Shetland and home

After a week’s sailing in Orkney, and our trip to Fair Isle yesterday, we then had two full days on “core” Shetland before beginning the journey home.

10 June – Bressay and the South

A busy day starting with parkrun on Bressay, a visit to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse visitor centre, the remarkable prehistoric archaeological site of Jarlshof, and St Ninian’s Isle.

The RD and Lucy coming off the ferry with most of the rest being parkrunners too.
Bressay parkrun – most northerly in the UK
And now our most northern too as it’s a little further north than Tøyen in Oslo
I believe it’s the only UK parkrun on public roads, albeit very quiet ones.
A fabulous breakfast afterwards too, at the community cafe run entirely by volunteers
Later, a visit to Sumburgh Head – part of the skull of a sperm whale
The obligatory puffin photo
The engine room at the lighthouse
A former lens from Cape Wrath lighthouse
The East radar hut, instrumental in thwarting what could have been a catastrophic raid on the Home Fleet in April 1940.
The fog horn, no longer in use, was so loud it could be heard on Fair Isle.
Later we visited Jarlshof, a fascinating place with overlapping buildings from the Bronze Age right through to the 17th century, many very well preserved.
A Pictish wheelhouse
Part of the site from the top of the manor house
The main road crossing the runway of Sumburgh Airport
Seals in the Bay of Scousburgh
The tombolo linking the mainland to St Ninian’s Isle
St Ninian’s chapel dates from the 12th century
Heading north back to Lerwick
Viking longship outside our hotel

11 June – The North

Last day on Shetland and we took two ferries across Yell to Unst, visiting Hermaness nature reserve, at the northernmost point of the UK.

Heading to the top of Hermaness Hill
The semaphore station which was used to transmit messages between the lighthouse and the road
From the summit, the lighthouse and Out Stack
Muckleflugga Lighthouse
Out Stack, northernmost point of the country
100,000 sea birds live on the cliffs here
A spaceport is under construction at the most northern village in the country. Watch out aliens.
A replica Viking longhouse
The White Wife as we explored the east coast of Yell on the way back to Lerwick

And so we wended our way back to Lerwick, and took the overnight ferry to Aberdeen, after two fascinating and enjoyable days on Shetland (three counting Fair Isle).

12 June – Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies

Our last trip together to the Falkirk Wheel had been before it opened, though Lucy had been alone, so it was a good opportunity for a fresh visit, including a boat trip on the rotating wheel.
And never pass up the opportunity for a game of crazy golf.
Afterward we went for a short, if very hot, visit to see the Kelpies – previously glanced from the road at high speed, but much better appreciated on foot.

13 June – Shap

We stayed overnight at the Shap Wells Hotel, somewhere I’ve stayed a number of times with work, and always come away having seen red squirrels in the neighbouring woodland, so Lucy was very keen to pay a visit, and the squirrels did not disappoint.

Before setting off decisively homewards, we paid a visit to Shap Abbey – somewhere I’ve been near on a number of occasions, and regularly seen signs and seen it on a map, but never visited, so just time to put that right.

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