 2011 2:19

    Tom, You’re too kind! You called him a man! They’re just a bunch of spoilt wee boys with too much money and not enough wit to realise they’re REALLY getting up folks noses with their selfish shenanigans! Their mothers should take them and skelp their erses! That wid teach them! OOH! AAH! Mammy No!

  • Sandy McDonald

    • June 27th, 2011 7:57

    The bottom line is: the vast majority of folk would not be happy sharing a beach with a fleet of quad bikes. Micaeal – you have to accept this. Now I am sure you will come back with some long winded reply about “the rights of the few” but to be blunt it is all empty rhetoric. The bikers should realise that they are causing a disturbance in an beutiful and unique location. Time to move on.

    As I suggested earlier in the debate why don’t the quad bikers use the old sand quarry at Quendale for running around? I believe the area is already used for motor biking of the two wheeled variety.

  • Hansen Black

    • June 28th, 2011 17:05


    You commented about tourists/visitors and bikers co-existing in harmony. My recent experience (having spent a couple of hours in the carpark warning visitors about a bomb!) is that when the bikes and quads started driving along the beach dozens of visitors left the beach complaining about the activity – noise, smell and feeling threatened.

    St Ninians Isle is a major attraction to the South Mainland drawing thousands of visitors to the area every year. I accept that it may not be illegal to ride there and don’t hold with the arguement that the amenity is fragile and could be damaged, however I am convinced that the activity is putting people off visiting the beach.

    For that reason alone it would be best if the bikers/quad riders found a more appropriate area to ride on – somewhere better than the most popular beach in Shetland.

    Hansen Black

  • Erik Moncrieff

    • June 28th, 2011 23:54

    Without getting embroiled in the pros and cons of the scrambling itself, I do feel obliged to respond to Tom Williamson’s question ‘Where was Michael Garriock when common sense was dished out?’ as well as Colin Hunter’s description of Michael as a ‘spoilt wee boy.’ The latter is ridiculously far from the truth. As for ‘common sense,’ if I were asked to nominate an individual in Shetland who consistently impresses me in that department, it would be Michael. Whatever he is saying I find it is always worth pondering and never to be dismissed lightly.

  • Ron Stronach

    • July 5th, 2011 12:07

    Mr Garriock, the burning of fossil fuel is well documented in Environemental Literature, also the bike exhausts cause ozone, that aside engines tend to leak, I doubt if these bikes/trikes/quads are the best maintained in the land? Refilling of petrol tanks too can cause spillages, as I doubt even at the highly overpriced fuel in Shetland that great care would be taken. None of which has been endured at St Ninian’s Isle in any great porportion in the past.

    Why should they be allowed to disturb the peace and tranquility of the area?
    There doesnt seem to be many people supporting your view?

  • Brian Leslie

    • July 5th, 2011 19:47

    Just for the record, the old sand quarry at Quendale lies within the Quendale SSSI and therefore quad-biking or any other kind of motorcycling is prohibited. Those continuing to use this site do so without permission. Signs put up informing the public are either ignored or pulled down and have been over the years.
    Perhaps the bikers should approach the SIC to provide them with a site, like the £100,000 grant allocated to the skatepark recently, or maybe Sandy Mcdonald will offer his garden??

  • Colin Hunter

    • July 6th, 2011 0:53

    As I’ve said before. Surely there must be SOMEWHERE in Shetland where off road bikers and quad users can congregate peacefully, away from a much loved and visited beauty spot where they can “Tear trow da hill” at their pleasure without upsetting or inconveniencing other people and families with small children. After all, there are only about 3 months a year, namely June, July & August when tourists visit the isles and the weather is fine enough for people to want a day at the beach. No reason at all why the “B&Q” brigade can’t have the whole lot to themselves the rest of the time. Surely there should be a bit of common sense and give and take here. And if the old sand quarry is now an SSSI and biking etc is not allowed there, why is it apparently acceptable on the almost unique St Ninians Isle Tombolo? Is that not also SSSI?

  • Sandy McDonald

    • July 6th, 2011 17:19

    I’ll offer them my garden Brian if you offer yours! They wouldn’t get much of a speed up though. How about central Lerwick? All those peerie lanes, steps and pedestrians would make things very exciting.

  • Terry Boon

    • July 27th, 2011 19:14

    As a visitor to the wonderful isles of Shetland I was appalled to read this article. Michael Garriock June 22, 2011 questions an earlier comment: “[if bikers are allowed to remain] tourists and visitors alike will no doubt be giving this popular destination a wide berth” and asks for proof. Well the proof is I for one will think twice before visiting this historic location again. If I want Hooliganism I will stay at home in England. I have spent many happy hours soaking up the majesty of the St Ninian’s Isle and dwelling on the long history the place represents. If this dessecration is allowed to continue where will it end? Motorbikes ripping up the turf at Sumburgh Head, perhaps? The special nature of Shetland could be lost for ever. Shetland, like many part of England, could be ruined for visitors and locals alike. And who would want that?

  • Ron Stronach

    • July 28th, 2011 12:13

    Well said Mr. Boon

  • James Stewart

    • July 30th, 2011 11:18

    Bikers are hooligans now? Give me a break. Shetland’s bikers aren’t the Mongrel Mob, you may have mixed them up.

    When I was a lad dad would take me and my brother on 35cc bikes to go up and down St Ninians – it was great fun! People have been doing it for years and yet it is still one of the most popular tourist attractions around. Terry Boon’s letter seemed to me either parody or comedy “where will it end?”, he asks. I’m looking forward to the quad track around Clickimin, too! People have been going to St Ninians for years, why would they suddenly branch out into other areas? You know they’re not just going there because it’s a historic site, it’s because it’s fun.

  • Jaime

    • May 16th, 2014 17:07

    I believe avoiding packaged foods may be the
    first step so that you can lose weight. They might taste
    good, but packaged foods include very little nutritional value,
    making you feed on more just to have enough strength to get through the day.
    If you are constantly consuming these foods, converting
    to grain and other complex carbohydrates will let you have more vitality while
    taking in less. Thanks alot : ) for your blog post.

    Here is my page; How to make him fall in love with you

  • David Spence

    • May 16th, 2014 23:20

    Michael Garriock ‘ Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder ‘

    You are correct Michael………Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the beauty of St Ninian’s Isle Tombola being destroyed (albeit temporary…..or until the sea covers the tracks) by a bunch of people on their bikes or quads who give very little attention to the beauty around them and to replace this with selfish antics because it is fun to do……..and that you are not harming anything (allegedly).

    It is because, in many cases and like the VE Project, of a minority of people wanting to do their own thing or make the quick buck which has caused a massive amount of damage to eco-systems and environments around the world which has escalated into greater and bigger things of even more destruction.

    I am not saying a few bikes or quads will cause such an expansion………….but where do you draw the line between what you want and preserving the natural beauty of the environment and nature?????

  • Ruth Harris

    • November 21st, 2014 8:50

    Hello everyone,
    I’ve suffered years of problems and had to move house twice in rural England due to the constant ear-splitting noise of quad bikes, and it is absolutely the last thing I would be able to bear on holiday anywhere in Britain. Sadly, having worked more or less continuously for the last 30 years, it’s been that long since I have managed holidays to the stunning Western Islands of Scotland and I am just getting back to that. I fear though, that none of them have escaped the advent of the quad bike. I was already fearful of some of my favourite places like Kerrera & Ulva as I hear that quad bikes are now the main or only transport method there. I fully understand that farmers need small tractors or 4×4’s to go about their daily business, but from my personal experience, if there are quad bikes on a farm then the bored farmers’ children will spend all of their free time racing around on them creating thunderous noise. Judging from Google results (obtained when trying to ascertain if I can chance booking holidays on any of the Western Isles because of the quad bike problem), quad biking holidays and ‘thrill-seeking’ activities seem to be what is now promoted as an attraction in many of these previously tranquil and sympathetically farmed places. Can anyone tell me if it is possible – perhaps at certain times of the year (I NEVER stay anywhere during school holidays, for example) to visit these wonderful places still without having to try to bear the yobbish behaviour of quad-bikers?
    Thank you,

    • Ali Inkster

      • November 21st, 2014 14:41

      You just go ahead and book your holiday in the western isles and I will personally guarantee that you will not be disturbed by quad bikes at St Ninians beach.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.