Fair Isle

After arriving in Lerwick on the overnight ferry from Orkney where we’d had a lovely week’s sailing, we had a good breakfast in a café, then drove to Tingwall airport for our pre-booked flight to Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in the UK.

Incoming plane from Foula
Lucy in the departure lounge. Although we’d booked the flights in advance, because such a high proportion are cancelled due to inclement weather, payment is only taken on the day in the departure lounge, where our rucksacks were also weighed.
Terminal building. Our rucksacks were put in the back of the van for the 30-metre drive to the aeroplane.
Finished refuelling – the two in yellow have refuelled, while the man in orange and black is our pilot for today’s flight.
Six passengers and the pilot. Lucy and I entered through the door to Lucy’s left, while the other four passengers had their own door on the right (with the front seat folding forward to allow access to the middle bench seat).The seatbelts had me stymied for a while, despite having paid attention to the video in the departure lounge, but I got it sorted in the end. There were no prelims from the pilot – we were almost immediately underway.
Bits of the 25-minute flight
Safely on the ground where the fire crew double as the baggage handlers
Fair Isle terminal building
The gate
Heading north along the main road, a look back shows an arrow on the hillside pointing at the landing strip
Looking down into a collapsed sea cave
The northern lighthouse
The route to the foghorn – now officially a closed route since the very narrow section in the dip will collapse one day
North Haven where we stopped for lunch – there’s a good deal of activity associated with the rebuilding of The Observatory which burnt down and is now being reconstructed
In the other direction, South Haven
From the landing strip, I climbed the track to the transmitter mast next to the site of a WWII radar station, from where rails head up the hillside to the top of Ward Hill.
Detritus on top of Ward Hill, from its time in World War II
Looking the length of Fair Isle to the south
Trig point at 217m, the high point of Fair Isle
And so all too soon it was time for our flight back to Shetland Mainland. Having flown down the east coast, we flew up the west coast
St Ninian’s Isle, which we will visit tomorrow
Safely on the ground at Tingwall, and time to depart our plane
View from our room at the Queen’s Hotel – a great view but hotel is not recommended for a variety of reasons.
Looking across the water to Bressay, tomorrow’s destination.

After the day trip to Fair Isle, politically part of Shetland, we then had two full days on Shetland Mainland, Bressay, Unst and Yell before it would be time to head home.

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