Key details

Hillsgarth, Baltasound, Unst, ZE2 9DY
7 bedrooms • 3 reception rooms • bathroom, 2 shower rooms (one en-suite), & separate WC • utility room & separate laundry room • kitchenette • garden shed
Immediate entry is available upon conclusion of legal formalities.

  • receptions 3 Reception Rooms
  • bedrooms 7 Bedrooms
  • bathrooms 3 Bathrooms + WC
  • Council Tax Band: D
  • Energy Efficiency: E (40)


Substantial, detached house set in around 1 acre grounds, conveniently situated by the health centre, Junior High School & leisure centre / swimming pool at Baltasound on the island of Unst, Britain’s most northerly inhabited island.

The accommodation in this Grade ‘C’ listed property is arranged over two floors comprising two large reception rooms, a kitchen, utility room, and various store / ancillary accommodation on the ground floor, plus five large bedrooms, a bathroom and en-suite shower room upstairs. An extension to the east provides two further bedrooms, a living room, kitchenette & shower room, this part of the house having another entrance making it ideal for use by dependent relative, or perhaps as holiday accommodation.

The grounds which include a walled garden behind the house, offer plenty of scope for growing your own, keeping chickens etc., and potentially space for a polytunnel subject to any consents required.

The property requires repair and refurbishment which is reflected in the price but nonetheless offers a substantial family home with obvious B & B potential particularly as Shetland has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years, the east extension potentially providing owners’ accommodation.


‘Hillsgarth’ is situated at Baltasound which lies in the middle of the island of Unst, Britain’s most northerly inhabited island, on the east side of the island overlooking the voe of Balta Sound. Although measuring just 12 miles long by about 5 miles wide and having a population of only around 600, the islanders enjoy a range of amenities beyond what might be expected given the remote location, these mostly being situated in Baltasound, the main settlement, and including several local shops and a post office, the island’s Junior High School (nursery, primary & secondary education to year 4), a church, leisure centre and swimming pool, health centre, garage with fuel pumps, and a pier / marina. The health centre is next door to the house, both the school and swimming pool are close by.

There are many places of interest on the island making it a popular tourist destination, in particular Hermaness National Nature Reserve, the Keen of Hamar Reserve, historic Muness Castle as well as a heritage centre and boat haven at Haroldswick. There are also fine beaches at Norwick, Skaw, Sandwick, Westing & Burrafirth, plus a number of sites of archaeological interest. Unst celebrates Up Helly Aa and ‘UnstFest’ annually and there is a new Space Port being built at the north end of the island.

A regular ro-ro ferry service connects Unst with Mainland Shetland via the neighbouring island of Yell, ferries running throughout the day from the terminal at Belmont at the south end of the island to Gutcher on Yell (10 minute crossing) and then from Ulsta at the south end of Yell to Toft on Mainland Shetland (20 minute crossing), Toft being situated about 27 miles north of Lerwick, Shetland’s capital which can be reached in a couple of hours or so.

Additional information on the island of Unst can be found at:-

The Shetland Islands themselves, the most northerly part of the United Kingdom, are located approximately 200 miles north of Aberdeen and 200 miles west of Bergen, Norway. A daily overnight ferry service operated by Northlink Ferries ( runs from Lerwick to Aberdeen, whilst Loganair ( operates flights from Sumburgh at the south end of Shetland to Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow. Shetland residents are currently entitled to discounted ferry and air fares.

With over 100 islands of which 15 are inhabited, Shetland is home to around 23,000 people and offers a vibrant and safe community enjoying dramatic and unspoilt scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Considerable press coverage and TV exposure in recent years, in particular the ‘Shetland’ TV detective series, and numerous wildlife programmes, has made the islands an increasingly popular and well-known visitor destination.

The House

This Grade ‘C’ listed property, originally the Manse to the old Unst Kirk, is understood to have been built in the late 1800’s, a later extension being added to the east side in modern times. The house was re-roofed in the early 1980’s. Windows are a mix of double and single glazed units and central heating is provided by an oil-fired boiler housed in a boiler room to the rear.


The main entrance is via a large porch with full-height window facing south and further tall window to the west. From here a half-glazed inner door opens to a large hall with a reception room to either side and two built-in cupboards providing space for coats etc. and storage. Ahead another door leads to a rear hallway and the remaining ground floor accommodation.

The two receptions rooms are well-proportioned, the living room to the right having with windows to the south and east, a fireplace (not tested) and shelved recess. The dining room to the left faces south and has a door leading through to the kitchen at the rear, a large west-facing room with extensive fitted units including a corner double bowl sink, cooker hood and plumbing for a dishwasher. Off the kitchen is a large shelved store cupboard, and a door to the rear hallway.

Off the rear hallway which has a built-in cupboard under the stairs, is a rear porch / utility area with back door, shower cubicle, a small laundry room with a wash hand basin, boiler room and a door opening to a stair leading up to an attic store room. There is also a toilet with WC & wash hand basin and a large utility room with extensive built-in cupboard and shelf space and a sink.

The utility room provides access to the additional accommodation to the east side of house which comprises a kitchenette leading through to a dual-aspect living room facing south and east. Off the living room is a hallway to two east-facing bedrooms (one single, one double), both with their own wash hand basin, a shower room with electric shower, WC & wash hand basin, plus a rear lobby with separate back door providing an independent access. This part of the house has electric storage / panel heating.

Finally the stair from the rear hallway, which is lit by a large window to the half-landing, leads up to the first floor accommodation, a cupboard on the landing housing the hot water tank. Off the landing is a family bathroom with three piece suite with over-bath shower, and five sizeable double bedrooms each benefiting from extensive built-in wardrobe / cupboard space. Bedroom 4 has an en-suite shower room with electric shower, WC & wash hand basin. A hatch in the landing with pull-down ladder provides easy access to the loft space.

Rooms Sizes (All approximate)

On the Ground Floor:-

Living Room

5.1m x 4.5m (16’10” x 14’9”)

Dining Room

4.65m x 3.9m (15’2” x 12’10”)


4.1m x 3.85m (13’6” x 12’8”) with store cupboard off 2.35m x 1.8m (7’9” x 6’)


1.75m x 1.65m (5’9” x 5’6”)

Utility Room

3.9m x 3.75m at widest points (12’9” x 12’3”)

Laundry Room

2.35m x 1.1m (7’8” x 3’6”)

Boiler Room

2.25m x 1.65m (7’5” x 5’6”)

Attic Store

5m x 3.6m (16’4” x 11’10”)

East Wing:-

Living Room

4.8m x 3.45m (15’9” x 11’4”)


3.25m x 1.95m (10’9” x 6’5”)

Bedroom 6

3.6m x 2.1m (11’10” x 7’)

Bedroom 7

3.6m x 3m (11’10” x 9’10”)

Shower Room

1.8m x 1.1m + shower (6’ x 4’7”)

On the First Floor:-


2.75m x 2m (9’ x 6’8”)

Bedroom 1

4.55m x 4.3m at widest points including cupboard space (15’ x 14’2”)

Bedroom 2

4.75m x 3.9m at widest points including cupboard space (15’6” x 12’10”)

Bedroom 3

4.5m x 3.2m at widest points including cupboard space (14’10” x 10’7”)

Bedroom 4

4.5m x 5.05m at widest points including cupboard space (14’10” x 16’8”)

En-suite Shower Room

2.15m x 1m (7’ x 3’4”)

Bedroom 5

4.05m x 3.7m at widest points including cupboard space (13’4” x 12’3”)


The property sits in a large site estimated to extend to just under 0.4 hectares or thereby (approximately 1 acre) Click here to see a plan of the site.. Access is over the drive from the public road which is shared with the health centre. Included is the nearest section of the field to the west of the house, the area immediately behind the house up to and including the first part of the ruined steading, the large walled garden which is enclosed by a stone dyke with established trees around the perimeter and a wooden garden shed, plus a further strip of land adjacent to the walled garden on the north side of the health centre. Note the neighbouring crofter has access rights through the site to the croft to the north.

The size of the site provides plenty of scope for growing your own, keeping chickens etc., and potentially space for a polytunnel subject to any consents required.

Council Tax

Understood to currently be Band D. Prospective purchasers should however contact Shetland Islands Council directly for confirmation. Details of Council Tax rates can be found on Shetland Island Council’s website at:

Property location

To reach the property drive to Baltasound. On the approach to the village turn left to Baliasta, follow the road for just ½ mile to a crossroads with ‘The Manse’ in the far left hand corner. Turn right and continue past the school on your right until you reach a turning left to Unst Health Centre. ‘Hillsgarth’ is situated next to the Health Centre.

Thanks again for your brilliant service with both my property sales over the past years. Your experience in Shetland is much noted with local people.

Selling my house whilst living in Edinburgh was a daunting prospect but I should not have worried. The communications between both parties was easy and the sale of my property went through without any hitches.
Diane Legget
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Hillsgarth, Baltasound, Unst, ZE2 9DY