St Ninian's Isle

Sandwick, United Kingdom

St Ninian's Isle

St Ninian's Isle is a small tied island connected by the largest tombolo in the UK to the south-western coast of the Mainland, Shetland, in Scotland. It is part of the civil parish of Dunrossness on the South Mainland. The tombolo, known locally as an ayre from the Old Norse for "gravel bank", is 500 metres long. During the summer the tombolo is above sea level and accessible to walkers. During winter, stronger wave action removes sand from the beach so that it is usually covered at high tide, and occasionally throughout the tidal cycle, until the sand is returned the following spring. Depending on the definition used, St. Ninian's is thus either an island, or a peninsula; it has an area of about 72 hectares.